Okay Rebecca, this one's for you.
Generally I have found the world to be not only baby tolerant but actually full of lovely people who are keen to hold doors, hold-up supermarket queues etc just to smile and coo at my lovely little Isobel.
I have felt truly honoured by being able to park in parent and child spaces and although I have been tempted, I have never abused this privilege. Being respectful of others I have only once taken my baby to a restaurant that is not child friendly and even then I rang in advance and they gave us a lovely cosy corner table - I couldn't bear the thought of my child being the cause of anyone else's discomfort or being one of those parents who thinks having children gives them the right to ignore the world around them.
Anyway, where is all this going?
Well I mentioned that we went, last Tuesday evening, to a picnic concert as part of Kew Garden's Summer of Swing. I've been many times but this was my first time with a baby in tow. I was as much concerned for her enjoyment as well as my own, so we took along some child headphones (I think they are actually, more aptly, called 'ear defenders'), the purpose of which was to enable Isobel to blissfully sleep.
Isobel, following a picnic bedtime story and a little boogie, dutifully fell asleep during the support act. Lulled into a false sense of security I popped her into her pram sans headphones but I zipped up the raincover for insulation.
Unfortunately Jools Holland was greeted with great enthusiasm by the crowd and his plinky-plonky piano woke up the sleeping princess. So, (instead of being clever and popping the ear thingies on in the pram) I picked her up and applied the ear defence, and indulged ourselves with a bit of a bop.
Too much to see and do meant Isobel didn't go back to sleep, I wasn't worried, she wasn't unhappy we just stood and had a dance, like you do at outdoors concerts.
I'd obviously consumed too much picnic and my bottom had grown to the size of a small country because a middle-aged sour puss (quite a polite way of putting it me thinks) came up and told me how 'patient' the crowd had been with me but I was interrupting their view. Now, it's an outdoor concert, a music concert so people were dancing, it wasn't bloomin' Songs of Praise (mind you that's probably happy clappy enough to illicit a bit of bottom shaking these days).
At the time I was mortified, embarrassed to think I was upsetting people by an innocent act of enjoying both my child and the music. PD's blood instantly boiled, but restrained himself to mumbling profanities under his breath.
Turns out the woman was a liar; on our way out another lady came up to us and told us she had had to restrain her husband from having a pop at sour-puss on our behalf. Seems we were doing no harm at all.
Then on Tuesday I discovered not all pensioners smile at prams, but I really can't go there right now...
PS. I did warn you it was a tirade.