Cutting The Line

This afternoon I took Vinay to go get some groceries.

After experiencing Park N’ Shop on a Saturday a few weeks ago, I decided I would try and avoid ALL grocery stores over the weekend as much as possible.

Alas, that was not possible today.  I can’t even blame it on anyone.  It’s only because of my own disorganisation.

Anyway, I whipped round the store as quickly as possible with Vinay sitting in the filthy trolley.  There was no other choice – he either sat in the trolley or got run over by other trolleys.  The place is tiny and cramped – two trolleys can’t fit side by side in the aisles.  Two people can barely fit.

So I got to the till and stood behind (but not directly behind as the tills are L-shaped) the person paying.  Another (Indian) lady turned up with her basket, stood in front of me and started unloading her stuff!

I just looked at her.  I couldn’t believe it.

I said to Vinay (loudly), ‘Oh, I’m sure we were next in line.’  With a tiny hint of sarcasm, of course.

She looked at me, smiled and said, ‘I only have a couple of things, do you mind?’

I replied, ‘Well, since you’re already standing there there’s not really much I can do.’

She huffed and turned her attention back to her basket.

At that moment, one of the guys that work there took me over to another till, I paid and was out before she had finished.  Hah!

So – should I have just stayed quiet?  

She was older than me, but by no means elderly.  She is what I would classify as an ‘aunty’ – anyone your parents age is called ‘aunty’ and ‘uncle’.  But I didn’t know her.  Should I have been more respectful?

If I had known her, would I have said anything?  Probably not.  Most of you would think that if she knew me she wouldn’t cut in front of me.  But – I’ve experienced ‘aunties’ just standing in front of you in the line to pay.  Why?  Because they can.  And they know you can’t do or say a damn thing about it.  They’re friends of your parents or your in-laws.  They talk and spread gossip and they KNOW you can’t do anything!

What would you have done?

We Made it to London! (Part II)

I mentioned in a previous post that:

1. I wouldn’t get my stroller until baggage reclaim

And

2. V had lost 3 pacifiers and was having a meltdown because he couldn’t handle having to stay in one place anymore…

So, 30 minutes after landing we were allowed to disembark.  V had been crying so much, he wouldn’t let me put him down.  Not even for a second.  This meant that I couldn’t get the Baby Bjorn out of the bag.  I couldn’t get it out of the bag or put it on!  So I carried him, my heavy handbag and his very heavy changing bag.

Getting off the plane was a challenge – his bag kept getting caught on every seat we walked past.  And the strap was so long, it kept bumping me in the back of my leg.

And then the walk started.  The walk to immigration was so effing long, I wanted to have a tantrum.  Seriously, Heathrow – think about it…  HOW DO YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO WALK ALL THAT WAY WITH HEAVY BAGS AND HEAVY BABY?  By the time I reached immigration, I was nearly crying.

While in the queue, V started smacking the arm of the lady in front of us.  When she turned around, I realised it was someone I used to work with.  We had been on the same flight!  She asked me if the baby had been ‘finger-painting in chocolate’.  Eh?  I looked down at myself and realised that I was covered in lint from my pink and orange shawl (it looks better than it sounds (the shawl, not the lint)).  Not only was I covered, I was wearing black and white – so it was very noticeable.  Oh well…

I got a trolley and was going to cry with relief when I got to put V’s bag down on it.  And then I saw my stroller on the belt.  I love the stroller – it’s a Mamas & Papas Urbo.  

Urbo

It looks fab, but it’s not very practical.  It’s a bit heavy and you need two hands to open and close it.  Anyway, so my ex-colleague helped me take it off the belt and she held V while I opened it.  I chucked him in and gave him a biscuit to keep him quiet for a few minutes.  One bag came out.  I was still waiting for two when ex-colleague asked me if she should wait.  I felt bad, so told her to go ahead and that I would manage somehow.  The second bag came.  And then the third.  I had taken V out of stroller between bags two and three because he was cranky and crying.  I put him back in while loading the trolley.  

And then I looked at him in the stroller and at the trolley and had no bloody idea of how I was going to push them both.  

A very nice man offered to help me.  He said they were still waiting for 3 bags, but if I waited – they’d help.  I was too tired to wait any longer.  So I said I’d fold the stroller, throw it on top of the luggage and carry the baby.  But he didn’t know how to fold it down and I didn’t know what to do with V.  So I asked him to carry the baby for a minute and I’d fold it down.  The boy cried like he was being tortured!  But it was only for a second!  

So, carrying V and pushing the trolley with one hand, we started the wobbly walk to customs – trying to weave our way through other trolleys.  Why do people just stop while walking and expect not to be hit by a trolley?

I was so relieved to see my parents I nearly cried (yes, I nearly cried a LOT!).  Then my mum asked if V had thrown up all over me.  That’s when I remembered the lint.

I asked a lot of people for advice on what to do when flying alone with a baby, and now I know what to advise others if they ever ask me.  What I’ll say is: You will be absolutely fine if your baby isn’t very mobile yet.  And you’ll be fine if your child is old enough to sit in his/her seat and watch something on the entertainment system.  If he/she is at that in between stage, DON’T DO IT!