DO I LOOK INVISIBLE IN THIS STROLLER?
I was recently in Edinburgh seeing friends, a well-timed visit with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on. On my first day I took a walk down the famous ‘Royal Mile’ to preview the talent (not in a cruising way!) to see what’s what.
As a Londoner, I was ready to battle my way through the streets without being seduced at every flyer. I took a deep breath, put Boo in the stroller and got walking. Except, only one person stopped me.
That’s one person in a sea of thousands of promoters. And of course, it was for ‘Mummy’s gone a bit parental’ a one-Mum-stand-up show. (Coincidently I went, she was great, funny and very tolerant of heckling from the youngest person in her audience – sorry about that)
But just one person stopped me. Had I become uncool, unapproachable, or worse still, deemed too old for fun!? After composing myself over a local brew, I realised it was none of the above. I had in fact become invisible.
Now, I’m no fading wallflower…
I have bright blue trainers to match my stylish Silver Cross Reflex stroller, big hair and a vocal kid! I don’t fade into the background, people don’t ignore me.
Or at least they hadn’t until I had Boo. And then the pieces started to fit…
A few weeks ago a similar thing happened. A bunch of posh kids were walking down the street after school, gossiping in a ‘Yeah-but-no-but-yeah’ kind of way. Back in the day they’d have hushed as I walked past. But now with my magical buggy, they carried on like I wasn’t there. Naturally I listened in and wish I hadn’t, realising I was now a) officially old and b) turning in to my Mother!
But, my invisible superpower has its benefits too. Charity street collectors don’t rattle their buckets for me <air punches>, I’m no longer thrust the Evening Standard at 5pm and builders no longer see me, let alone whistle at me!
Thankfully, the exception seems to be train stations, where the great British public come into their own, offering to help at every uneven platform, massive gap and giant staircase.
But back to the point
I was starting to feel invisible and wondering why. Is my custom no longer required now that I push a pram? Is it too much effort perhaps to stop a woman with four wheels on a mission? Or perhaps now I’m in the ‘Mum category’ I’m written off and underestimated? I think a little bit of all of them.
It all came to a crescendo at the end of my highland flight. It was a little bit breezy as Scotland is, so I put the hood down on my stroller and headed to the shops. I made the mistake of walking past a ‘stand up’ comedian performing who decided to take a cheap shot at me as I strolled past…
“Look at this one, her baby is so ugly, she has to cover it up.”
And that was it. I burst.
“Well, at least someone wants to procreate with me MATE.” I hustled, silencing the idiot. It was a glorious moment, made even more poignant by a lovely steward coming over to high five me.
I don’t get it
Although I may never truly understand why I’m invisible, I’m determined to show the world that Mums are just women with babies, no different to who they were before.
We might have strollers, we might have to mop up sick and poo and even wear flat shoes. But we are not to be underestimated.
If you look up Mum/Mom in the Urban Dictionary it defines us as “The woman who loves you unconditionally from birth, the one who puts her kids before herself and the one who you can always count on above everyone else.”
Lets not forget it. Spread the word!
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Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.