The First Time
Today I’m going to be doing something I’ve never done before and I’m feeling a little nervous about it.
For me, doing something new with the kids always makes me feel uneasy. It’s a combination of not knowing quite what to expect and worry about whether the children are going to behave. Which ones are going to squabble , who is going to throw a tantrum and which child is going to be the first to whine ‘That’s Not Fair?’
Because today is the day that I’m going to take all four of the kids into town for the very first time. Town= London for us.
I’ve often taken the three girls in by myself, and we go in as a family quite a lot. But it’s never been one of me and 4 of them before. I’m going to be well and truly outnumbered.
What I’m most worried about is negotiating the escalators with all of them. The two oldest DD’s are fine on escalators but DD3 is very nervous and DS is more confident on them than he should be.
I had an awful incident on an escalator with DD3 and DS years ago, and I think it’s really affected both her and I. We were coming back from Moorfields Eye Hospital (DD had damaged her cornea), and were going back down to the tube. DS was still in a pushchair so I was trying to get that onto a busy escalator and reached back to hold DD’s hand when she balked and refused to step onto the moving staircase. I had people behind me by now, and was clinging to the pushchair for dear life, so couldn’t go back and I had to leave her. She was just standing at the top screaming MUMMY and I couldn’t do anything. I just yelled back at her, and at the people pushing past her asking someone, anyone to take her hand and bring her down to me, but people just ignored us.
The escalator was so long that after a while I could no longer see her, I could only hear her crying. At this point I stopped yelling just so I could listen and make sure she was still there. I was terrified that someone would take her or she’d fall and hurt herself When we go to the bottom, I yelled up to her to stay there, intending to go back up and get her when someone yelled down’ Shall I bring this child down?’. ‘Yes please’, I bellowed back and soon I could see DD safe and clutching the hand of an older woman.
I was so grateful to her, I was almost in tears. Simultaneously, I was furious with all those people who had pushed past DD and left her at the top of a moving escalator, obviously distressed. Surely someone could have stopped to help? I am pretty sure I would have in similar circumstances.
We are going to the Science Museum this afternoon and we will have to ride an escalator to get to street level from the tube. My plan is that DD1 will hold DS’s hand, and DD3 will hold mine.
I also need to talk to all the kids about what to do if we get separated on the tube. I’m going to tell them that if they left on a platform, they should move back and stand against a wall and wait for me to come back and get them. If they are on a train, they should get off at the next platform, stand against the wall and wait.
I could do without losing or injuring my children on the London Transport System today. Some vibes that all goes well on the tube and escalators would be gratefully received.