You never feel so judged as you do running down the street wildly pushing a pram, with a screaming baby inside it.
People without children openly stare as if to say, "Er, what's wrong with you? Make that thing shut up already."
If I could, I would darling, why don't you give it a try?
It's true what a friend says. It's very easy to judge parents (and their spawn) when you don't have children. I can put my hand up right now and admit that I was an extremely judgemental non-mother.
"Ooh look at those children glued to their iPads, I'll never let mine do that."
"Is there a reason she isn't trying to make her child stop crying?"
"Why is that person bringing her three children into a restaurant on a Saturday morning? That's just inconsiderate."
It's so easy to judge when you have no flipping clue what you're actually talking about. I was guilty as charged.
Now I am the one being judged when Sebastian starts screaming in the doctor's room (save two octogenarians who were sitting there like statues, you could hear a pin drop), my baby then decided to start PASSING WIND and screaming. Really really loudly.
(Cue, "Oh I beg your pardon young man!" Blushing like a virgin nun, and then with only pleading eyes begging him to stop screaming...)
I've learnt now, that when my baby needs his nap, he needs it immediately. No fucking around.
At the first niggle he needs his head on his mattress, with his dummy and his doudou. The muslin thing that makes him look like an Arab.
If that isn't happening, he starts having a shit fit.
It happened in Hyde Park a few weekends ago, and it happened today. When he starts winding himself up to a high decibalic wail, whereupon it feels like the world's collective of pedestrians around me stop to stare.
Yes. I KNOW he's bloody crying. No, I'm not deaf, I AM hearing what you are hearing.
Of course, I still judge to a certain degree. When mother's feed their children shit or condone bad behaviour. But chances are one day I'll have to make them a sandwich using [gasp!] refined white bread if we've run out of the wholemeal granary.
Well, it was.
Then suddenly you don't care. Suddenly you realise that this is it. When he is 2, he is going to be writhing and crying on the ground having a temper tantrum in a shop and I am going to have to let him do that. And not give a shit what anyone around me thinks. So I might as well start now.