Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dear Citizens of Chicago,

Though there's snow on the ground, both last week and this week mommy & I decided to go for walks on some sunny days. Mommy said we needed to support our local businesses and do some Christmas shopping. I think she also wanted to get some exercise. So she bundled me up in my warm bear suit and packed me into the stroller. And off we went...

The ride was smooth and I was drifting off to sleep until, BUMP, SLIDE... It felt like the wheels of my stroller were caught on something. I hoped we weren't dragging my pretty princess blanket or mommy hadn't wheeled over a cat, or even worse, a rat. When I looked up, I saw mommy straining to push my stroller and keep her own footing.

In a few seconds we were back to the smooth ride I'd been enjoying before. Several more smooth minutes passed until again, I was so rudely interrupted by that dragging, bumpy feeling and the unhappy face of mommy. This time I heard her grumble a few words about our lazy neighbors. Something to the effect of, "Really, living in a city requires being a good neighbor!". But again, the dragging sensation soon ended.

Though I soon drifted off to sleep, for the remainder of our walk I could feel mommy crossing the street almost every other block and seemingly randomly making little detours in our route. Maybe she'd discovered a new way to burn a few more calories, I thought.

For the remainder of our walk I enjoyed my cozy slumber. That is, until I was rudely awakened yet again. This time, to the sound of a horn beeping - right at us! Apparently mommy had decided just to stroll right down the middle of our road. Mommy, mommy... what has come over you, I'd really like to live to see my 4th month, I thought! But there we stood, now scooted to the left, but still standing in the tire treads in the middle of the street. As the honking car drove past, I heard mommy say something about this not being necessary if people would have a little consideration for pedestrians and strollers. And before I could jump in with a lecture about that only being true if we'd been in a crosswalk, she continued to rant about our rude neighbors who still, now 3 days after the snowstorm, have not shoveled their sidewalks.

Then it all made sense.

So I plead with you, dear citizens of Chicago (especially in the vicinity of the intersection of Irving Park & Damen), to get off your lazy booties and shovel your sidewalks... or pay someone else to. If you want to live somewhere where this is unnecessary, move to a farm or to a suburb where nobody uses the sidewalks. But until then, it is part of your unwritten code of neighborhood ethics.

On behalf of all strolling babies and their mommies,
Elynor Aline Westrom


Christan said...

I agree!!!! Shovel and also salt the slick spots. Same thing happens here. Thankfully, most of our neighbors directly surrounding us are great about this. However, those down the block that live by the mailboxes do not clean their walks. So annoying when all I want to do is walk down and grab the mail. Luckily we didn't get but 2 inches this time around and it has been warm enough that all it has all melted.

Liz Mouse said...

We have the same problem in Wicker Park. Especially in front of houses under construction (I see you working in there burly men, how about adding a snow shovel to your cache of tools). I find that dragging the stroller by it's handle behind you works better than trying to push it in front. But the best solution is baby bjorn or backpack. I'm glad Elynor is already practicing being a concerned citizen - go girl.

Kristian Aloma said...

Wow, Elynor's vocabulary is amazing! I agree. I've been shoveling the walks now up in Evanston and I glare at the front doors of those houses who refuse to lift even a grain of salt. Walking an excited dog can be dangerous on those slippery sidewalks! Be safe!