I begin this post by typing just inside the entrance to M&S. A new experience has just taken place: taking a pram in a busy shop. Darting between people in the aisles, jumping on an escalator and spending a long time browsing are a distant memory.
I now have a fresh understanding of what mums have long dealt with as I begin my own shopping experience. Waiting for the lift as I longingly miss the quick escalator ride up, I sardine myself alongside other pushchairs, prams and wheelchairs.
One thing I may take advantage of is the social interaction. People talk whilst they wait impatiently for a lift that takes its time. Then others chat in the lift or in the aisle, especially the older generation looking lovingly at the baby in the pram.
Jonathan enjoyed the sound and motion of the bus ride which sent him to sleep. Due to my ‘new parent’ title, I felt apprehensive about taking him out to a new place. Like a new driver can have ‘P’ on their vehicle to say they have recently passed their test, I felt I needed a similar sign to indicate to others that I am new at this; please be patient as I build up my confidence! I guess the new baby is the most obvious indicator!
I had my first experience of the John Lewis ‘parents room’ where I could breastfeed. It is this small square room with a few chairs, a water dispenser and some magazines. It was nice to go somewhere relatively private.
The best thing about the room was the opportunity to talk to mums. I met one lady from Ukraine who had recently moved to Devon as her husband is a civil engineer. They have lived all over the world including Hong Kong and Australia. They will probably be moving again soon but it will be their first time travelling with a baby. Another mum and I were just chatting all things baby. It was lovely to hear their stories.
I feel that this time will be great to meet new people and perhaps get further inspiration for my writing. I found myself trying desperately to take in every detail of pedestrians in the street. Like a computer, I was downloading information into my brain to store for a future writing session. It had been a while that I had been around so many people it was almost information overload but I loved it!
My first shopping experience in the city with a baby was eye-opening. I pray that my confidence will continue to grow and I am thankful for the opportunity to spend time as a family with Joel and Jonathan.