As one half of a childless, married couple who spends the majority of vacations at Disney parks and has Lion's Lair membership at the zoo (comprising two adults, no children) I have come to despise the Stroller Commandos. Not your average baby transport engineers, but those who pilot their Gracos and Bebeloves, their Bugaboos and Peg Peregos with no regard for my ankles or personal space. They are the ones who use their offspring's conveyance to clear a path, to hurry dawdlers along, to make the point that they, the breeders, have more right to be wherever you both are than you do. "It's a children's park," they cry, "adults with no children should relinquish all right of way and prime seating to us, the NUCLEAR FAMILY!" They use their three or four wheeled mobile nap inducer to save spaces for parades, for fireworks, for the best view of the animals. They leave their nylon and aluminum perambulators in aisles for everyone else to trip over on the way to their seats in the front.
I am not fond of these people.
However, I found myself on the other side of the wheels this weekend while pushing my one-year-old nephew around the zoo while my four-year-0ld nephew toddled alongside. I found myself getting irritated when people wouldn't get out of my way. It was hard to maneuver that little Jeep wonder of collapsible convenience around slow moving adults traveling uphill, and I'd make annoyed, "Uh!" sounds in the back of my throat and sigh in the manner of a petulant teenager if I wasn't allowed to push to the front of each exhibit so the sweet lad in the seat could see. I didn't understand why everyone was taking so long to look at the gorillas when other people were obviously waiting, people WITH SMALL CHILDREN, children who had more right to see the animals than the obviously infantile adults who were there without children and who apparently needed to find some more adult hobbies, like football and scrapbooking. I nodded and smiled sagely at other couples pushing one child with another dawdling behind, touching and grabbing everything within reach, a fine pasttime as how else will they learn what will burn them if they don't pick up things that are shiny and red?
In other words, things that would normally cause my innards to reach temperatures only measurable by laboratory methods and boil out of my facial orifices became sources of mild amusement and patient understanding in the presence of my nephews. After all, the zoo is for KIDS.
Maybe I can take this new experience with me to Disney World in November, and not mind when I feel the plastic drink cup on the front of the rented yellow four-wheeler larger than my first car filled to overflowing with an obese five year old pushed by Wanda May from Kentucky who came down in her fifth-wheel with her seven other kids plow into my Achilles'. But I don't think my memory is that good.