Travelling on London’s tube network with small children in buggies is no mean feat! The system is so ancient that there are very often not even escalators let alone lifts! Heaving buggies, babies, toddlers and bags up and down flights and flights of stairs is hard work, often nobody offers to help you and it’s down to us super Mum’s to get ourselves from A to B.
I guess I don’t mind that so much but boy is it appreciated when someone does stop to offer their assistance and really, it doesn’t take much. A quick lift at the front of the buggy, either up or down a flight of stairs. I always offer when I’m child free because I know just how grateful I am when someone does it for me and it would be nice if more people did that too because like I said, stairs and wheels do not mix. Quite how those with disabilities get anywhere in London is beyond me and in 2014 I really think TFL and Boris need to address the situation.
But it’s not the difficulty of ease I have to grumble about today; the fact that updating the stations is long over due. No. Not that. The thing which annoys me most about travelling on the tube is the other people. I don’t mean the selfish bods who walk on by or jump up a flight of stairs next to you as you struggle single handed to lift your buggy at 8 months pregnant on your own, no, they can do one for sure but it’s not them. They’re not the worst!
The worst of London’s travelers are the ones who suck their teeth when they see you coming with a buggy. You hear mutterings of ‘She shouldn’t be out in rush hour with a buggy, she should travel later’. And those who rush past you on the escalators shouting things like STAND to the RIGHT!
Ok, first thing’s first. I’ve paid for my ticket and I have every right to be there with my children. Second thing, I never travel in rush hour IF I can help it, but… Sometimes I HAVE to be somewhere so tough! And thirdly, is there really any reason why you can’t wait 15 seconds for the escalator to get to the bottom and really any good reason why instead you have to shove me and my children to the right as you exercise the polite rule of walkers to the left no matter what is in front of you?
I can see that it’s a good rule when it is appropriate. When people are standing alone all down one side and then you can rush on by as you hurry, hurry, hurry about your importance. But… IF someone with children is there, because there are no lifts, then can I suggest you show just a smidgen of decorum and actually, kindness, by arriving on the platform some mere seconds after you would have done otherwise?
At Bank station one day my buggy was physically pushed out of the way on the escalator – as if it isn’t dangerous enough! I shouted after this woman who was running, ‘WHY CAN’T YOU WAIT?’ She turned and flipped me the finger. It was mid morning, there was barely anyone else around so when I got to the bottom, the train having not come yet, I ran after her. I was SO angry!
I again asked her why she couldn’t wait and explained how she had put my baby in danger. She shouted, yep SHOUTED obscenities at me for making her late. I pointed out that we were both on the platform and that the train had not yet even pulled into the station let alone left it. This made no difference and we argued back and forth. I am SO not one to let it lie. When she DID actually get on the train, so many other people, who had now gathered, patted me on the back in solidarity which makes me think most people DO see how difficult it is, yet still it happens ALL the time!
Yesterday as I stood waiting patiently at Stratford, to move my way to the front so that I could get on a Central Line train, I heard a woman say ‘What IS she doing? With a buggy like that, it’s not right’. I didn’t say anything. But what did she mean? Surely it was obvious what I was doing? Like her, I was TRYING to get home! When the fourth train came and I was at the front, I elbowed (with everyone else) my way on and could hear this wench behind me saying ‘Who DOES she think she is? She’s never going to get that buggy on there’.
I got on of course and she, who was behind me in the queue did not. So many others before her, who also had been behind me in the queue, had managed to get on trains before me and I just wasn’t going to have it again! Especially after she had been SO rude!
I guess my message to these unsociable self important rush alongs is this:
Sometimes you have to forget the general ‘tube ettiquete’ of no one speaking, no one moving and every one behaving like ants either standing to the right or walking to the left. Sometimes you have to act like a human being and be a bit kind and generous. And guess what, if you get to your office 5 minutes late because you didn’t barge a woman with a child out of the way, I bet your company would still keep ticking over, I bet you’re not nearly as important as you think you are!
MY LIFE WITH TWO!
The week, as is the way with holidays has gone by in a flash! We’ve stuck to our schedule pretty much and had full on fun all day every day. We’re all exhausted!
I’ve been ratty and grumpy at times because Jimmy isn’t sleeping again. I mean he never sleeps but sometimes he’s REALLY not a great sleeper and this week is one of those weeks! I’m afraid tiredness got the better of me one morning and I shouted very loudly at Florence when she brought chalks into her bedroom from the blackboard allowing Jimmy access to them and making the bedding absolutely covered! I feel very bad for losing my temper in what otherwise has been a lovely week of us spending time with each other and friends. I guess we’re none of us perfect but I am cross with myself all the same!
Florence and Jimmy have been having a brilliant week though and we’ve been having so much fun visiting all our favourite London places and going to the cinema and theatre! The highlight for me was seeing Florence’s face at the Sing-Along Frozen screening we went to, she was brilliant and knew all the words! That was the same morning as chalk gate so I guess we all got over it pretty quickly as we had a brilliant time at the cinema! Even Jimmy was singing along to ‘Let It Go’!
I think they’ve both enjoyed the outdoor things we’ve done and getting muddy and wet in the Princess Diana Playground was probably their highlight!
Us having fun in the Princess Diana Playground this week!