Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kid on the Bus

Today I was riding the bus, which is something I do periodically, seeing as I don't own a car. But unlike most other times when I ride the bus, when I just try to avoid the stupid people, this time I (and everybody else on the bus) had a very interesting, and actually funny encounter with a screaming 4 year old boy.
It went like this.
There was standing room only, and a young mother got on the bus with a little boy in a stroller, and a slightly larger boy who was maybe four, walking nicely and holding on to the stroller like his mother told him to.
Now, the mother immediately saw that there was nowhere to sit down, and was trying to explain this to her son. To his credit it should be said that this was in the evening, and the boy had clearly been on his feet for a long time. However, his response was truly disproportionate.
He promptly started crying and yelling that he wanted to "sit dooowwwwwwn!". His mother was trying to explain that there was nowhere to sit, and that they were getting off in three stops anyway. Her explanations were interspersed with furtive glances at us, the "normal" passengers, flashing the my-kid-is-making-a-scene-in-public-and-I-won't-be-strict-with-him-now-while-you-all-can-see-but-you-can-bet-he-will-get-it-when-we-get-home smile and punctuated by the kid's yells and screams.
At this point we were still on the mother's side. Just praying silently that she could shut the kid up, but not exactly annoyed yet. We were a jaded crowd, and it takes more than a single screaming kid to upset us. Besides, judging from the knowing smiles around me, I'd guess that most of the people there had been through a similar scene with kids/siblings of their own.
Anyway, the lady sitting in the aisle closest to the kid got up and offered her seat to the little boy.
He of course refused, at 120 decibels.
His mother picked him up and bodily plopped him in the seat. This provoked him to redouble his efforts (how could such small lungs produce such prolonged screams I do not know) and yelling "but I wanna sit therrrrrrreeeee!" pointing at a window seat.
His mother tried Reason again, pointing out that the nice lady had given up her seat so he could sit down.
Nothing doing. The kid wanted a window seat.
So, with a sigh the slightly elderly gentleman sitting next to the boy, and more importantly, next to the window, signaled the boy's mother that he is willing to switch seats, or even jump out the window, whatever it will do to shut the kid up.
And this is where we get to the funny part. The Good Mother, always trying to teach her young and gentle offspring a lesson said: "Look, this nice man will let you sit in his seat, near the window. But not because you are screaming, little boys who scream don't deserve to sit near the window. So, how do you ask nicely"?
And the boy answered, and I swear I am not making this up, "I don't KNOWWWWW"! and started bawling again.
At this point the whole bus cracked up. Everybody could hear the whole thing, even if most of them couldn't see what was happening. I have never seen an entire bus load of people just laughing spontaneously at something like that. It was just too much. It was a sort of anticlimax to the whole thing.
I got off the bus then, and missed the end of the story. Was the kid finally placated? Did he cry the whole way until he got off? Did the mother give in and whack him a good one? We'll never know. But as I was getting off I thought to myself 'what would be a good moral to this story'?
And the only thing I could come up with was:
Little children should come with a remote control, and that remote control should have a very large MUTE button.

No comments:

Post a Comment