On Strangers with Sprogs

“Really?” woman who has decided to use seventeen carrier bags as an efficient way to transport her toddler and baby items for the day? I cringe, and feel a slight feeling of superiority as I smoothly remove R’s cup from my neatly packed yummy mummy bag and hand it to him, I should note-before he starts wailing like aforementioned other baby.

I admit it, I judge strangers by the things they buy for their children. Seriously, why buy that Graco pram that looks like a tank that you knew was seventeen times heavier than any other and then try to negotiate a narrow bus aisle? Why get a double buggy so wide that even with no other prams in sight.. you still cant get into that space on the bus?

I would think entirely differently of you if I saw you with a small, lightweight buggy that annoys no one. Ha, That woman favours an easy push over eye contact with her baby. What a terrible mother. And a double buggy that resembles bunk beds? Poor underneath kid, having to stare at his siblings tush all day and not get any stimulation.. What a terrible mother.

And if you’re in that treasured few who bought a forward and rearward facing buggy that’s still light enough to push over the flyover without breaking a sweat?  Rich cow, bet she got that bought for her. 

You see, I’m terribly easy to please. I can do the same thing no matter what item we’re talking about. Your cot,, Mamas and Papas? Snobs-style over substance. Argos? Bit of a daredevil are we? Just as long as I have my few seconds of superiority.

The odd thing is, I’m really not like this in any other area of my life. I’m genuinely happy for you about your new fancy car, and I genuinely empathise if your banger breaks down each morning on your way to work. How exciting that your parents are taking you on holiday, and I’m even working on my believable smile when I hear about your 5 bedroom house.. that you didnt have to work for… at all.. (I’ll come back to that one.) I wish I could help when I see a woman running for a bus with 4 files and a handful of shopping bags, so why does my empathy do a 180 to detached interest when the same woman has a difficult toddler in tow?

I think it’s the mummy once over. We cant escape it, it begins as soon as we know we’re pregnant. I wouldnt do it to a friend, but if I dont know you-you’re fair game. Your maternity clothes, your bump, your buggy, your nappy bag, your choice of feeding, your sleep routine, the processed or unprocessed foods you give your children.. They are all potential weapons to throw at other mums in lieu of bows and arrows, saying “Look, I’m really managing this here, another day here and my baby isnt messed up yet, and what’s more, I’m trying to make it look easy-what are you doing?”

So if I can look at you, and scoff at how low your bugaboo is, maybe it wont matter that I can see your eyes straying to my son’s odd socks, or the way my citi mini just ran over that poor mans feet, or that look on R’s face that says, “I might cry… I might.. dont tempt me.”

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