I hate using buses with the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for public transport, especially as I don’t drive and rely on it most days, but it’s such hard work.
Standing in all weathers relying on the bus driver to turn up on time whilst trying to stop two small children running too near the road as they get tired of waiting. Then it eventually arrives and I have to heave the pram on and negotiate getting it in the pram space, apply the brake and find seats for the kids and myself all before he sets off again. It’s not easy.
That’s if a bus turns up that I can actually get on. Sometimes it’s one that looks like it should have been taken out of service in the 70’s with steps and a bar in the middle or there is already someone in the pram space with their pram, wheelchair or suitcase.
So then I have to decide whether to struggle removing everything from the pram and attaching it to someplace on my body whilst trying to fold down the pram with a wriggly baby under my arm. Then carry the pram and baby onto the bus, helping Lola up the step and again, trying to place the pram somewhere and get us seated before he sets off.
I never manage it though. I never manage to sort everything before he sets off. Is that because I’m incredibly slow or because I like staggering about on a moving bus with the pram rolling about as I haven’t had chance to apply the brake and the kids falling over as I try to sit them down? No it’s because the drivers nearly always set off as soon as I rip the ticket from their machine.
It’s almost as is they say to themselves, ‘Wait for it, wait, when she’s got that ticket in her hand I’m going to floor it. Nearly there, she’s going to take it, and, go, go, go!
Needless to say I don’t choose the option of folding down the pram very often. Especially when I have all 3 of them with me, that’s just asking for trouble.
So we wait for next one that we can get on, usually in the rain or wind, then cross our fingers that when it eventually turns up we’ll be able to get the pram on and that driver will actually have the sense to wait before he drives off so I can get myself sorted amid stares from the elderly people and tuts at the young mum on the bus with the rather loud son who enjoys singing Christmas sings at the top of his voice, whatever time of year. Stop judging me or I’ll start charging for the entertainment.
Then we finally get there, struggle to turn the pram round because people won’t move their feet, manage to bump the pram down and on to the kerb that the driver appears to have parked a mile away from and turn round to get Lola who refuses to do steps, all the while checking Joseph hasn’t legged it. I breathe a sigh of relief, we did it, we’ve arrived in one piece and I haven’t murdered anyone.
And then it hits me, that was just to get there, there’s still the return journey. We’ve got to do it all over again when it’s time to go home. Joy.