One of the biggest differences between London and New Mexico is that here in London, people stare at me and even comment when I'm going around, just being myself. For example, today I decided to go get a toolbox and a construction worklight, as anyone with no good place to store their jewelry tools, and who is also planning to photograph items in a lightbox, would do. These things are both sold at hardware stores, so I went to the hardware store with one son toddling beside me, and the other in a front carrier. My infant son is already a little too tall for the front carrier; his head tends to loll back when he's in it, which he doesn't seem to mind at all. He promptly falls asleep whenever I take him anywhere.
Anyway, so I went to the hardware store and managed to find a really nice rolling toolbox and a halogen worklight. The only problem was that I didn't think I'd find a toolbox with wheels because there weren't any on the hardware store's website, so I'd brought a shopping trolly (no, not a shopping cart, though the Brits call those trollies too, this one was a canvas bag on wheels with a retractable handle). I thus had to hold both the handle of the shopping trolley and the handle of the toolbox in one hand while holding my son's hand with the other.
If I had walked across a parking lot in New Mexico like this, people wouldn't have said anything. Maybe someone would offer to help, but here, people just stare. The occasional person would talk to me or honk their horn to point out that my infant son was asleep with his head back, which I already *knew*. I don't neglect my kids. I take them everywhere, as should be obvious given I am walking with them across a parking lot with a rolling toolbox and a shopping trolly on our way to the underground station. I don't see anyone else spending quality time with their children this way, and if I did, I would keep any comments that came to mind to myself, thankyouverymuch.
It was slow going, as my toddler son isn't even two yet. Being an insomniac prepared me for motherhood, though. Taking two hours to go down the street to the hardware store and back still feels like getting something done. And now, I will go back to being a hermit, because that way I can be myself without the real time commentary from others. I'm off to either work on this science fiction novel or make jewelry... depends on whether the dining room table's free.