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.