Friday, April 18, 2008

A Post on Subjects Well Beyond the Scope of this Blog

In the final years before I hit the road, life in the Trail household [Papa, Mama and Paper, that is] were strained throughout, and not just because I was a directionless 26-year-old living at home.

The tensions mainly stemmed from me not approving of certain ways in which Mama Trail chose to live her life, which she has persisted in to this day, and which I still don't understand or really like, but I do my best to ignore them because that's just part of appreciating your parents as people and not just your parents which is a topic for further discussion another time.


During one of the numerous shouting matches we had as we banged heads over boundaries and personal space, she made a comment to the effect of, "I raised you, I did my job, I want to get on with my life." While one could make an argument that this implies checking out of the parental relationship [which I did], what we're interested in here is the implication that Mama Trail altered her lifestyle for the duration of my rearing, and once I was a grown up, she felt it was time to return to who she was before she had a kid. You know, like most people usually do.

But in today's modern times people are less interested in that. Nowadays it feels like parents want to treat their kids like billboards for their own good taste, putting their three year olds in DKNY for kids and slapping band stickers on the car seat. They want to continue living their lives in the fashion they did before they had children, and this is causing some heated clashes up here in the Tee Dot.

Toronto Life has a cover story this month on what they're dubbing 'The Stroller Mafia vs The City,' the idea being the very one mentioned above. Hipster parents are attempting to live their lives in the same way they did before the children were born, live in the same areas, go to the same shops, with kids in tow. I find this problematic.

It's not the actual offspring that I take issue with, kids will be kids and they're gonna act a a goddamn fool sometimes, in restaurants, on the streetcar, in church, wherever. I have a problem with parents' attitudes, and the industries they support, like the one that decided a stroller must now be the size of a Lincoln Navigator. And these moms, carting their kids along on babywhips on dubs, will plow right through anything in their path, because they think they're entitled to do so, and if I don't move, or heaven forbid, get nicked by one of these fools, I'm endangering the precious spawn and become worse than Hitler.

This is the sort of thing they're dealing with downtown here. The Hipster parents are plowing along, taking up the entire width of the sidewalk, impeding the flow of patrons to the sandwich shop counter, making it impossible to move through the aisles of the bookstore. Should a local business post a sign requesting the titanic kidcarts are left on the street....well, nothing mobilizes faster than a mother's group. The TL story mentions one restaurant that is still being boycotted by the hipster mom set for posting a sign stating they only had space for one stroller. One poster quoted from a blog comment mused how had the business made the same request about wheelchairs there'd be hell to pay.

Because they're so the same thing. Good Lord. You want to come down on the business for being inaccessible to the wheelchair-bound, by all means. But to compare the lives of those people to your momentary inconvenience is appalling.

What I don't understand is, when did people start refusing to accept that once you have children, your life has changed, and you need to make adjustments because of it? One mother interviewed in that piece talks of her difficulties shopping at a trendy furniture store on Queen West for lamps. Her kid started knocking stuff over, so the sales clerk asked her to leave. She defiantly states the store has lost her business and that she found similar lamps at Home Sense. And for less money.

I would argue, she should have gone there in the first place. Maybe it's just me, but I envision when I have kids and I need lamps, I will size up the situation as such.

(a)Trendy store cannot accommodate kids. Do not go to trendy store.
(b)Home Sense is not trendy, but has wide aisles and is easier to navigate with children. Go to Home Sense.
(c)I must be trendy. Have someone watch kid, go downtown to buy lamps.

Perhaps this is another reason to hand in my liberal card, but I don't consider it alienation of anyone's rights to suggest that one's life needs to change in order to raise your kids properly. I don't want to change my life yet, so I ain'ts got none. When I do, I fully accept I may have to move to the burbs, eat out at Montana's, attend less book readings, buy a minivan [which we will listen to A Tribe Called Quest in. Some things are non-negotiable]. I will accept that I have entered a new phase of my life, one I wanted to enter, and hopefully will not try to shoehorn the one I left onto the one I'm in.

Though, such country bumpkinsims might be why Toronto and I will never fully get along.


Blogger Kylar said...

To be fair, is it better or worse to dress your kids in Baby Gap or DNKY stuff, or to do something like so:

This Horrible Tragedy

1:26 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home