Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Were Having Fun, and Then the Wheels Came Flying Off


With Amy not feeling well, and my body too sore for another sledding run, I decided to take the kids downtown in the morning to see the sights and do a little shopping. The route from our house to the subway station was even more snow-hindered than I had anticipated, with too-narrow pathways (necessitating brute force to push through) and uncleared intersections (necessitating brute force to push over) particularly cumbersome. But eventually we made it to the station, and within minutes were downtown.

I decided to call a bit of an audible once we were on the subway, to get off at 2nd and meander our way back to the direction of 13th, instead of just getting off at 13th and heading straight for Reading Terminal Market. I figured it might be fun for the kids to see what the Independence Hall area looked like covered under snow.

Alas, once we left that area and walked down Jeweler's Row in the direction of Reading Terminal Market, the intersections were almost as bad as they are in our neighborhood. And, trying to wiggle my way over and through one slushy pile of snow, the front right wheel of our stroller snapped off. Quickly, I had to scramble the wheel, the three-wheeled stroller, and the kids back onto the sidewalk, which I did with the help of a kind man who jumped in to help.

We got our bearings and decided the best course of action was to buy a roll of duct tape and see if we couldn't temporarily secure the wheel so I could get everyone home. The kind man carried the stroller and the wheel while I held the kids' hands, and we walked a half-block to a Rite Aid.

There, the man waited patiently with the stroller and wheel while I took the kids through the store in search of a roll of duct tape. Once I located one, I paid for it, got the kids a snack, and then the man and I turned the stroller upside down and got the stray wheel secured: first, careful loops to hold the wheel in place, and then endless loops to strengthen the weakened connection.

I tested the wheel, first without and then with kids, and decided it was worth a go. Thanking the man, the kids and I headed out of the store and gingerly made it another half-block to the elevator for the 8th Street station. Mercifully, the wheel held up, onto the subway and then off the subway and back in our neighborhood.

In fact, the wheel held up so well I wonder if we will need to buy a replacement stroller. They are, after all, pretty expensive, and I am painfully cheap. And, after this fiasco, I'll know better than to stubbornly ram the front wheels over, around, and through equally stubborn piles of snow. I was really bummed we couldn't continue with our downtown fun, and not a little mad at myself for being reckless with something as important as our stroller, but grateful for the kind man's help, and glad this incident didn't put us in too much jeopardy.
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