In this world, there are only four things I really, really can’t stand: ridiculous North American liquor laws, intolerance towards others, trying to meet new people, and taking a stroller on the bus.
I can’t do much about the first two except openly mock laws that suggest I can’t control myself unless I drink my Guiness in a confined space during a specified time, and set an example for my son by being accepting of others. But it’s a different story with the second two.
First, trying to meet new people. I really hate doing this because I suck at it. I always clam up around new people. I want to know all the cool people already and not have to think about it. I don’t like small talk, I don’t like social situations where I have to explain my complicated little life and I don’t like awkward silences. The friends I have are largely from high school, the three universities I went to, my time in Toronto when I was a) a lot more confident (some would say horribly cocky, but let’s just say confident shall we?) and b) working in the bar scene, and A.’s work or previous life in Halifax. In each case, I met them in an organic sort of way, you know? Nothing forced – just similar classes, friends, etc. And it’s a big circle and I love them all.
But here’s the thing. Aside from one or two of them, my friends do not have children. And while I don’t mind not knowing people with kids, I think it might be in my kid’s best interests to, you know, have friends. I mean aside from me. The thing is, meeting other mothers scares the ever-loving crap out of me. Seriously. I’d rather start a new job or defend my thesis or eat peas than meet other mothers. Why? Oh for any number of reasons. What if we don’t have anything besides the fact that we can procreate in common? What if they start playing the one-upper game with my kid? What if they just plain suck? What if they think I suck? Etc. etc.
So I avoid other mothers like the plague. At the library, on the bus. I’m terrible. I really must stop doing this. Because it’s a lonely world, SAHM-ing. One that people with kids get, but people without kids don’t (sorry, you don’t). And I’m sure I can solve this. I sense a resolution coming on…
Not today though. Today was for solving the fourth thing that I can’t stand: taking the stroller on the bus. Taking a stroller on the bus is about as fun as stepping on my own foot. Which I actually often do while taking the stroller on the bus. I can hear the collective sighs of the people on the bus when they see I’m about to get on with my reasonably sized stroller. I’ve even heard people whisper things like “why doesn’t she just take her car?” or “ugh, stroller mom”. Jerks. I don’t own a car because I can’t afford a car. Do you think I enjoy taking a stroller on the bus? Lifting it up, trying to squish it into the seats, having to move if a wheelchair comes on because they are the priority, sometimes having to wait for three buses to go by before there is one that can take me, trying to get off the bus when no one will just get the hell out of my way? And god help me if I have shopping. Trust me, if I had other options, I’d be doing them.
But today I temporarily solved this problem. How? By sticking the kid into a spiffy carrier. The weather hasn’t really been carrier-friendly lately, but today it was nice and sunny so I popped a bottle, a diaper, a board book and a toy in my purse and headed on out to explore the world with my bestest little man Budsie strapped to my front:
*pictured here with an unfortunate faux hawk from his glasses. His daddy’s going to go mental. And I’m looking awfully smug. I’m not actually that smug.*