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Mowing with baby

When you're sitting in front of your computer, pretending to be writing a paper even though you've run out of ideas and need to take a break, you sometimes notice things that you wouldn't notice otherwise.

Maybe it's your brain trying desperately to focus on something else. Trying to let you know it's time to pack it in.

This morning, I was staring out the window when I noticed a white male in his 30s who appeared to be pushing a lawnmower back and forth across the concrete courtyard behind the graduate library. Thinking that this would be a bizarre thing to do, I looked closer-- no, it wasn't a lawnmower. It was a baby stroller. He was pushing this baby stroller back and forth across the courtyard with the same kind of purposeful, task-oriented stride that people usually employ when mowing their lawn. "Only a few more lengths of this yard, and I'll be done."

There was a small child in the stroller, so it wasn't as bizarre as it could have been. But my mind wandered, and I imagined the conversation he'd just had with Mom:
"It's your turn to walk the baby."
"Yes, dear. I'll get it done as soon as I can, and then will you please leave me alone so I can watch the hockey game on TV?"

Definitely time to take a break.


When my son was a colicky infant, one of the few ways we could comfort him during a fussy spell was to put him in his stroller and then to push it briskly about over a tiled floor. Something about
the rythmic bumping would quiet him almost immediately, and would eventually put him to sleep.