Riding the train with a screaming kid might actually be the worst part of commuting by public transit. Instead of being in a sound proof car where you can turn up the music and let your kid wail it out without bothering anyone (but you) you’re turning everyone’s commute into a living nightmare (And they will let you know it). When my daughter was a baby her cries were muted, cute and brief, people would smile and give me sympathetic looks and mouth “it gets better”.
Well, those people lied- as a toddler her screaming is loud and long, her stamina is a feat of nature. I don’t get those sympathetic looks anymore but seriously, melt downs happen- and there’s not much you can do about it. So for those moms enduring a melt down, I’m with you-but maybe I’ll stand a little further out of ear shot. I wrote this list to give myself a chuckle, a description of the types of people you are sure to run into underground while carting around your screaming child. Let me know if I missed anyone!
The “My Stroller is More Than Your Rent” Mom
She’s head to toe in Lululemon clothing and giving you the judgiest look ever, and really wants you to know it. The look says “if you fed your baby organic apple sauce, this karmic episode would not have befallen you”. Her baby is still in the sleep all day phase while ensconced in her throne of a stroller. She probably lives in Georgetown, who knows why she’s on the metro in the first place.
The Suburban Family
The large surburban family who are all too afraid to sit down, but are also sad that they’ve stood too close to the woman with the screaming baby and now the train is moving so they’re clinging onto the poles for dear life. How do I know they’re from out of town?, the gendered camouflage jackets that they use for blending in- the ladies are wearing pink camo and the guys are wearing good old regular guy colored camo. I’m usually concerned that one of them might fall on my child.
Business Millennial Man
I don’t know why, but I have found that childless dudes in the 25-33 year range are so dang critical of parenting styles. And they are literally the least qualified to have an opinion. Anyway this H&M model of a man is simultaneously checking e-mails and tindering, except he’s no longer swiping yes for women that want kids. He’s giving you a look that says “the two minutes of screaming I have to listen to will ruin my entire day”. I’ve always hoped that one would mansplain the situation to me in person (for writing fodder) but I’ve never been so lucky.
That Person Who’s Probably a Politician You Don’t Recognize
Similar to Millennial Man except, it’s not Tinder they alternate e-mail for it’s the New York Times, and they’ve probably found an article written by a fellow baby boomer criticizing millennial moms.
The Crazy Person
Oh hey, it’s a nice elderly person coming to say hi. Nope, it’s a crazy person. Mental illness is something that people do not receive enough care for, and it’s truly heartbreaking. But when a stranger comes over smelling bad AND wanting to stroke your child, you get up and walk away.
The Real MVP’s
There’s always at least a few, these people are angels. Of any age, gender, ethnicity these heros will come into your life and make silly faces at your child who will stop screaming-and everything will be right in the world again.
Unfailingly it’s been teenage boys who give me their seats when the metro is crowded. Usually people watching (millennial man) will shift about their seats and cough while making the, oh that kid beat me to offering you up a seat face.
In reality, I’m sure no one is really caring all that much about you and your screaming kid. But it sure does feel like it in the moment!
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