Tag Archive | Safety

The Time I Snapped On A Strange Teenager

Seriously, I did this. I snapped on a teen on the TTC last week. In front of his friends on a very crowded bus. Loudly. I embarassed him. Some people might be feeling bad for him but I don’t and if I could do it over I wouldn’t change a thing.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had started apart time nanny job and this situation happened on a day I was with Minnie. Since she is still being breast fed and hasn’t figured out how easy and convient a bottle is I make one trip a day with both her and Little Miss to her mothers office for a feed. It’s not that far and in nice weather we’ll walk or we sometimes take the TTC. It depends on me and how I feel as much as the weather.

This is never a spur of the moment trip. Pfft. I have to transport a 1 yr old and a four month old. I don’t just up and decide to go out. It takes timing and synchronization of getting all three of us ready to go out. It’s not a huge distance but really, this is Canada, we get cold up here. I don’t want either of them getting over heated before marching out into the Great White North’s sometimes frigid winds.

Last week wasn’t too cold. We walked to Mama Mouse’s office not too far from Eglinton Station and afterwards wondered around the area visiting Toys r Us and The cupcake Shoppe (Amazing by the way). We even went by the office a second time for a top up. 

I should also mention that to make this trip involves a stroller and a baby carrier along with a diaper bag full of two little girls necessities. I can wear either of the girls in the carrier and switch them to the stroller based on their moods and temperments. On this day Little Miss was in the stroller sleeping and Minnie was on my chest sleeping. We were at the bus station before finally getting on the bus to make the short trip home. Little did I realize the high-school only a couple of stops along the way lets out at 3. streaming onto the bus came a hoard of rude, loud and overly Axed teenage boys. One of whom kicked the stroller.

Now, I know that might not seem like anything bug and in fact could have been a mistake even though he kicked it higher up. I thought so too at first. Then he did it again, and again and then finally a forth time. That was when I snapped. In a loud and angry voice that I knew would carry over the teenage cacophony of noise I said ‘If you kick my stroller one more time I’ll kick you right back.’

He looked up at me with a deer in the head lights stare and did that mutter ‘Sorry’ we all know they don’t mean. All of his friends had stopped talking and were watching both their friend and myself with expressions of utter fascination; waiting I imagine to see what would happen next. The man sitting next to me chocked, coughed and started to laugh. An older woman across the way smiled. All of the teenagers stayed quiet from then on.

Oh, and that guy next to me? Yeah, he’s Minnie’s Dad. He’s finished work early and we happened to catch the same bus together. The rest of the trip home these boys watched me, waiting to see if I would do anything else I suppose, and when it was time for me to unload with my stroller they all were very polite and assistive. Each and every one who spoke to me called me Ma’am and nodded their heads and either moved to the side so I didn’t have to push my way off the bus or tried to help me lift it to the side walk.

Could I have done or said something less aggressive? Definintely. Would it have been as effective? Probably not. What if one of the babies legs had been hanging a little closer to the edge and he kicked on of the girls? He was not just gently nudding the stroller, but kicking it. He would have HURT  one of them. Did that thought cross his mind when he made the decision to kick the stroller? Did he mean to try and hurt either of them intentionally? I don’t believe so but that doesn’t make it ok to purposefully assault someone else’s property in public and it wouldn’t have made his behaviour any less horrible if something had happened.

I’m only 26, maybe 10-11 years older than those boys probably were and yet even at my most obnoxious as a teen I never would have done something to inconsiderate. I don’t know anyone really that I knew when I was that age who would have done something like that. I don’t know what has changed in the years since I was a teenager but it sometimes feels as if there has been a monumental shift in what is acceptable behaviour. That since there are so many more teens after school roaming around before the business day ends that other people should cow toe to them and work around them. Maybe some of you will think I was overly harsh, I don’t. I reacted in the moment and in all honesty think I did a good job of not reacting more explosively. I just hope that the next time he of any of his friends are out and about they’ll think twice about their behaviour towards others and their property and how they treat it.

Followed At The Grocery Store

How paranoid are you about the potential of someone snatching your baby or child? We all have that worry somewhere in the back of our minds that there is the possibility of it happening, but I am an optimist, I try to be aware of the possibility not let it become an obsession. In the last few years there have been some extreme cases of attempted baby/child snatching in the Toronto area. There was a case where a model organised a phony casting call for infants and using a Beck Taxi stole a baby. The child was returned and she has since been sentenced. There was an incident where a 4 yr old girl was taken from her bed in the middle of the night. She was quickly found as well, but it’s a scary thing to read these stories as it seems they are becoming more commonplace.

Obviously as very proud new parents C and I think Little Miss is the most beautiful baby in the world. We both have seen these stories and many more and decided most recently after sereral stories where the parents were with the child and would be abductors still tried to make off with the children to increase our vigilance. When we are out whether shopping or just travelling on he TTC we always make sure the the stroller or shopping cart Little Miss is in is in front of us and we have a hand holding onto it. We make sure to never have our backs turned away from her and try to stay aware of those around us. Even when we’re on the subway and she’s sleeping I don’t take my attention off of Little Miss. I used to read on the TTC and now I usually focus on her and the other people in the area.

This isn’t just a random post. Last week Little Miss and I were at the grocery store I’ve been going to since I moved back to Toronto. I’ve gotten to know several of the full time empoylees well enough to have minor chitchat about our day to day lives. They see Little Miss and say hi and comment on her growth and development. This is not creepy. Last week as I got her settled into the shopping cart Little Miss drew the usual baby lovers to her like flies. Lots of ‘Oh, she’s so pretty’s and ‘Look at that smile!’s. There was one woman who smiled at us but kept back a few feet. As we wove our way around the fresh produce section I noticed the woman who stayed back constantly in my peripheral vision a lot. I decided to pay closer attention while still shopping. As we continued persuing the aisles I became aware that not she seemed to be following us. Not the ‘oh we haappen to be going down the same aisles’ following. I don’t shop in a linear fashion. I’m more of a random/flitterer shopper going up and down aisles as I’m interested, very hard to accidentally have the exact same shopping pattern as I have. This woman was following following Little Miss. Not me, my baby. She would barely look at me but was constantly staring at the baby. She would stay at least 10 feet away but come on, I’m not stupid and my warning bells were blaring. I had a minor case of stalking and even they were more subtle then this woman was. This was blatant out in the open following us.

Finally I’d had enough. I was getting really creeped out and scared. what if this woman with the intense smile and eyes decided to get too close. I didn’t know her, I have no clue what she wants or intends. She could be harmless, but in those moments that’s not what I’m thinking. My only thought is to keep my baby safe. I went over to the customer service desk and said something was wrong. She’s one of the people I know somewhat. She asked what was wrong and as I started to tell her the woman following us quickly left. She abandoned her EMPTY shopping cart and just walked away. Even though the woman left I gave her description and now the store is on alret for her. They have cameras and are going to be on the lookout for is she returns. I have also chosen to change our shopping habits for a bit. No more going at the same time or day. We’re going to shake things up a bit in case she returns. Looking back now that it’s been about a week I can see things more clearly and calmly, but it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do the exact same thing. I did not know her or her intentions and I can truly say that as paranoid as I’ve lelt sometimes keeping so much attention on my daughter I no longer do, I feel somewhat justified.

This situation ended wel, but you never know when something can go wrong. I`m not telling telling anyone else how to react or chose to look after their children when out in public, but I feel that I should just reiterate being careful and always going with your gut if something feels off to you.

On The Move

I’m trying to decide if I want to buy door gates to wrangle Little Miss or let her be free range in the apartment. I’m not even talking about for in a month or so, I mean NOW. Little Miss is officially on the move and we’re 9 days away from her 6 month half birthday. Our aparntment isn’t huge so I would more then likely only need one but I am unsure if it’s the route I want to go.

Of course we’re going to baby proof, but I don’t believe in going crazy overboard with it. Plugs for outlets and locks for drawers and cupboards is sort of all I plan on and of course a complete blockade on the bathroom and litter boxes. I don’t want her growing up wrapped in cotton wool, I want her to be able to move about and experience even if that includes a few bumps and bruises. If I survived, and I’m incredibly accident prone – like ridiculously, then I figure other then a few upgrades in quality the same baby proofing should be ok for Little Miss.

I feel sometimes like the world has gone little crazy where baby/toddler safety is concerned. Yes, I wish I could protect Little Miss from every bad or scary thing out there as well as ensure she never has to experience pain but I know that’s not an option or realistic. So instead I want her to be aware, self-reliant and happy. I don’t know if that’s always possible but starting with letting her explore as much as possible without restraint and padded walls, floors and tables is a good start I feel. Begin as you mean to go on right?

What do you think? And any suggetions?