I live in London. I love living in London. It’s a beautiful, brilliant city and the best place for my children to be.
I also live in a commune. What? You didn’t know London was a commune? Well, neither did I. But it is.
We are all here, us Londoners, together, raising our families as one. We help each other. No wait, we don’t help each other, we judge each other. We help each other by judging each other. I think. That’s how it would seem.
I have taken Will to school, across London, on two different buses, with a total travel time of 75 minutes, for 2 out of his 4 days so far. Both days, people have offered me ‘advice’. The first day was when somebody tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that the sun was in my babies eyes and that it was ‘driving him mad’. I had no idea that I could move the sun. Because, on a packed bus where the over tired baby needed to be in her pushchair, that was the only thing I could have done to help the situation. Thank goodness that kind lady told me to do so.
On the second day, our second bus was not due for 16 minutes and Will had to be in school in 20. So I was frantically using Google and tfl, on my phone, to try and figure out what other options I had. As I was doing so Harriet was pulling out (and apart) her hearing aids. And William was blowing raspberries at people as they walked past. Luckily, a kind lady came and told me that his behaviour was wrong and that he shouldn’t be doing that. I had so much free time on my hands I’d completely forgotten I was raising the future of tomorrow and that raspberries would cause another world war.
And then there was the lady that, as William suffered a major tantrum over something little due to exhaustion at his first week at deaf school because he is only 3, told him that he needed ‘a right good hiding’. I don’t know what I would have done without that advice and I, of course, heeded it immediately.*
And the people who continually ask me where my children’s coats / shoes / socks / hats / manners are.
Because raising a child is difficult. Raising a child in the city is difficult. And raising a child with a disability is difficult.
But living in a commune makes things easier. Because these people mean well, you see, and they genuinely think they are helping me to a better job raising our country’s future.
**There are actually lots of very nice and very helpful people in London and I do genuinely love living here**