I do my best to be a good mother.* I also (usually) do my best to be a good bus citizen. During the first year of Chicklet’s life, these goals were complementary. As long as I made sure my little one’s needs were met and paid plenty of attention to her, she was well-behaved and quiet on our rides.
Now that we’re knee-deep in the willful toddler phase (she’ll be 18 months on May 1st), these goals are often in conflict. Good parenting practices require that I establish clear boundaries and thus to deny some of Chicklet’s many requests/demands, while good bus citizenship requires that I prevent her from disturbing our fellow passengers.
I managed this balancing act fairly well until last Friday, which shall be known henceforth as The Day of Chicklet’s First Bus Meltdown. (The details aren’t particularly interesting. She wanted more snacks than I thought appropriate in a moving public space–so soon after her recovery from a long bout with the stomach flu.) The howling only lasted for two of the 30+ minutes it took us to get to Green Lake, and I’m happy to report that we both survived. (So, thankfully, did our fellow passengers.) I’d be totally over it by now, if I didn’t know for sure that there are many more similar battles of will to come. Two is approaching, after all.
To all those who have the misfortune to encounter Meltdown Chicklet on a future ride: My apologies. I am hoping to exchange a couple of years of occasional bad bus citizenship for a lifetime of good world citizenship.
* OK, I obsess about it constantly.