If the pairing of 'Pushchair' and 'Public Transport' does not instantly make you shudder, I want to know why. Why. And how. HOW do you do it? I guess the last question is somewhat of a rhetorical one, as I think some parents just cope.
I like to call them The Copers. I, on the other hand, have come to the conclusion that I am not in this coping camp.
Today, I embarked on my first proper train trip accompanied solely by a child. I don't mean steam train/train at the zoo/small farm train, I mean actual train with set times and set seats and a set sense of panic. Granted, this journey was to be only one hour. With no changes. An hour. How hard could this be?
Where do I start in summarising today's train adventure? Perhaps the bit where there was nowhere to put the folded-down pushchair and I spent an eternity blocking the entrance to Carriage C as I tried to squeeze it in besides somebody else's luggage whilst my child tried to get back off the train *redness and sweating*. Or the bit where my toddler threw his regurgitated banana down the aisle of the train and I had to go and pick it up with a tissue, much like you would scoop up a dog s**t. Perhaps the bit where we got to the destination station and had to get in about five different lifts before I had calmed down enough to find the lift that would take us to the f***ing exit.
For the return journey, I was prepared.
We had Rowntree's Randoms *bad mummies club.* We had a Fireman Sam Activity Book. We had a new 'sports car' toy from Poundland. We arrived fifteen minutes early to allow for a wee stop.
And then I saw it. Right there, on the information board.
15:13 to Exeter - CANCELLED
'You can get the 15:44 love, though it'll be busy so you may not get a seat.'
This was funny. I mean this was HILARIOUS. Think about it. I had spent the day worrying about how my toddler would cope with being confined to a seat again. And when it came to it, I needn't have worried - there weren't any shitting seats.
Yes that's right. For the return journey, we sat on the floor of the train outside the toilet between carriages C and D. In amongst other agitated passengers and my stroller, which was being propped up by the knee of a random (but very kind) traveller.
I wish I could provide you with an upbeat ending to the tale of the train and the pushchair. Granted, I did get a day out with my lovely sister sandwiched between the journeys, but I am still none the wiser as to how people function with prams* on public transport.
Lesson 8: Taking your pushchair on public transport? Don't. Just don't.
*I am also none the wiser as to how people function with children on public transport, but I suppose The Copers just do.
The Unmumsy Mum