Last Tuesday night, after work, I went out for dinner with a friend. As we negotiated the back streets of Regent Street, walking past Burger & Lobster, peeking at the diners in Honest Burger, we had only one thing on our minds… Lebanese food!
Yalla Yalla, home of Beirut Street food but also serving Lebanese and Middle-Eastern delights was absolutely packed. Had Tuesday become the new Thursday? We waited less than ten minutes for a table, killing the time browsing the menu, and checking out the take away deli located within.
The food was absolutely delicious, the atmosphere was amazing. Service? Impeccable! Having progressed from super spewing mummy-to-be to permanantely ravenous she-beast, I did whatever care-free, diet unconscious preggers woman does, stuffing myself silly. Post gorge, I was exhausted- I could’ve just closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, right there and then.. face down in the remnants of baba ganoush…
As we headed towards the nearest underground station, my friend noticed my lack of ‘baby on board’ badge and asked if I had one. (It was in a crumpled envelope at the bottom of my bag, it hadn’t seen the light of day since arriving a couple of months earlier.)
As much as I think they are a great idea. I had always felt uncomfortable with the idea of wearing the ‘Baby on Board’ badge myself. Being fortunate to work outside of commuter hours, or from home if working super early or ridiculously late, the sardine-packed carriages of the Underground haven’t been an issue. I’m far from shy, but tales of obnoxious, resentful, commuters pretending to sleep, the slightly cringey aspect, selfish passengers seeing but choosing to ignore the badge or having general contempt for women who bear the symbol that screams ‘pregnancy privilege,’ are all things that contributed to my reluctance to display it.
I was not expecting the tube to be busy past 10pm on a Tuesday night but I was so very wrong! Having to stand as the pressure of a full stomach pushed against my already crammed insides was bearable, the sensation of Baby Gray deciding to have her own little party for one, forcing my half ‘innie’ belly button completely out- was not cute, but bearable, however the knocks and barges from oversized backpacks and clumsy oafs, rushing past as they realise they’ve nearly missed their stops was enough for me to declare that I would start wearing it the very next day! Every nudge or push, however slight, felt like a personal attack on my little bump, the anger boiled inside me each time, so if only to stop Baby Gray being born in HMP Downview , I’ve decided it’s worth wearing it.
Initially I got the badge, reasoning that as I get bigger, the back ache, breathlessness, and (God forbid) the cankles appear- being able to claim a priority seat (near the doors/exits) will be beneficial, after all even if you get a seat on the tube, who wants to traipse the gauntlet that is the full length of the carriage to get back out again?!
It’s been less than a week of wearing it, but so far so good! The most memorable experience has been when an elderly lady and I both rushed for the same seat, she looked at my badge, pointed to it, and resigned herself to the fact that she had been trumped. I felt guilty, and said no- I mean, she didn’t choose to be elderly, but she insisted! It definitely means people give me more space around that stations, and hooray, uncontrollable arms and elbows are suddenly tamed- but what has your experience been? Has anybody have any awful B.O.B tales? Do you wear it on the bus, or around when shopping? Has it stopped people from walking into you? Does the place where you live have something similar in place?