Monday, February 16, 2009

I always like to tell the husband, as we walk down the street past a smug baby being wheeled in its stroller (and Stockholm has more smug babies in strollers than you could shake a very, very big stick at): Wouldn't it be fun to have an adult-sized stroller, with a huge nursemaid to push you around wherever you directed her to push you?

As if being a baby were all about being the boss of the world, as opposed to a life reduced to wailing to let the world know that one of your basic needs isn't being met and there is nothing you can do about it.

Take the poor baby in the apartment below ours. Well, really, his poor parents and siblings (four of them!) I mean. Because he's taken to crying late into the night, the kind of cry that escalates into an inconsolable rage that just goes on and on and on until he runs out of air, and then he begins again.

Do parents ever commit suicide from a baby screaming like that? Or are they more likely eventually to try shaking the baby into submission?

I would've thought that human beings had naturally selected out those angry raging-type babies by now.

And I've got to let go of that bizarre adult-sized stroller fantasy joke thing. It's just stupid and, well, kind of creepy, really.

The Swedish word for the day is barnvagn. It means stroller.


iddaa said...

very nice your blog..

Anonymous said...

The raging type babies are most likely to succeed in a loud world - they will not be fewer in the future..... The quiet content type of baby will be rare.

Prediction by Camilla

Stefan said...

Quick question - when viewing your RSS via mobile there's no way to quickstep to the main blog (no titles linked?). Not sure if it's because of the Opera Mini-browser or the feed... On some other blogfeeds the posts become titleless on occasion but they do return to normal, not so on this blog though...?

Polly said...

Those silly loud babies really have no self preservation instinct, do they?

Aaron said...

Honest parents say, "I totally get how parents shake their baby." Actually, the first parent to voice this to me was a kindergarten teacher and she understood how parents throw their kids against a wall. Or was it out a car window? Thinking and doing it are two different beasts. Bless the gentle children.

Jeff said...

I concur that Stockholm does have an abundance of barnvagns (cute word). Often they're pushed by handsome blond daddies, in which case I wouldn't mind trading places either.

Sorry to hear about the enfant terrible downstairs. :(

The word verification for this comment is "bedlet." Surely that must mean crib in some language, or perhaps hotel? :)

An American in Stockholm said...

Oh, I think of the adult sized barnvagn regularly. The comfort of being tucked in snug and safe while someone strolls you about. Ahhh. Sign me up.

I've never thought of shaking the baby...pillow over head when screaming has crossed my mind though.

David Sabey said...

Hi Francis,

I'm afraid I couldn't find a direct contact for you, so I had to leave a comment instead. My name is Dave Sabey and i work for an international relocation company and I am currently helping a Gay American couple who have recently relocated to Stockholm. We are organising a training programme for them aimed at helping them to adjust to life in Stockholm. As a result i was wondering if you would be interested in giving them a paid, hour-long presentation on day-to-day life in Stockholm. The presentation is due to take place on Wednesday 25th February in Kista, ideally from 2.00pm-3.00pm.

If you would be interested (or not), please feel free to let me know either by email or direct on +441793 756177,

All the best,


David Sabey said...

Whoops, my email is



Gwen said...

I just read about a study that found that babies who ride around in strollers, facing forward (facing the world!) are much more stressed out and unhappy than babies who are facing their parents. Apparently, babies don't enjoy the stroller as much as we adults would!

Miz Fuze said...


Just relocated here from good ol' Vancouver. I just so happened to stumble on your blog over a year ago when I needed a really good laugh when I was, dare I say it, missin' North Americans AND feelin' a bit alienated. ;-)

Aside - Oh the babies, I live in Hammarby Sjöstad! Felt like the twilight zone when I noticed that men pushin' strollers outnumbered the birds. Oh and speakin' of em birds , I've never heard birds so LOUD anywhere else in the world. Can hardly sleep, they just kooo and kawk for joy when spring is sprung.


All Good Things, thankyou for the words...

Amalia Townsend

Åsa said...

To tell you the truth, at least this parent has thought long and hard about tossing the baby out with the bathwater. Or from the balcony. Or from the speeding car... And I have a fairly content baby (now kid)! But man can she ever holler if she wants to do somehting she's not allowed to!
And I can relate to the idea of just shaking her until she shuts up - but instead I hug her harder and closer to me. It's hard, but as Aaron said: thinking and doing are two different beasts. That's surely what makes most of us human and some of us monsters, the ability to not act on every impulse?