more notes from the train

The trees are all yellow and brown and my train crawls through the fog.
It's dark when I leave at night too, which is a little depressing.
I'm not looking forward to the cold weather - which is unusual for me, I usually enjoy it.

Many evenings, when I go home, I encounter small children on the subway.
Yesterday, a young man came aboard with a tiny boy trailing behind him crying.
The man told his little one to sit down and the lady sitting next to the empty seat got up so the boy's dad could sit with him.
The little one intensified his crying but I noticed that there was a touch of drama added to it and that he frequently looked to his dad to see if he was getting a response. His little knit hat was askew and covering much of his face and he tore it off defiantly.
Most of the women sitting in that section of the car had varying degrees of emotion showing on their faces.
Some of us knew that the toddler wanted attention. Some of us felt uncomfortable for the dad, and some of us were smirking - imagining what might come next.
The dad picked up the hat and reminded him that he had a cold and needed his hat.
Toddler boy took the hat and pulled it completely over his face. Hiding.
For just a flash the dad was miffed, and then he looked around the car. His fellow passengers waited...smiling. The little boy made a few fake moaning noises from beneath the hat. The dad rolled his eyes.
Don't you laugh, I said quietly, and the lady next to me added: oh,'s not funny. But we all knew it was, and, by that point, so did the dad.
He lifted a tiny edge of the hat, peered under it at little Mr. Drama, and they both burst out laughing.
Knowing nods spread throughout the train.


Anonymous said…
I thought you could only see such scenes at the movies these days. Nice.
Sinda said…
beautiful description - I got a little teary!
cary perk said…
thank goodness that's the way it ended!

you could do an entire blog on train people.
smalltownmom said…
I'm glad it ended with laughter.
Anonymous said…
There is nothing worse than witnessing bad parenting, so I am thankful that this story was the way it was. I am all choked up. You are such a good mom! And fellow passenger.

Wendy said…
The knowing looks from other moms keep me going. Like yesterday when Ellie had a tantrum at the library... It's nice to know we've all been there.
(chuckling heard in Wisconsin)
That could have gone south in an instant. I am so very glad it didn't.
Magpie said…
Ooh, the drama!

I'm so much more attuned to those kinds of scenes now that I have my own child to drag onto the train periodically.
barbra said…
What a great little snapshot. How blackbird of you to notice.
Mrs. G. said…
A perfect little moment.
I love a happy ending.
Miz S said…
I think someone has already said this, but you could probably write a book of essays just from your train rides. I would read it. Hell, I'd BUY it.
Scot said…
I have found that 4 or 5 tiny little words can ease a situation like this. Look at the parent(s), smile and tell them "you have beautiful children or a beautiful child."
Try it, it almost ALWAYS calms the situation. Even if its an ugly kid.
robiewankenobie said…
laws. i had forgotten about mr5 when he was mr2 or mr3 and threw his tantrums. put him in a time out and he would fold up his wee little arms and throw out his lip in a wee little pout. i always had to turn around to keep him from seeing me lose my shit laughing.
Anne said…
that is a sweet story.
Dear little fellow.