Growing up in Prahran, and currently residing in Elwood, I am unashamedly an inner city slicker. Having everything at my doorstep has always been of importance. Wandering out the front door to a cafe, restaurant, bar, trains, trams, and even the beach, is truly liberating.
On the other hand, commuting an hour each way, every day, to my Zone 3 suburbia-surrounded half-acreage sounds about as exciting as being maced in the eyeballs. For me, it’d be like have a huge luxurious prison cell. But it’s the dream for many, so each to their own.
This sense of freedom that I have so enjoyed for the last 30 years has since taken a punishing blow. There is no such thing as ‘just wandering out the front door’ in the post-Frankie world. Your fleet-footed days are over, and no decision can ever be made on a whim.
If ever we decide to ‘go somewhere’, there are a number of caveats that must be adhered to before we can finally step out into the world beyond. Frankie has to feed, have her nappy changed, be strapped into the pram (or car seat) and then we have to make sure that we have a bunch of supplies on hand for the journey. Bear Grylls could survive for 10 years in the Amazon with the amount of shit we need to last 10 minutes in Elsternwick.
There is no point making any exact plans, because she may or not have slept, or eaten, and you’ve just gotta work around wherever she’s at. ‘Let’s go get some lunch’ sounds like a great idea, but by the time all the stars have aligned, I’ve almost passed out from malnutrition and lost the will to live.
When compared to their primitive counterparts, modern day prams are built more like Hummers. So once you’re on the move, it’s not that easy to just ‘duck into this shop for a minute’. Trying to navigate a small store or cafe is like leading a bull through a china shop.
Most of those carriers aren’t really suitable for newborns, but I look forward to the day I can ditch the dune buggy and strap her in to one of those. Then I get to be serious DILF material.
I will admit though, for the most part, Frankie herself has been pretty good. The pram ride will often put her to sleep, allowing us to cruise around without any major issues. But occasionally, you get to be ‘those people’. The people in the public place with the screaming baby. And you must suffer the looks of disdain from the other patrons, because you have just totally ruined the ambiance, and with it their hand picked-double roasted-fair trade beans-blessed by a buddhist monk-skinny-latte and $16 piece of avocado on toast. What monsters we are.
So prepare yourselves for the coming incarceration. Your warden weighs 8 pounds and cares for no one but themselves. Good luck when you are finally granted day release, and use it well.