Susan Morrison: How to have a wheely bad day

Mums are better off going by foot rather than having to negotiate their way on to a bus or into a lift. Picture: Getty
Mums are better off going by foot rather than having to negotiate their way on to a bus or into a lift. Picture: Getty
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AH YUMMY mummies, how incredibly trendy you are, with your funky camouflage fabric baby buggies that look sturdy enough to be dropped into a war zone.

And yes, you’re right, in the lift at Waverley Station is a bit of a tight squeeze, and yes, there should be more of them and gosh, some people really do take up far too much 

The walls of the lift are slightly mirrored, so I could see your eye-rolling antics as you and your friend silently heaped your disapproval on the man – my pal – next to me, taking up all that valuable space.

You probably didn’t notice, but he’s in a wheelchair. You probably didn’t notice because you spent more time admiring your lip gloss, flicking your hair and, of course, doing that pantomime eye-rolling with your equally self-absorbed friend.

Now, I realise I am about to open a world of maternal fury, but hey ho, I’ve done my breeding so let’s crack on. The world is not kind to young mums. It was even less kind when I was a young mum, nearly 25 years ago. The very idea of getting a buggy on a bus in the 90s was so bothersome, I just never tried, and walked everywhere.

If there was a lift, I’d take it if there was room, and there was access for those who really needed it, such as the disabled or the elderly, but by and large, I’d find other ways around. And I’d help other mums – still do, as a matter of fact – by scooping down and lifting the front of the buggy if they were going up or down stairs. Believe me, if you lived in the Abbeyhill colonies you learned to negotiate stairs pretty quickly.

The world is still not perfect for mums and babies. It probably never will be.

Those who have to rely on wheels to get about, be it babies or the disabled, will constantly have to fight to get about in a world that really is all too unthinking about those who don’t have functioning legs.

But, sister, we chose to have our children, people like Mike had no choice. A little charity, young mum, and look at the other options before you and your friend next start sneering at people sharing the planet. And the lift.

Oh, and just because he’s in a wheelchair doesn’t mean he’s deaf.

Camouflage is way forward

JUST out of interest, exactly why would you have your baby’s conveyance designed to look like it could hide in deep cover, ready to fire a round or two at advancing enemy troops?

Or is it a ploy to get around the Botanics without the squirrels spotting you – now that I can identify with.

God knows, those little furry fiends can get you cornered in a dark spot in the Chinese garden and the only way out is a charge with a buggy and a race for the exit.

Time for those hot wings, KFC

WHEN I worked in the PR department of a large telecommunications outfit, we lived in dread of the spectacular own goal, such as cutting off a poor old soul’s telephone service, despite the fact she’d paid all her bills. This, quite rightly, generated acres of furious headlines.

My boss was a fabulous woman whose immediate response was always to say, yep, we fouled up, our fault, we’ll sort it.

Then she would call whoever had committed the PR crime and give them the kind of carpeting that made an unexpected visit by the Spanish Inquisition look like coffee and cake with Nelson Mandela.

So I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for KFC’s press damage limitation team as they read out the charge sheet for the Meadowbank outlet.

So, you hassled a wee girl for making too much noise? Check. After you found out she was disabled? Check. You made a family enjoying a special treat with a special needs child feel so uncomfortable they had to leave? Check. Did you know her father died in Afghanistan (by this time, trust me, the entire PR team will have their heads in their hands)?

And now, to top it all, Edinburgh cabbies are taking on the Colonel and his popcorn chicken brigade? Oh boy. You’ve annoyed Edinburgh taxi drivers. I’m not sure there is any way back from that . . .

Mums on for slalom gold

IN defence of the pavement pounding mummies out there – now that the trams are moving (they are. I’ve seen them. And I was sober at the time) can we now use some money to deal with the state of the pavements in this city?

Some of Edinburgh’s mums are so good at avoiding potholes big enough to swallow them and their baby that it looks like they’re training for a new Commonwealth Games event – the buggy slalom. We’d lift gold, I tell you.