Rant Alert ladies and gents! All I seem to do lately is rant…. I guess it must be those damn hormones, eh?! But anyway can we talk for a minute about pram-rage? Yep, I’m not sure if it’s a word, but if not I have just invented it and dear God does it get my blood boiling!
Like a lot of motherhood, it’s only when you actually experience it do you come to a lot of stark realisations about the world. Lately, for me, it’s prams and now that I have to wheel one around on a daily basis, I’ve realised two important things. First, the world is not a wheel friendly place at all and secondly, most people would rather run into your pram then get out of the way.
Case in point is the park. I regularly go to a large south Dublin park which I won’t name, to walk the dog. I go here because it’s a huge park with a flat, even path that is wide enough for me to manage a curious pup who likes to zig-zag left and right, while I try and pass the lead behind my back and wheel my baby boy in the pram at an even pace so he stays asleep. It’s no easy task let me tell you, so when people see me coming, I’d like to think they might take a couple of steps to the side to avoid me… especially when it’s just a single person out for a walk. But no, that of course would be just too easy.
The other week I was walking in this park as I do most days and as mentioned above, I look like a juggling circus performer going along as I manage said crazy dog and sleeping baby, when I spot a woman walking toward me. Now she saw me and I saw her and I had hoped she might take a couple of steps to her right to avoid me, seeing as I had my hands full, but the closer we got to each other, the more neither of us deviated from our path. My dog Lily was by now dug into some wonderful smell in the grass to my right so to pull her away while wheeling the pram to avoid this woman would have been a real feat in acrobatics. Yet she was still headed straight for me. It was like some sick game of chicken until there she was right on top of me staring at me like I had just peed on her cornflakes. She literally clipped my buggy as she made heavy weather of getting past me, when three forty-foots could have fit in the rest of the path available to her. Enraged I yelled ‘Jesus I have a dog and a buggy here, what’s your problem?’ But like some robotic Arnold-Schwarzenegger-style pram-crasher, she just kept going with a blank stare.
And sadly, this is the tip of the iceberg. I could give you a hundred examples of people’s straight-up ignorance when it comes to prams. Another day, a middle aged woman was going into a café in front of me and had glanced at me as I was coming in behind her, but preferred to pretend that I didn’t exist. She then refused to hold the door open even a smidge so I could just get my hand to it. As I grappled with the skinny door, I said ‘Thank You’ loud enough for her to hear. She then turned around and said ‘I don’t have eyes in the back of my head you know.’ I wanted to reply ‘or manners either it seems.’
What is it about prams that infuriate people so much? Yes they are big and cumbersome at times, and yes they can be a bit of a pain to those who don’t have children, but they are pretty much the only way to get your baby or small child from A-B, so why make life more difficult for the tired and probably stressed mum or dad trying to negotiate narrow shop doors, curbs, crowds and shopping bags, plus often screaming baby? Even if you aren’t a parent, we were all babies once and your own parents had to wheel you everywhere in a pram, so why be such a complete tool about it? I’m not saying you have to do a Moses and part the Red Sea to let every pram through, but a little consideration from time to time would be nice!
The funny thing is, before I had kids I often wondered why a lot of mothers with prams seemed to have this determined ‘f*ck-off’ look on their faces as they appeared to wheel their pram right at me me…. I now completely understand.