Misc

Doodlebug

New(ish) mum Samantha Dooey-Miles is charting her life in doodles. This week, she’s worried that her little Londoner may grow up sounding like Dick Van Dyke.

A man I do not know has very kindly offered to help carry my buggy up the stairs of the underground station while I carry my daughter and all of the necessary paraphernalia required with a toddler.

Concerned about being bumped into by one of the many people around us, and of tripping while holding my wriggling child, I walk slowly. The nice man has separated from us and is almost at the top of the stairs. My daughter spies the man taking off with her wheels and screams and screams until we are next to him and she is sure he is not robbing us.

Thanking the man I say, “You can tell she’s a Londoner, she’s very suspicious of strangers.” The man gives my statement what he thinks it deserves, a half-arsed noise that could be a laugh, then goes off on his merry way.

I think, “Even if he doesn’t think so, that’s bloody good, I’ll be using that again.” And I do, several times that day when the same scenario plays out with various considerate Londoners offering their assistance.

When I get home I think about this statement and how true it is. My extremely Celtic gene pool is now partly responsible for a little Londoner. I have lived here for seven years, I like London as much as you can like anywhere that’s not home, but this place is not a part of me as it will be for my daughter. Which of course, as with all things connected with parenting seemingly do, creates a collection of new worries. These include:

• What if she considers ‘the North’ to be Watford?

• Will she only speak in a Scottish voice to do a piss-poor impersonation of me like her English father does? Or worse, will she develop a hybrid of her dad’s Essex voice and my Glasgow one? If she has a hybrid accent, will it at all resemble the voice Dick Van Dyke did in Mary Poppins? If it does, I am not sure my love is strong enough to survive that.

• She will never know the joy of a random conversation with someone at a bus stop. Even if the person chatting to her is well meaning, she will be suspicious and ignore them as if they are not there.

• We had to move to Zone 6 to afford a house. Where will my daughter have to commute from if she works in the city? Norwich? Leeds? Edinburgh? Should I be saving more so I can help give her money towards a deposit? Oh god, is it too late to start saving now?

• She will think it is normal to spend seven pounds on a pint. With inflation and Brexit, how much could a pint realistically cost in London in 2034? A tenner? Fifteen pounds? At those prices it’s no wonder she can’t afford a house.

See Samantha’s previous doodles here.

@anewessexgirl

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Written by Samantha Dooey-Miles

Sam is a first-time mum doodling and blogging her way through teething, nappies and the constant struggle of never quite being sure whether she lives in Essex or London. Find her blog at anewessexgirl.com.