About a year ago, I posted an entry on stroller politics. What I did not realize was that there are additional rules for dealing with a stroller at an aquarium. Particularly one that involves circling around a giant cylindrical tank. Let’s get down to business.
1. Just because I have a stroller doesn’t mean that I want you to bust past me as I navigate the people lined on either side of me. See, this layout really doesn’t work for me. On one side of the “path”, you have people looking at the fish in the tank. On the other, you have people looking over the edge to watch the penguin show. This leaves precious little room for people to navigate. Particularly if they have strollers. What happened today was people just assume that you’re not going anywhere and push you to the side with the penguin-viewers. So, stroller-drivers, stay assertive. Don’t be afraid to run over that tourist’s foot. The scar will give him something to talk abuot – and another reason for people to complain about how rude people are in your town.
2. Big, heavy doors still don’t open themselves. Particularly in crowds. So, encourage others to move out of the door to allow you to open the door, keep it ajar with your rear end, uncomfortably navigate your child and stroller through. And don’t worry, they’re going to glare at you for getting in their way.
I will say, though, not to assume that people won’t open the door for you. And, no, it’s not the women who have been in your shoes holding the door open. It’s the tatted-up, thug of a man who would intimidate the hell out of you in the street but is actually a chaperone for a Catholic Charities summer program field trip. True story. And he instructed the boys he was in charge of to hold the rest of the doors open, reminding them that it was important to be gentlemen.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your stroller in the entry to the Rays and Sharks Touch Tank. Yes, I know there is a sign that, very clearly, says, “NO STROLLERS.” We figured that meant, “Leave your strollers here, please.” It doesn’t. They will get confiscated. Within minutes. And you will have to search to find where they have gone. Quick tip: Look for the rather large sign that says, “Stroller Room”. It’s probably there. But don’t expect the attendant to be thrilled to find your untagged stroller because you were an irresponsible parent. Oh, and don’t expect your child to be at all cooperative. After all, you only noticed that your stroller was gone as you were chasing him through the crowd. Which brings me to the next point.
4. If you see a child running, unattended, through a crowd and then spot a woman manically weaving through people, get the hell out of her way. It’s probably her kid. Stepping in front of her or stopping altogether is not at all helpful. In fact, it’s horribly dangerous. You may get knocked down. Particularly if she spies her child rounding a corner and going out of sight.
5. Tourists, particularly adult tourists, have no consideration for children trying to enjoy the aquarium. Particularly at a touch tank. I mean, obviously, your picture of the three-inch star fish is much more important than my child seeing one for the first time. Obviously. And don’t pretend you don’t speak English. At the very least, you should speak “glare”, in which I am fluent. While holding my child up to the touch tank, I was shoved and lost my footing at least twice. Unreal. Amazing, really, how people lose all sense of manners when in public.
Now, I realize this makes it sound like we had a miserable time. Not at all. Once we got there, which is a different blog entirely. It did involve waiting 25 minutes for a bus, walking half a mile to a T station, waiting for a train, and walking another mile to the aquarium.
But, once we got there, Robbie and his best friend Pete had a blast. Since you’ve been so diligent about reading my rules for going to an aquarium, here are some pictures of our fun:
If you ever need aquarium-going tips, just ask! I always check my stroller, by the way. Makes it much easier to navigate (and they let you get things out of it, like diapers, if you need them while you are there).