This is what it's like being a mum with CBF (Chronic Baby Face) 1 year ago

This is what it's like being a mum with CBF (Chronic Baby Face)

I turned 29 this year but that still does not stop me from falling victim to CBF - Chronic Baby Face.

Common symptoms include never being able to buy a bottle of wine without needing ID, being mistaken for your child's sibling and people assuming that you're always the youngest in the group.

Now I'm not complaining much, a lot of people spend hundreds on skin care to take years off of themselves, but still, my CBF has led to some interesting situations.

Over the weekend I went to Finland with a group of writers and we decided to get a drink after being out in the freezing weather all day. I went to the bar to order a cider and was stopped in my tracks by the dreaded phrase 'have you got ID?'

We had been hiking through the snow so I hadn't brought my passport with me and I couldn't prove to them that I was my age. In the end I had to get one of the other women in the group to vouch for me that I was in fact an adult.

This was only the latest in the litany of times I've been caught out by Chronic Baby Face.

Last month I was at my second session with Casual Choir and the song we were to learn off was Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis.

Before we began the director asked if everyone was familiar with the song as some of us may not have been born when it was released and then she looked straight at me. All I could think was 'actually I was released before this song'.


This happens constantly wherever I go. I get a lot of 'ah sure you wouldn't remember that' regarding things that happened when I was around ten years old.

A little while ago my mother ran into a friend of hers while we were in town. My mother is quite a bit taller than me and we made a joke about it to which friend replied 'ah yeah but she still has time to grow'. My mother then informed her I was in my late twenties and all she could say was 'oh'. Guess that means I'm not growing then.

When it comes to being out and about with my children, the most common phrase I hear is 'you must have been very young having them'.

Now while I wasn't drawing my pension when I had my son, I wouldn't have made the cut for Teen Mom either. Most of the time it's funny when this happens there was one incident that was particularly unpleasant.

I was on a train alone with my son when he was a toddler just learning to walk and he was rearing to get up and walk up and down the aisle. As I was going up and down the train with him I noticed that an older couple kept shooting me dirty looks. Eventually, my son made a break it and a passenger down the end of the aisle told him to go back up to his mammy. This is when the older man decided to scoff and chime in with 'she's hardly his mother' even though he was sitting in the seats on the other side of the aisle from us and knew full well that I was.

He obviously thought I was a teenage mother and that meant I was fair game to be mocked. I went to school with several teen mothers and far from thinking that they should be mocked, I admired the fact that they could study for exams and look after a newborn baby at the same time. I've kept in touch with them via social media and all of their babies have turned into really lovely children, with way more manners than snotty trainman.

Most of the time it's just hilarious though. About a year ago a little old lady in my local shop thought my son was my little brother and she told me not to buy him too many sweets because my mammy would give out to me when I got home.

I must admit it can be handy at times and I have gotten to pay the school child fare on the bus on more than one occasion.

Still, it would be nice not to have to carry my passport with me when I want to pick up a bottle of Chardonnay, or (like what happened recently) have to call a 'grown-up' to buy it for me when I forget to bring my ID with me.

Ah well, long may it last though right?