Walking to the shops, or round a park, is really rather a battle these days. My pram (buggy) is relatively compact. I deliberately use the car seat attachment to push my daughter around for this very reason, so it annoys me when the general public fail to make way or sneer as I go past them on the street sometimes. Now to be fair I am making the assumption that they don’t want to move of course. It might be that they are sneering at me, or worse still my choice of pram design. But either way I’ve found the lack of tolerance for prams to be quite astounding. I exclude, from this rant, the sweet old ladies and broody women who gaze into the pram to offer their compliments on how beautiful my baby is, and the gentlemen who open doors for us and help us down steps. I’m talking about everyone else- the people who are so desperately busy going to the pound shop and need to walk in a zig zag up the road, for example, the city boys on a train who are too immaculately dressed to even consider moving aside on a train, and the winos who have been waiting in their bus queue for far too long to stop smoking their fags and move from the spot on the pavement that they have worked so desperately hard for. Or- and this is my personal favourite- the bus driver who parks just far enough from the kerb to stop you getting the pram out safely or who goes around a roundabout as if he is in charge of a fairground attraction. Just be kind instead of being a moron. I generalise of course, but you know who you are. It will make my day a bit easier and give you an enormous, albeit temporary, sense of well being.
It doesn’t end there though.Walking a pram around has given me a small insight into the difficulties that disabled people face. I’m talking here about the kissing gates at the park that we can’t get through. The ridiculously narrow streets that prevent us from passing people safely. The shops we can’t get into because there are no ramps or lift access, or which have aisles too narrow for a pair of supermodels to pass without touching. I’m not asking for the world here. Prams have existed for a very long time and I would have thought more would have been done to accommodate them by now. One shop which is close to me provides a interesting example. Modern building, no excuse not to have a lift. Puts the children’s books on the top floor. Therefore my daughter won’t be able to go and choose a book with me until she is at school. Ok, so that’s a bit over the top. But what if you are in a wheelchair? Are you condemned to illiteracy?
One final point. We pram pushers have to do our bit too. There’s nothing more jaw droppingly moronic to me than people who don’t help their own cause. When I go out with my mummy friends, we push our prams side by side UNTIL someone needs to go past, when we move to single file. We do not have the monopoly on the pavement and nor do the other mothers who seem to think that shopping is some kind of tag team event designed to knock out the other shoppers.
As you may have guessed I’m gearing up to go into town. Wish me luck. Or wish the people of my town luck. Me and Hannah are in no mood to mess about today….