Monday, 26 January 2009

Pram Rage

We happened to be in Cambridge yesterday. A friend of Sarah's was giving a recital at the Fitzwilliam museum so we were able to swell the audience by a total of four (ok, three-and-a-half - Charlie was asleep in his pushchair) and give Sally the chance to see some mummies. (She's got a thing about Ancient Egypt ever since doing it as a project in Year 4!) Actually make that two, plus a half for Charlie (sleeping) and and half me as I missed the first few items while standing watching perfectly fit and healthy (not to mention, pushchair free) members of the Cambridge public whooshing up and down in the Fitzwilliam's teeny-tiny version of the Great Glass Elevator.
If there is one thing about looking after Charlie guaranteed to p*** me off, it's this. And people who insist on sweeping through the automatic doors in shops, despite being in possession of two perfectly formed and fully-functioning arms and having neither of them encumbered by either bags of heavy shopping, fractious children, or else both. Oh, and people who stop suddenly in front of pushchairs without warning (there's usually a mobile phone involved) forcing us to take emergency action or else risk badly injuring them. (Believe me, I have been tempted!).
I was impressed in London recently by two cockney women on the bus who actually moved seats to accommodate Sarah and the pushchair (and were the very epitome of friendliness - I thought it was us here 'oop north' who had the monopoly on that?). And there are kind and helpful people who will open doors instead of seeing you struggle to gain entry backwards. I know, too, that a pushchair can be awkward, and is capable of being used as an offensive weapon. But it's not Charlie's fault he can't walk down the street yet, and I'd rather not be pushed into the gutter by a couple walking two-abreast, continuing a very earnest conversation that cannot be interrupted for a second. Forget grumpy old men/women, grumpy old parents might make more entertaining television. In fact, I think I might suggest it the the beeb. And I've got plenty of material to get them started!
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