Work Life Balance

It Takes A Village To Navigate Public Transportation

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Over at Slate, Tom Scocca has this hilarious “home-made” infographic titled “How to Make Everyone on the Subway Despise You and Your Children.”

I’m a city mother, which means that I occasionally ride the subway with my children. Until recently, I preferred to carry one child on my back and push the other on a small stroller. The youngest is too big to be carried these days so we must take the larger double stroller. It’s a Phil & Ted’s tandem, so it takes less space than some double strollers, but it still requires lots of strategy for public transportation. For instance, I have to travel when commuting traffic is lighter — there’s just no way I would shove a stroller like this onto a car crammed with other folks. And I have to position myself once on the Metro car in a manner that is both out of the way but also not so far out of the way that I miss my stop if it’s time to get off. I never cease to be amazed by those parents that just don’t give a darn. They shove their stroller on the Metro car without concern for whom they’re plowing over or which wheelchair passenger is inconvenienced. It’s just all about them, you know?

Part of the problem are these huge strollers, but another part of the problem is that people who are *not* mothers wrangling children are also clueless. Sometimes you need to readjust where you’re sitting for the greater good, you know? My husband rides the Metro daily and his number one complaint is the way that people don’t give up seats to pregnant women, women wrangling children, or elderly people. This should be something children learn at a young age — to be a nice neighbor to everyone. How hard is it to give up a seat to some poor lady navigating DC heat while carrying twins? This is a no-brainer.

So come on people, let’s all redouble our efforts to not be idiots. Families: don’t take up six seats when you could get by with three. Lazy young men: don’t slouch in your seat while watching some Grandpa with a cane try to keep from falling down. Now, carry on.