Maybe its because I’m a Londoner…or maybe it’s because I’m a Mother that I feel compelled to shout out at people who are “naughty” ! Compelled? Or should I say- allowed?
Coco and Labelle are of course my two favourite beings. Especially since I made them myself of course. I feel as proud of them as any mother; and they are of course the most beautiful kids in the world, in London, in the room…no really they are. Seriously. See there’s my Londoner side coming out! Or was that my Mother side? Who knows. Who cares. Anyway I’m the kind of mother who wishes she did more with her kids but just doesn’t really get around to it. We would go to the library more if it wasn’t for the fact that its takes about 3 hours to leave the house, not including the tantrum on the front door step caused by ” you didn’t let me close the door I wanted to do iiiiiiiiiit!” Scream scream scream headache headache headache…we would bake more if Coco’s fingers weren’t in his nose every three seconds… and …they might even enjoy a longer bath if Eastenders wasn’t on at 7 30. But hey it’s on and I gotta watch it! Never mind the iplayer, thats kept for when the day is really dragging and we need a bit of Albert square repeat to join in on our misery.
So last week I decided “Lets to go to the MUSEUM!” YAAAYY Coco shouted “The MUSEUMMMMM YAYAY!!” And Labelle is shouting, although she doesn’t know what about, but all I know is that there is loads of noise and that their voices are piercing my brain and I wish I’d never said anything after all.
Don’t worry he says, it’ll be fine he says.
Then I began to really worry and slightly panic. We haven’t been on the Underground since..well who knows. I told Boris my other Car is still a Car because the bus drivers often leave me at the bus stop due to one buggy taking up all the space. Even when I start to frantically remove baby from buggy whilst holding onto other child in order to collapse my pushchair to carry it on (how many hands do I have?) , said driver still drives off. How does he sleep at night? Surely it cant be the Horlicks.
Don’t worry he says, it’ll be fine he says. They’ ll love it. Pep talk from hubby -whilst he’s away .Oh what does he know.
Whilst I’m making the simplest mini sandwiches for our trip tomorrow and packing their bag whilst they’re sound asleep, the scenarios in my head get worse. Labelle will not want to sit in her pushchair whilst on the tube watching her big bro swing his legs on the big people seat. So she’ll shriek and cry louder and louder till I get her out. Then once out I wont be able to get her back in her chair quick enough fighting her tiny rigid remarkably strong body resisting the straps before grabbing Coco and pushing past passengers to get off the tube at the right stop. I will most definitely feel the heat rising in my body and feel the stares and hear the sighs and tuts. And I will want the world to swallow me up. Or Coco will run down the escalators falling over and… oh I don’t even want to go there!
But I guess if I’m honest what I’m really afraid of is the embarrassment. Us Brits we hate embarrassment. It feels embarrassing just saying the word. And I thought 3 and 1/2 years into parenting I wouldn’t be embarrassed anymore. I thought wrong. Less maybe. But still embarrassed. Ive just learnt to roll my eyes really well now. Yes if Coco were to “act up” and throw a fit or Labelle act like shes been tortured because she was told no, on a whole carriage full of working people in suits, yes well that would be embarrassing.
I focus on my babies and by 11am we’re off! South Kensington here we come! Dinosaurs? lets do it! How do you explain Dinos lived on the earth a long long time ago to a 3 and a half year old? When “yesterday” is either last week, yesterday or even today in his vocab. And so a long long time ago might seem like it could be tomorrow for all he knows and that might be kind of scary especially when he sees exactly how big those mofos used to be! Anyway, thats what the Museum is there for, to explain things to us.
Im so glad I got a clue
Im looking down at the long stair case to get to the platform. Coco says “I ll help you mummy!” Awww its moments like that that melt your heart! I recall when he was 3 months and I was a single mother and studying and tube-ing it all over London when I asked the TFL man, who stood by the gate, if he would kindly help me and my three wheeler super light 12 kg (yeah right) stupid mummy-status buggy down the stairs. To which he replied whilst puffing out his chest “no I cant; you ll have to wait for someone else to help you” and gladly spinning on his heels walking away to attend to- hold on- NOONE!
Im so glad I got a clue and traded that baby truck in for a normal small four wheeler Macclaren- well Maccalren type looking one-instead! The one my mum told me to get but I didn’t listen because I thought I wouldn’t be able to see my baby, as it wasn’t rear facing, and it wasn’t posh enough- I soon learnt that the time I got not looking at the baby was the best, and poshness went out the window when I realised I could no longer shower when I wanted to!
Just like back then, I smile at my Coco pick up pushchair, smile at Labelle, and down we go. Twinge in my back, never mind, anything else should be fine from now. And so it was! What a good job I am doing at home, with all that nagging and correcting, shouting and punishing on naughty steps and withholding the toys and the iPad and the dummy. Look at my beauties sitting nicely, calmly, smiling at people, Labelle flirting with her eyes and Coco picking his nose and eating it. I couldn’t be any more proud. Really these are the moments that makes it all worth it. I am a great mum. Yes say it now, feel it, its been a while, pat yourself on the back,you’ve done it!
OH MY GOD! I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT IS HAPPENING!
The journey is smooth, even though rush hour does seem to have moved from 8 am to all day long. Where are all these people going? Seriously, shouldn’t you be at a desk somewhere? Boy has the world changed since I was out there.
The most worrying part about traveling with young children is the crowd and I am constantly worried about someone knocking little Coco out, he’s only as tall as my belly bless him. He holds on really nicely to the pushchair whilst I part the crowd ready to run over anyones feet. Arriving at yet another escalator we slow down and with Coco on my left, I balance Labelle onto the escalator. His tiny hand is gripped tight into mine and with my right I maneuver the puschair. How else am I supposed to do it? That was the safest way I could think of and finally more stairs and more escalators we’ve arrived, safely! And tantrum free!
The Natural History Museum was wonderful. Never fails to surprise and impress with the majestic dinosaurs bones, the lights, the visuals, the stories ( well I didn’t get to read any but it looked good from afar). They’ve also got this life size huge moving dino with the sound and dark atmosphere and Coco was too cute jumping into my arms crying “He’s going to bite me mummy!”
Labelle slept the whole way through and when she woke up, it was time to go home. We’d walked around a lot and Coco started talking about getting in the pushchair with Labelle. As we started our journey on the underground, people seemed a lot more pushy in South Kensington. On the escalator again, balancing pushchair on the right and holding Coco on my left, we re almost at the bottom. I then hear someone clearing their throat behind me, as I attempt to look over, a man in his suit of course, is asking to be excused. There’s really nowhere to go and I have no more hands. So with about 30 seconds left on the escalator, there are two more people trying to get past Coco, this man brings his knee up near to Coco’s shoulders to nudge him over a little so that he could squeeze his overweight body past! OH MY GOD! I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT IS HAPPENING! I hold onto his hand tighter as he stumbles with the push and pull him closer to me, as I do so another man files through and as he goes I place Coco into a safer position where he was before, not only then to be pushed again by a woman!!! Doing the same thing! “You are SO RUDE” I call out as we get off the escalator! I am fuming! She scurries off turning and calling out something about my children! I cannot believe it! I really wanted to chase her if it wasn’t for the next set of stairs in front of me delaying me from getting to the platform.
Rude wasn’t the word I wanted to use. Reckless and dangerous along with words that are best left to bleeps are what I really wanted to say. I don’t understand why someone would want to push a child out of the way, to get to a platform, to then wait for a train. My child could have fallen on the escalator and been seriously hurt because they were in a hurry or because I was not abiding by escalator etiquette. Are we really ready to hurt each other because we need to get through quickly. Those people couldn’t wait another 30 or 40 seconds to get to the bottom. I’m more mad at the woman infact than the men themselves. Why is that? I feel like she should know better because she’s a woman. And she had the audacity to shout back at me!
Coco spent the rest of the journey asking me why that man pushed him and I refused to say because he was in a hurry.
I didn’t really know what to say.
All I knew is that I had spent so much time worrying about my children’s behaviour when I didn’t even stop to consider everyone else’s awful behaviour.