The Ebb and Flow of Manners…

I am consistently amazed at how people behave around you when you have a small child. Hannah is 5 months and is always with us, either in the Bjorn or her stroller. We always run into people. I mean literally. People walking and even in cars seem to steer right at you. Every so often, you get surprised with a kind gesture or even a simple courtesy…

Saturday we were at Gramercy Park, which is usually closed (it’s a private park), and having a good time. When we left, I was waiting for my turn to push the stroller through the gate, when a woman literally squeezed in front of us to get in. It’s not like they were about to run out of free money… it was just a beautiful day outside.

On any given day, as we go in and out of stores, we find that 99.9% of people will not hold the door for you when pushing a stroller. It’s great when you have a door to push out and you are trying to manage an awkward load like a stroller with a small child… My favorite move is when the person actually visually acknowledges you first, then lets the door slam in your face.

Of course cars always have the right of way here, (especially when the walk sign is lit) but we find a pretty significant percentage of traffic likes to creep or speed up behind you so that you almost get side-swiped as they make their turn behind you.

Every now and again you get pleasantly surprised… today for example I was in the grocery store with Hannah in her stroller and was greeted at the register by a very helpful checkout girl, who took the basket from my non-stroller hand and then proceeded to efficiently zip me through the line and even packed the bag in a single, though full bag so I could cruise through and easily manage to maintain control of the stroller. Hannah was sleeping at the time so I seriously appreciated her efforts.

I’m sure I am noticing things more as a parent now, but it just continues to amaze me how people ignore that there are others around – especially here in NYC when you are only alone at home.

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