Yesterday Joseph and I went on a one bus, one tram, two train adventure into Liverpool. It was a fantastic day, busy and tiring. We met up with some good friends, and had sandwiches, chocolate brownies and blueberries.
Unfortunately public transport + toddler does not always work as well as I would like. On the way to Liverpool on train 1 Joseph melted down. He just cried and screamed and threw things. What can you do? I held him, talked to him, sung to him, and he continued to go mental.
Most people smiled in solidarity, a couple of people even spoke a few encouraging words.
But one old lady glared at me. She walked right to me and glared at me, staring at my awful, screaming child. It brought to mind that heartwrenching scene in Mash where Hawkeye, going mad after too long in the wilds of Korea, witnessing the horror of war, is on a bus and a baby is screaming, which he thinks is a chicken squawking, and the baby is smothered by its mother, in order to make the noise stop.
What did this woman want me to do? And if she had a secret to stop the barrage of noise, why didn't she share it? I think the fact I was calm and not shouting at him made her worse. She shoved past us and went and stood at the door of the train, willing it to go faster and pull into the station so she could make her escape. Once she was gone, Joseph shut his eyes, and went to sleep. For the last 3 minutes of the journey.
It wouldn't have been so bad, but on the way back, the exact same thing happened, although it was worse, in a way, as we hit peak hour. I was sat in the cold hallway in the bike rack with the pram, and Joseph in the mei tai. He happily ate blueberries for about 20 minutes, and then it started, the screaming and crying. There were a couple with a young baby (asleep in its enormous pram, giving me even less room in the bike rack), they were doing a dodgy deal on two mobile phones attempting to buy an illegal pit bull type dog (amazing what people will talk about on the seemingly anonymous public transport system) and were, in between heated quick calls, giving me death stares.
In the end, Joseph put his head on my shoulder, still screaming, and I got out the only weapon left in my virtual aresenal. Yep, the song. The when all else fails song. Which I sang. Over and over again. And eventually, he gave in, and fell asleep. For a blissful hour!
So I do apologise, should you have been travelling on the Liverpool - Nottingham 16.50 service last night, should your ear drums have been assailed not only by my screaming child, but my rather dreadful singing voice. Sorry.