- for all the birthdays I've missed! helenllama
... Miriam, hope you got the books I sent you.
I should have been working this weekend for at least three solid hours, but was comatose on Saturday morning (I didn't even open the Amazon parcel of books when it arrived - that's almost non-functional!). All I had energy for was nursing Sparrow back to sleep repeatedly. Later that day, I took Mouse and Sparrow to our local mall for coffee, giving DH a rest. It's Mouse's last care free Saturday for a while, because she'll be starting German Saturday school next week. That starts promptly at 9.30am, and we have roughly a 20-25 min commute - when a local mum can drive us, that is. So that means leaving the house at 9am. If we're taking the bus, that's 8.30 sharp. We had a nice lazy Sunday today, too.
Some random tidbits:
- actionreplay, I'd be interested to hear your take on Ben Goldacre's chapter on cosmetics in his book Bad Science
- Don't buy Spores. I was sorely tempted, then I read about the DRM. Yikes.
- If you live in Edinburgh, be sure to vote on this petition.
A little background: Lothian Buses can only take one unfolded buggy at a time, which makes catching the bus tricky unless you're on a very well-served route. Now they're going to refuse to take women with buggies that cannot be folded, because buggies can only be parked in the wheelchair space, and they need to make way for wheelchairs if necessary.
OK, before you start composing a big rant in your mind about selfish breeders and their buggies, a couple of items for your consideration: First and foremost, almost all mothers I know either get of the bus for a wheelchair or will fold if one comes on. Wheelchairs have priority, and that's that. I regularly fold our buggy, usually with Sparrow in a sling on my front, and heave it onto one of the "luggage racks" on the side over the wheels. I don't see why women with non-foldable buggies or proper prams can't just be asked to get off the bus and given a ticket to continue their journey on the next bus with a space. You may see the occasional mum throw a wobble, but trust me, they are the MINORITY.
Secondly, you can't just ask all mums on buses to use slings, like a Sunday Times columnist suggested. What about women who find slings uncomfortable? What about bigger children? What about those of us who have been stupid enough to have another child while the first one still needs the buggy occasionally? And there's a good case to be made for proper prams for babies. We don't have a proper pram, never had one, but that's because we don't have the space for it and it doesn't fit our life style. We went with the foldable buggy we have because we knew that both our kids would spend most of their early days not in that buggy, but snuggled up close to mummy. (FYI: We need our buggy when we're out and about around lunch time, because this is where Mouse naps. She still needs her nap, and for us, she will only nap in the buggy. Your mileage may vary. Sparrow mostly travels in the sling, with increasing spells in the buggy to rest my back, while Mouse walks and only uses the buggy for sleeping.)
Finally, and this is something that's often overlooked, mothers NEED to get out of the house and out and about. You can't confine women to walking or using cars/taxis just because they've had children. On the contrary, this is when women need a functioning public transport system the most, because it's a cheap and convenient way to get out and about, into town. When I was at my most despondent after the birth of Sparrow, bus trips into town were a real life saver.
(And I didn't even start about global warming, CO2 reduction, and the environment.)
This is not about your favourite scare stories of irresponsible mums and their terrible brood being selfish and pig-ignorant on public transport. It's about the rest of us trying to live our lives. If you feel you can support us, please do.