Here’s a tip. If you want to do a bank heist and not get caught, get yourself a pushchair and a harried look. When the police start investigating, no one will remember you because you will have become completely and mysteriously invisible. It’s amazing. Whilst being quite useful for some things (I’m no longer scared to walk past a group of teenage girls, for example; you don’t make jeering and bitchy remarks to someone you haven’t seen), it’s a bit inconvenient when standing in queues or wanting to attract people’s attention in shops. And if you dare to absent-mindedly smile at any apparently single man under 40 or so he will look at you, look down at the kids and do a split second horrified stare at you before hurriedly looking in the other direction. Sometimes (and I’m positive I’m not imagining this) people will tut at you out of the blue. I have no idea why.
It’s a very strange sensation when, out without the children, people make eye contact and maybe even return a smile.