Back in the day when I was pacing the surface of this world with a fairly flat stomach and no attachments bar a few bags and personal belongings here and there I didn’t give a second thought to the quality of the surface I was walking on. Most of the time. Perhaps a second and third thought plus plenty of swearing were given while risking my life navigating the streets of Cambodia on foot and by bike but that’s an eon ago or so it seems.
Back in the day steps and stairs were no obstacles, I took shortcuts all the time and I often left my followers in the cloud of dust moving fast forward.
Things have changed slightly since the fairly flat stomach days. There’s a small attachment almost permanently stuck to my left or right boob, my stomach is far from being flat and firm and the surface on which I walk has become somewhat a priority of my focus these days. And thank god I am not in Cambodia come to think of it. I wouldn’t be allowed to bring up a child using the kind of language I was using while living there weaving through the traffic and potholes.
Europe has far less potholes but there are potholes nonetheless. And I still swear.
My small boss has a good old life. The constant attention, the readiness of warm meals on demand and overflowing wardrobe aside it’s also pretty cool to be driven everywhere on four wheels with soft suspension snuggly wrapped in soft and cuddly blankets while it’s cold outside. The driver of this super cool vehicle doesn’t have such an easy life, though. The logistics of leaving the house alone are a succession of carefully planned actions accompanied by loud screams of impatience and annoyance with having to be dressed in several layers. I get that and fuck you winter, be gone already! And then we’re off, eventually. Thankfully, most of the time the minute the wheels hit the pavement and the minute the fresh air enters the lungs of the small boss it gets miraculously quiet and peaceful.
I’ve always felt for those unable to walk and having to get around in a wheelchair. Now I can identify with them and salute them for being such troopers and brave souls and all. I am still new at this life with wheels and you could say that I am at the “mapping of terrain” stage. Things might get easier, fair enough, once I get to know my surroundings well enough and make peace with the “long cuts” I have to take where previously I would have taken the stairs. Two at a time. But it’s annoying nonetheless. Why do some of the well paved pavements have to end in the middle of a field? This is our capital city with urban planning at its best. Mind boggles and wheels wobble at times. Thanks god for suspension, let me tell you, otherwise the small boss would have her big soul shaken out of her little body in no time. And we’re not talking the forest. There, thankfully, I get to put to use the miracle called baby wrap. The best thing since sliced bread, oh yeah.
The public transport is a stand-alone chapter which, no doubt, I will address fully in due course. For now I’ve only braved the underground having carefully made sure that getting above ground was possible using a lift. I’ve (hopefully) gained some karma credits when in the past I helped mums drag their dearest possessions up the stairs but I still don’t want to rely on the mercy of strangers in the stations where lifts or escalators are not present.
Then there’s the issue of a toilet. Mine, not hers. She’s sorted with super-absorption. Being a not-so-lean but oh-so-mean milking machine I have to keep up the intake of my fluids or so the clever resources say. So I do. But it seems that not all the liquid I consume gets turned into milk. Sadly. The overflow demands frequent exits and where such an issue wouldn’t be an issue previously, it suddenly is. Public toilets are not the places where one could leave a fully loaded pram unattended nor would one want to. Other places, where this could be considered greeted me with a flight of stairs. Total failure again even if they did have a chair lift for wheelchairs. So I’ve since learned to put on a desperate face and ask to use the toilet in those shops into which I can actually get. The shop assistant gets to coo over the bundle in pink while I pee. Or perhaps I, too, should consider super-absorption.
Shops. The potential friends of a lonely new mum in need of some contact with other adult human beings. Except - not so much it seems or at least it is the case in smaller towns. Why do you deny yourself of those customers, dear shop owners??? Why do you make entry into your shop so hard that most people pushing their small bosses by will simply give it a miss? A toy shop (selling nice wooden toys!) with 5 steps outside and incredibly narrow doors? We’re far too fat and heavy and clumsy to get in!!! It seems that spending my offspring’s inheritance won’t happen again - but wait! There’s internet shopping!
For those shiny things which you don’t need but they look oh so pretty in the wee hours of the morning when sleep is a distant dream, internet shopping is a perfect breastfeeding companion. So suddenly I understand that online advertising works and my space is slowly filling up with things again. Not sure if it’s a smart move but if a small hole of emptiness, loneliness and despair is at least temporarily filled, then it’s all been worth it. Or hasn’t it?
Now excuse me, my small boss is calling. What could she possibly want THIS time????
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.