Off to London in A Shopping Cart

Posted on June 1, 2010


Life in the Boomer Lane is leaving for London in a week to celebrate the first birthday of First Grandchild.  On her last visit, she, along with Younger Son’s girlfriend, Artist Janelle, attempted to smuggle said grandchild across the border from France onto the Eurostar train that goes through the chunnel, in order to get back into the UK. Unfortunately, the border guards noticed that AJ had a baby attached to her in a Snuggly. To make matters worse, they also noticed that FG had a UK passport (AJ and LBL had US passports) and had a different last name than either of them. For those of you who have been contemplating smuggling your own grandchildren into the UK, LBL’s advice is not to try. But if you do try, don’t tell the border officials that you follow this blog.

Tonight, LBL will bring her huge suitcase down from the attic and will fill it with items that have nothing to do with her.  There will be birthday presents for FG, a couple small gifts for Beloved Daughter, a large birthday bag of clothing for FG from Beloved Daughter’s sister-in-law, items BD has ordered that she can’t get in the states, and the Fudgie the Whale cake mold (which LBL almost tried to install in a client’s refrigerator, thinking it was an ice cube bin).  More items to bring to them will probably arrive in the mail during the week.  Her own two weeks worth of clothes will have to fit in her carry o bag.  LBL is just grateful that warm weather clothes take up less room than cold weather ones, and sandals are much easier to pack than boots.

LBL will have two very important tasks in London.  The first is that a friend of hers gave her the name of an old boyfriend who lives in London. She has asked LBL to look up his number, call him, introduce herself and tell him that she says hello.   LBL is to say that said friend is deliriously happy with her life in DC, has a fabulous marriage, still looks 20 years old, and has won both the Nobel Prize and the Betty Crocker Bakeoff.  Her friend is hoping that her ex-boyfriend, in turn, has had similar success in life, mostly involving having had no relationships after he stopped seeing her about 40 years ago.

The other task LBL will have is to figure out how to assemble First Grandchild’s stroller each day, while Beloved Daughter and Beloved Son-in-Law are at work.  When LBL had her children, strollers were really simple affairs that opened almost like an umbrella and weighed about five lbs.  BD’s  stroller weighs about 50 lbs and has about 25 levers and moving parts.  It has a wind shield, an umbrella, a hood, a shelf under the seat for packages, individual compartments for coffee and a cell phone and a laptop and a DVD player, a GPS, and a safety wrist strap so that LBL will be permanently attached to the stroller as she walks and will continue being attached to it in the event of a tornado.

The stroller can also enclose a small humanoid entirely in a plastic tent-like apparatus that protects the humanoid from foul weather.  It accommodates a child from age zero to age 16, when it then turns into a compact car, still with a wrist strap so that the teenager can’t ever lose it. LBL has seen BD assemble the stroller, and it scares her.  She doesn’t know how to use her TV remote except for the On, Off, Volume, and Channel buttons, and she has played a DVD only once or twice.  Compared to those, the stroller looks like a prefab space shuttle.

BD and PC live on a second floor walk up.  LBL has to assemble the stroller downstairs. She thinks about the following: What does one do with the baby while one is trying to make the stroller look like a stroller?  Does one leave him back in the flat?  Sit him on the lobby floor?  Hold him in one arm while one assembles the stroller in the other?  BD  has no issues with anything.  She picks the stroller up, with FG in it, and walks up and down entire flights of stairs wearing high heels. LBL is, personally, still working on the “wearing high heels” part (without carrying anything at all).  So far, she can do that only if she is seated or lying down.

LBL doesn’t want to stay confined to the flat all week, so she has developed a contingency plan.  If need be, she will carry FG to the nearest market in order to steal a shopping cart to put him into.  Then she and FG will walk wherever they want to go.  LBL is guessing it’s a no-no in the UK to use a shopping cart as one’s personal conveyance, but, since she doesn’t plan to take FG across international borders, with any luck, maybe people will look the other way.