The moment one gives birth one slips swiftly, silently and almost imperceptably Through The Looking Glass and an entirly new world is revealed beneath the surface of the old one.
It's like one of those magic pictures one might have found in a 70s comic book where you put a piece of coloured cellophane over the top and a completely different picture emerges. What was once a high street populated by shoe shops becomes overnight a street full of children's clothing shops. Cafes one has never noticed are suddenly hot on the destination list because of their toy box.
Anyway I realised the bleeding bloody obvious today when I was nearly late to pick up the spud from nursery which is that most of the people I used to work with who jacked off home early were not simply slackers, they were probably just trying to avoid late fees at their nursery.
Today, once again the penultimate parent, I noticed as I beetled out having signed the forms and dutifully admired the spud's home-made frankenlolly, that the streets at that hour are actually thronged with harried parents either struggling home with over-excited offspring or checking their watches. Parents who usually stop in the street to natter wave their wrists at me and shout as they rush past 'gotta run or we'll get a fine'; it's ten to six and a significant percentage of the parental universe is running late.
Sometimes I think that before I had Charlie I was completely and utterly insensate - and now I feel like one of the invisibles. I saw a Mum on the tube today with two small children and it was amazing how many people simply didn't bother to offer them a seat. On the bus a three year old was separated from her Mother by a woman carrying a plastic bag. The child was crying for her Mum and the Mum was right in front of the woman trying to calm the child down. What did the woman do? Wipe her nose with the hand carrying the bag and whack the kid in the face. Then put her hand back down and continue to stand in the way.
Anyway, so this is my apology, I guess, to all my friends who had kids before me. I just never noticed. Now, I think I want to be more visible. Red Queen outfit, perhaps?