Friday, February 17, 2017

#Parenting - Baby's first ride on the subway in #Toronto #Canada

Becky had to get introduced to the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) one day or another.

You cannot live in Toronto, go to school in Toronto or work in Toronto and avoid the TTC.  That thing is a monster.

So we hope onto the bus from Warden and Steels and head to the North York station. We later found out that North York Library was paradise.

So when we were in the subway wait place and the trains are passing very fast, I noticed something. People were kind of rushing to get onto the train and nearly pushing each other but not to extremes.  Since I was on mat leave and only wanted to take Rebecca to introduce her to live shopping at the Eaton Centre, I let everyone rush in till after rush hour.

Finally we got onto a train with the late slackers.  I think it is a 20-30 minute ride from North York to downtown.

The kid starts talking. Boobie. Boobie. Boobie.  Do you know how people look at you if you nurse a child on a train or in public?  You are supposed to do it in the bathroom just like I am gonna eat my pasta in my bedroom shortly.

The guy beside me felt so bad for me he made for her a boat out of paper.  To this day the kid loves paper planes, boats, tables, anything made out of paper.

The train is moving.  The kid keeps squealing "weeee  weeee weeee" and of course I do not stop it.

She then goes choochoo choochoo choochoo.  I also did not stop it.

But something strange started to happen.  Some people started to make faces.  And they would look at me with those faces.  As if "can't you shut her up" or likely "are you sure your child is normal?"

It was Rebecca's first time on the subway, on the train and on the bus.  She was super excited she even forgot to ask for her food.  I remembered when we were young and we were living in a house in Kireka Uganda (Kireka is just outside Kampala).  The train used to pass every morning and every afternoon.  We had learned to time it.  We used to tell the mothers and whoever was in charge of little people that we were gonna weed the garden of lumonde (sweet potatoes). AND we did.  Mostly because we would make a fire in the field and roast the potatoes.  This got bursted though when eventually some grown ups went on an expedition to find out why we were not hungry at supper time.

Uganda Railways.  That train was unreliable sometimes.  We are timing the train so we can scream Choochoo, choochoo and watch it pass. We had no smart phones then or we would have taken some nice videos.  AND on the days it was late by maybe 30 to 45 minutes, we would have roasted lumonde and filled out stomachs.

So you can see why when my kid was screaming with excitement about being on the train, it was fantabulous because I miss the Uganda Railways train which we had to take every term from Tororo to Nairobi.

Becky now lives in Toronto and does not have a car. She takes the TTC.  University of Toronto is downtown and kids have access to many things.  But before Rebecca left our village to go to Toronto, she had been there to visit her auntie and uncle and remembered the TTC. We had left Toronto when she was 6yrs old but it turns out the memories stuck and she could jump on any train or bus with no effort (TTC has a map though) and was remembering sights.  Kids are smart. Their brains retain childhood memories.


Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada

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