MVP of Errands: Red Plastic Wagon

It used to be that necessity was the mother of invention. It’s cold. How do we not die? Fire! That oversimplifies things, I know, but still. in the last half century, convenience took over as invention’s mom. The remote control. The microwave. These. It’s the way of technological evolution, I suppose. Unstoppable as the march of time itself. Well. In my house, neither necessity nor convenience is invention’s Mem. Maintaining sanity is.

As you know, Avery earned the nickname “P.I.T.A. Girl” before she was born when she decided to hole up in Lynnette’s womb for 18 hours after Cole was born. She’s done many things since then to keep the name, and most recently is her absolute resistance of sitting in the stroller. This has been going on for some time, and sometimes, if we get rolling, Avery won’t cry and scream – for a while. But eventually, she’ll remember her hatred for strollers, grocery carts, and nearly all other methods of toddler transportation. She’ll scream. She’ll kick and stretch and try to wiggle her way out of whatever Lynnette or I are trying to place her in. Madison would kill to be pushed around in a stroller. But Avery? Nope. She wants to be carried. Lynnette usually straps Avery into the Ergo; Avery loves it. I tried it one time, and Avery didn’t like it as much. I’m not an expert, but I suspect it had something to do with the noticeable increase in bouncing. I knew this coming into the summer. Last week, I put Avery into the larger cart of the wagon and gave her a frozen bag of peas to work on. The novelty wore off.

65The only vehicle Avery doesn’t fuss in is the red plastic wagon that we’ve had since Madison was the twins’ age. I don’t know why. She was chill this past Halloween until she got tired. A few weeks ago we went for a walk and she didn’t complain at all. So I told Lynnette about my theory and put the wagon in the van today. We had a Target run and a Costco run scheduled, so this was going to be the real test of Avery’s patience with the red wagon. She likes it! She didn’t fuss at all!

We started off with Madison pushing the cart and me pulling the wagon, but we had to switch once we got those heavy boxes of diapers into the cart. You know what? I think Cole and Avery like being able to reach outside of the wagon and touch things. I think they like having a wider view of the things around them. Cole’s head was on a swivel as we passed through the baby food’s section. Avery babbled loudly as she grabbed at the clothing on hangers.

It was crowded at Costco so I left Madison with the wagon and the twins in the wine aisle so they would feel Lynnette’s presence with them. I went to get the last three things on our list. “There you are,” Madison said when I returned. “You guys OK?” I asked. “Yeah, but some people were looking at us funny,” she said. I laughed. “Because of the wagon?” I asked. “I guess,” she said. She shifted her eyes to the side. “It was embarrassing.” “Well,” I said, tapping Cole and Avery on their heads. “What’s more embarrassing – the wagon or Avery screaming her head off in the cart?” There was a beat of silence. “Avery screaming her head off,” Madison said. “That’s right, Gravy!” I said. She shot Madison and me a wet, bubbly raspberry.

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