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Friday, 11 February 2011

Commuter trains and babies - the perfect combination!

Having spent an enjoyable afternoon in central London yesterday - largely failing to get Baby B's buggy through the doors of various galleries and shops - Mrs B and I eventually found ourselves on the platform at Clapham Junction, awaiting the train home.

All was well, Baby B was fast asleep, we had succesfully man-handled our useless buggy (three wheels are not better than four) up and down the platform stairs, we'd aligned ourselves at the front of the waiting hordes and the train was even on time. What could posisbly go wrong?

Two minutes in to the journey, we knew exactly what could go wrong, he was staring up at us and screaming at full volume.

Until that moment I had only ever been on the receiving end of train passenger annoyances; the passenger silently cursing the teenager listening to Dizzee Rascall at full volume on cheap earphones, or the commuter silently wishing that a particularly heavy piece of overhead luggage would fall on the mobile talking businessman.
Yesterday, however, I, or rather we, were the focus of a carriageful of silent hatred. Glancing up from my crying offspring, I could see people turning up stereos, burying themselves in their newspapers and wishing that we would flick the 'mute' switch on our little one to offer them the silence they craved after a hard day at work.

I had sympathy of course, but there was nothing we could do. We were getting off at the next stop and we had no time or space to feed and comfort him.

It was too much for one woman - who for arguement's sake we will call Mrs Insanely-Grumpy - who glanced at me and made sure that I could see her slamming her book shut before getting up from her seat, barging past us and making her way in to the next carriage, to stand for the rest of her journey instead of listening to Baby B.

Mrs I-G was not happy, that was clear.

Nevertheless, as the train pulled in to our station roughly two minutes later, and as we got off (to the collective relief of our fellow passengers) I must admit that it was immensely satisfying to glance in to the adjoining carriage and see Mrs I-G looking thoroughly uncomfortable and seatless.

Baby B, meanwhile, seemingly found his mute switch within seconds of disembarking and, I'd like to think, gave us a mischievious wink as we headed home.

Next up, the tube!

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