Room on the Broom?
A Bitch Amongst the Witches. My four year old and I had finished our toddler sports session for the day. We walked to the lift that takes us down to the carpark, but it was completely full. Not full with the 12 person maximum on the warning sign, but full with two mums, their toddlers, their babies in giant prams and their associated accessories. They insisted there was room for us so we pfaffed and shuffled and pushed until we were all in, polite smiles intact. But as the lift door closed it suddenly thwacked into an obstacle and flew back open. The obstacle was not a small person thankfully, but a fridge-sized nappy bag that one of the mums had flung over her shoulder. ‘Oh my nappy bag is so enormous it can’t fit in!’ said the mum. More shuffling and pfaffing, some mum giggling, and the lift door closed.
In sympathy the other mum said ‘I know how you feel, look at this!’ and revealed the bigger-than-a-tugboat nappy bag on her shoulder that looked to be giving her permanent spinal mutation.
Wanting to be part of the lift-mum-gang, but unable to participate in the ‘I have the biggest nappy bag’ competition, I cheerfully offered:
‘I am so glad we are past those days! Now we just leave the house with a bottle of water and a hat. It’s just brilliant!’
MAXIMUM EVIL STARING...
Was that even a low growl?
These two innocent looking mums had spontaneously turned into demon-eyed members of a secret occult-loving coven with the power of two. I got so hot so quickly I thought their death stares had actually started a fire on my face.
It would seem they were not really happy for me with my baby-free, physiotherapy-free, little handbag lifestyle. I decided not to follow up with:
‘I am guessing you might both be super sleep deprived too. Not me, had a good 8 hours last Tuesday night, and that wasn’t even the first time.’
Instead I kept my head down and prayed for the ground to swallow me up (or at least hear the speaker announce we had arrived there) before I was turned into a toad.
Finally one mum whispered:
‘I dream of those days.’
I whispered back respectfully:
‘I know. I did too. And I am just grateful every day that we made it.’
‘DING (dong)! GROUND FLOOR.’
As the lift door opened, the spell broke. We bundled out and one mum chirpily reported:
‘My husband bought me an expensive little clutch for my birthday. A clutch! How hilarious! He asked me later why I never use it and I replied: ‘have you seen how much shit I have to carry every time I leave the house, that clutch won’t be seen until 2022!!!’
Ah harmony restored. A welcome laugh with knowing, and nodding, and mum camaraderie (mumraderie?). What would we do without those misguided, well-meaning partners to bond over?
After overthinking the whole experience, I decided to extract some unnecessary lessons from it:
Don’t expect anyone to be happy for you, or buoyed by your positivity, if they are sleep deprived and mid-suffering. Even if you represent their much-less-painful future.
There is always a bitch in the lift and if you don’t know who it is, it is probably you.
As I left the carpark both the mums were starting the 45 minute business of trying to get their everyone and their everything into the car. I exited 3 minutes later quickly and very quietly.