Big lorry! And other parenting habits it’s pretty hard to break

July 24, 2014

parenting habits it's hard to break

Last week I was on my way out for dinner with some friends. Minus child. You know the drill; paw-print free clothes, lipstick, tiny bag, combination of impractical shoe and delicate jewellery, happy mood, walking down the road looking forward to sitting on the top deck of the bus and having a (tiny) glass of wine and lots of chat later, and then something trundled past me on the road, and…


I looked around…was that in my head or did I actually say that…out loud?

Eliza loves big lorries, so we take great pleasure in shouting them out to her at all times; trips out of the house are like a game of big lorry bingo.

But she was at home, asleep. And I was out, alone. Still pointing out the big lorries driving down the road.

It’s a funny thing, parenting. You may seem like a normal person when you’re out without them – look, no pram, and both my boobs are away! – but underneath…you bear all the hallmarks of the secret signs it’s hard to shake off.

How many of the following have you actually done…minus child?

  • Pointed out big lorries, heavy machinery, trains, different coloured cars, cats, dogs, three pigeons sat on top of a streetlight…
  • Realised you’ve subconsciously taken a detour to see the china hedgehog at the end of the road, the pretty flower bed of your neighbour, the billboard with the man who ‘looks like daddy’. In short, all the landmarks that Google won’t map but your child knows off by heart
  • Maintained a running internal commentary on everything (I don’t say this one out loud, really)
  • Heard a ‘neenaaaw’ in the distance, and looked round to see where it is and which one it is
  • Packed heavily, even if it’s a tiny bag. It will inevitably still contain about ten tissues, half a pack of wipes and a Babybel rind
  • Scanned the menu for a children’s choice with a vague of vegetable, even if you’re out on an adults-only meal
  • Had a wave of silent relief of seeing a babyccino on a cafe menu board. But wait! It’s a nursery day and you’re out for a sneaky solo coffee
  • Kept snacks upon you at all times, in all pockets
  • Took the coat with the hood and not the umbrella
  • Woke up at the crack of dawn…even though your child is having a freakishly long lie-in
  • Been more excited about spotting the new edition of the Peppa magazine than Vogue, Glamour and Elle combined.

Tell me it’s not just me?


  • Justjuggling_

    July 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Love it! I often do this now when out with baby M and he does not care about cranes or trains at all yet!

  • PhotoPuddle

    July 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I have found myself avoiding stairs ie going down the the slope or waiting for a lift when I don’t have the buggy with me. Same for dropped kerbs. I have found myself forgetting that when you don’t have a pushchair it’s easy enough to cross the road anywhere.
    Also, my daughter always loves it when she sees pinks cars. I always get excited too now too so it’s always a bit disappointing when I spot one and she’s not with me.

  • Alice

    July 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I’m forever pointing to police cars/fire engines and saying “LOOK! NEENAW!!”.
    Always amusing to whoever I’m with (never seems to be the children)

  • Shirley

    July 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Sorry Gillian but it is only you. Just joking but some of these things will never leave your subconscious. You will also think Ahhplane still when you ever see one as well

  • A question |

    February 25, 2015 at 11:17 am

    […] “So we won’t be hungry” “Why?” ”Oh look! Isn’t that a  big lorry?” And it’s these sort that send us into a rhetorical spin from which there is no […]

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