Earlier this week I went out for a bit, on my own, with The Creature.
We went to meet @Motherventing for some tea and cake, then to do a bit of shopping.
I learnt a lesson on that trip: shopping centres are crap for a lone parent with a big pram/buggy thing.
As an able bodied, reasonably fit, reasonably young person, I do not use lifts. I use stairs. There are many reasons for this: lifts contain lift music. Lift music is not actual music, and should be banned. Lifts also contain other people, squished together into a small space. On occasion, one of those other people will fart. Unpleasant.
My final reason for not using lifts is that I don’t know where they are. Lifts (with their terrible music and farting) are like the dirty secret which shops don’t want you to know about, so they’re hidden away. The signs that say “lifts this way” are actually a cunning ruse, and take you further from the lift.
But as a parent with a child in a pram I need to use the lift.
I lost fifteen minutes of my life looking for the lift in Marks & Spencer. I will never get that back, and I could have been using it to do something important, like eating a nice piece of cake. Or anything that wasn’t looking for a lift.
Worse still was House of Fraser. Their lifts weren’t signposted at all. I still don’t know whether there is a lift there or not, I gave up after I’d done a few laps of the floor I came in on. Well played House of Fraser, quite a subtle way of making me feel unwelcome.
Now I think of it, I don’t remember seeing any other people pushing a buggy in there. Perhaps I missed the sign saying I should shop elsewhere.
Once I’d finished the exciting business of looking for lifts the tea I had consumed earlier had made its way through the system and wanted out. The Creature was also in need of a change.
I made a discovery: changing facilities are quite often in the ladies toilets. When they are not in the ladies toilets, they are often a standalone room, without a toilet. Ha fucking ha. At least the baby got a change.
I will share something with you here. My bladder is RUBBISH. It is made more rubbish when my brain gets the opportunity to tell it that there are no toilet facilities available to it.
Question for my male readers: it’s okay to take your baby into the men’s toilets, yes? Have him next to you at the urinal? It didn’t feel like it ought to be okay, I don’t recall EVER seeing another man doing it (although my toiletiquette is perfect, so I don’t look around more than is absolutely necessary). So I thought dry thoughts and made my way back to the car.
What I wonder is how dads on their own are supposed to cope with situations where there is no baby change option outside of the women’s toilet. I suppose you can change a baby anywhere really.