I was walking to work and a woman with a stroller, who had been ambling along just ahead of me, stopped. U of T is covered with mulberry trees and they are all bearing right now - the sidewalks are blue with them - and I guess she wanted to see what kind of fruit this tree was throwing down. So she leaves the stroller on the sidewalk and goes over to pull a branch down to take a closer look. And I watch in horror as the stroller, which was positioned facing the street, starts to roll. I am running towards it at the same time as another woman, who saw it at the same time, who is also yelling “Shit! Shit! SHIT!” (probably confusing the hell out of the person at the other end of the phone she has clamped to her ear). The stroller rolls off the curb, into the bike lane (which is hella busy on College Street at any given time) and I managed to grab it with both hands before it entered the westbound lane of traffic. Luckily it was a sturdy three-wheeler so it didn’t tip over and spill the kid into the street when I grabbed it. I pull it out of the bike lane, over the curb and back onto the sidewalk just as the other running woman catches up.
During all this time the mom, busy with tree identification, has not turned around once, despite all the yelling. So she is very surprised, when she does turn around, to find one stranger hanging onto her stroller and another gesticulating madly and saying “Didn’t you see that?” No, she didn’t. She says vaguely that she thought she had the brake on. No, she didn’t. I turned the stroller around, pushed it towards her and said “Don’t ever do that again.” And I was not smiling when I said it.
I’m at work now and my heart is still pounding. Mine is the kind of brain that can’t stop thinking about what might have happened. I might have to eat something sweet or have some camomile tea or something.