Today ankle biter 1 licked the hand rail in the bus. Of course, when admonished, he licked it again. Let’s not get started about the unknown caressing the very spot. Then there was the pleading at a bit more than audible decibel “Let’s go the library. I want to buy bananas. I want to go to the library. I want to push the button. I want to push the button. NOW.” The fidgeting in the pram to the point of its collapse. At that point, ankle biter 2 decides to jettison his rattle clear cross the aisle and then cackle in disbelief that said item is no longer in possession. So yes, how not to ride the bus.
Any parent riding public transport has been there. It sucks. We don’t want to be the ones to disrupt the peace. But the ankle biters, they’re coming into their own with the life force bursting out of them. Why would they want to sit quietly when there are many a things and people within spitting distance?
Despite all of this, fellow bus riders have been pretty accommodating. They extend lines of community just by acknowledging our existence as boisterous as it may be. The jettison rattle, thanks- i’m rather envious that your waistline is the width of my thigh but I love your burgundy trousers- male hipster for handing it back to me and not ankle biter 2. Lady with the jaunty cap and orange jumper, thank you for having a conversation with ankle biter 1. Sure, asking his age was beyond his comprehension but he did like talking about books. Thank you endless people who always offer assistance to carry the pram up or down the bus not knowing that ankle biter 1 and the mini keg hiding in the basket weigh heaps more than you think this lil ol asian can carry.
For all of its grievances, public transport is more than just moving from point A to point B. Never mind we are not the ones who have to navigate the congestion or pay for petrol, insurance, parking, car payments or scavenge a coveted parking space. Through buses, trains, ferries and trams, the ankle biters and me all learn incrementally how to be a wee more patient. We acquaint ourselves with the public and they of us. In this way, I think the ankle biters become a bit more society savvy. Yes, I agree with you, “world’s worse mum” Lenore Skenazy, children need to develop their autonomy. And as parents, we need to allow children the opportunities to interact with the world around them, to have fun, to build their competencies (yep, I researched it).
A true adventure as each day, each ride differs. That’s the way to ride the bus.