Sometimes, I wake up in a sweat realizing that the comforts of modern life are just adding to the already insurmountable list of things mothers must be. Today’s existential crisis comes courtesy of a seemingly innocuous giant stroller-wagon hybrid called the W4 Wonderfold Wagon.
On the surface, most people probably understand that this product is the solution to a problem parents have: Families with more than one kid quickly outgrow strollers, even double strollers. But this guy fits four kids, with a weight limit of 300 lbs. Smaller kids (6 months and older) can get strapped into the detachable benches for two (weight limit: 66 lbs. each). And because it’s a wagon, not a stroller, older kids can sit in the open space and wiggle around without feeling too babyish.
The Wonderfold has a bar so you can push rather than pull it, which seems to make it easier to maneuver, but there’s also a strap you can use for pulling, wagon-style. It also has a bunch of other great accessories, like a canopy for shade, zippers so the kids can come out through the side without being picked up and a detachable basket. You can even buy a winter weather shield, which makes the wagon suddenly look like an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage (and you, dear parents, are the horses). As the name implies, the whole thing folds up so you can stash it when you’re done.
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Sounds great, right? My issue is this: Once you have the ability to use something like this, you will be expected to. It means that your preschool-age kid who is bouncing off the walls one minute and whining that his feet hurt the second you want to walk anywhere will expect to ride in it. It means that when you plan a trip to a park or anyplace with wide enough aisles, you will have to load all 50 lbs. of this into your car. (Though you can’t do this at Disney, since the parks banned ’em last year.)
It means someone is going to wonder why you don’t go ahead and have three or four kids, since it’s just so easy these days.
Is this my fear and exhaustion talking? Probably. I am happy that parents have this option, if it truly makes their lives easier. Stroller-wagons may also be perfect for nannies or daycares that want to take a bunch of kids on an excursion.
I just want all the parents out there to know that whenever you feel the time is right, you can totally put your wagons and strollers up on the classified site of your choosing and get ready for an unencumbered life of kids who walk. Then get ready to carry them everywhere, too.