speed 3: the old blighty edition

If you have been reading this for a bit, you know I have an inexplicably obnoxious superiority complex about living in cities. It surfaces about every five minutes during moments such as piling my clothes on top of my wardrobe to the ceiling since we have no storage space, and when I drop my heels off to get repaired every few weeks from sidewalk-and-carrying-groceries-five-blocks damage. A friend was telling me a story the other day about someone she knows who is living “off the grid” in the country. It occurred to me that hippie freaks like that should just move to cities like this. We use public transportation and get life in prison if we don’t recycle. My carbon footprint is about as big as my flat- roughly the size of your bathroom.

But now I can add a new layer to my arrogance and conveniently it checks multiple boxes since it can be construed also as another layer in the baby/mommy wars. On Oprah the other day a woman astutely pointed out that moms will always look for ways to divide and judge: natural conception vs. fertility treatments, natural birth vs. drugs, working vs. stay-at-home, etc. I want to add: city vs. suburb. Jonah is only 3 1/2 weeks old and he already challenges those exurb pansies to a duel. You bring your leafblower and riding lawnmower, we will bring pollution, construction and mom & pop-owned businesses.

IMG_7200You see yesterday we were out at an appointment for J and then to meet up with some other new mums. London cabs are amazing in their design and you can just bring the stroller/pushchair/buggy/pram right in with you- baby inside and all. We of course were using the rain cover. It’s London, people. So I was sitting pretty smug thinking, I have conquered stoller-up-stairs, rain and getting baby in taxi all in one day. Those detached-house mommies have nothing on me! Little did I know what the day would bring.

IMG_7204When I left the pub with the girls, I headed to a bus stop in Holland Park. Adding a bus trip with an infant to my day was sure to bring me world dominance. I waited at the stop when out of nowhere, the skies opened and biblical, torrential, Armageddon rain and HAIL started thundering down. The sky turned black. Flash floods appeared. An 8-year old boy who was apoplectic at the bus stop (is there a clinical name for “fear of floods”?) was practically crawling on top of my head. Just when the scene could not have been delivered more perfectly from a movie set, yes, I am not exaggerating- a truck (lorry) rode by and SPLASHED ALL OF US WITH A TIDAL WAVE OF DIRTY STREET WATER. I actually shrieked. Partially for joy as it all seemed like such a fun adventure for maternity leave.

IMG_7201Then the bus pulled up. The bus that I had frozen to death waiting for. When I got on with my extra human load, the driver asked me where I was going. I was confused but it turns out he was telling me to get off, that there was no room for a stroller. I looked down the bus corridor and all I could see were masses of soaking wet rush hour commuters, smelling like dogs in the rain and looking a little like they would eat me if I held the bus up one minute longer. I was confused. My brain could only process that if I got off the bus, Jonah and I would surely die in a flood of sewer water and fish & chips carcasses. And then out of nowhere…

IMG_7205My English heroine. A sopping wet woman started shouting, “She is not getting off this bus! She has a baby! That is ridiculous! Make way! We can fit this buggy on the bus! This is ridiculous! You don’t do that to a baby!!” And all of the sudden people starting clearing the aisle and getting up from their seats. This would be the part in the movie where the music crescendos and you start crying at the common decency of your fellow man. Although if set in New York, someone would have thrown their chicken bones at my head.

IMG_7206I could have wept. I felt guilty that I got off at the very next stop to transfer to another (empty) bus route. And then I felt angry because it took an hour to get home when a cab would have been ten minutes. But Jonah slept through the entire thing snuggled up in fifteen blankets, a state-of-the-art stroller and rain guard. I was shivering, wet, exhausted and was of course wearing flip flops so may now have 11 different types of foot fungal infections. But we are badass city folk. And I think Sandra Bullock could appreciate this plotline. I mean, no one saw Speed 2 okay. Cruise Control?? Ridiculous.

Yes, I just wrote a short novel about the most boring thing you ever read. But you’re at work and this is still better than solitaire.




Filed under jonah, london, photos, uh oh mommyblogging, weather

14 responses to “speed 3: the old blighty edition

  1. Carrie

    Yael, I am laughing so hard at my desk. I too have a superiority complex about being an urban dweller, and I laugh in the face of my friends and their volvos and neighborhood pools. It means that I’m tough because I lay in my own sweat in Central Park and have black feet from walking around in my flip-flops, right? Big props to you to doing it with baby in tow, though. (Btw – Jonah is beautiful, and I love the name. Congrats to you and Bryan.)

  2. Uzo

    Oh Yael! I don’t know you outside of your blog but YOU HAVE GOT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST FUNNIEST PEOPLE I AM YET TO MEET.

    You had me dying of laughter so much so that I had to come out of lurking and say something about this particular post.

    I too am an urban dweller and shudder at the thought of living in one of those detached homes. McMansions need not apply either; Brooklyn till the day I die:)

    I love your son’s name and he is a beauty:)

    Will be in London for a short vacay tomorrow and I can’t wait for my fish and chips:)

    • yael

      Oh my goodness, I love my mystery readers!! Have fun in London- I will say a little prayer that the sun comes out for you but I heard it would be rain all weekend. Boo. But maybe we will cross paths at the pub. I will be the one with the screaming infant wearing a “718” onesie. Brooklyn REPRESENT.

  3. poren

    that story was awesome. and since i am sure you have stood up for many a needy woman in your day, your English heroine was probably some good karma coming right back your way.

  4. NeNe

    If I hadn’t known the story behind the photo, I would have thought it was taken back in Philly in the 1960s when everyone custom-covered their sofas in plastic so that they would never get dirty. Jonah in his stroller would have fit right in. I think they did dogs, too.

  5. andrea922

    I will never forget when I took my 4 week old son to Earlsfield from Wimbledon on the train, in his bugaboo, which is not a light stroller. We got to Earlsfield to find out that they have no lift. And no one was around. I couldn’t even get to the other side of the track to get back to Wimbledon. I stood, at the top of the stairs, in tears, until some nice man, who was a dad, helped me carry the stroller down the stairs. I got to my friends house, called my husband, and figured out how to get back to Wimbledon via bus. 3 buses actually.

    When you do these things and you can confidently maneuver the buses/black cabs with your stroller? You have made it in London with a baby 🙂

    Oh and my biggest pet peeve of the bus is when someone has a double stroller and you can’t get yours on as well!

  6. Kasper

    This is a totally lame question, but how does Jonah breathe with plastic covered around him? I always wondered that, and since I don’t think you guys would suffocate him, I’m actually curious how he gets fresh air in there.

  7. Sarah

    I like how you snuck in the part about you and the other moms meeting up a pub. Things you just don’t see at home!

  8. toshalot

    with all the comments you already know this was nothing near a boring post. good storytelling. i can see you taking notes in your head the whole time its happening. of course, i choose to never live “in” the city but … i do appreciate the fact that you city dwellers are bad ass. JC’s future is in his genes.

  9. Hi! So here’s to another mystery reader! I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago when I was looking for a name to start mine. I googled “the part where I move to”.. and up popped you! And since then, I’ve been catching up every so often with your life! Sounds crazy, yes I know, but I love to read what you’ve got to say! You are so funny, and capture some things from a hilarious point of view. You inspire me to write better blogs! So.. I had to write. Enough blog’stalking. My name is Rachel, and I’m addicted to your blog! aloha!

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