Splitting my time all week between Old Town, Wriggleyville and Uptown, I find myself on the CTA Red Line quite often. Mix incenessant construction with Cubs traffic and a rush hour exodus from the Loop and you get a consistently overcrowded, smelly and loud (if not violent and criminal) train ride.
Today, amidst the special concentration of Thanksgiving weekend, I was in a more agitated state when I heard the unholy screeching of a demonic child thrashing around in her stroller. We were too tightly packed in for me to swing my fat head around to identify and psychically scold the devil babe. So I stood there, cursing myself for not bringing ear phones and cursing the mother that bore this hölle kind.
Then I started thinking - Why do mothers NOT shush their children? I don’t get it. I understand the need to raise your children with less boundaries to promote experiential development, but come on! Shush your fucking kid! I started to become angrier at the mother than I was at the child. The kid doesn’t know better, how would it? It’s a stupid baby, a moron, no sense of right or wrong. But the mother does! Shush your kid! What is she supposed to learn from this? That you can act like a fucking asshole on a train and get away with it? That’s not life! That’s not how it works sister; if you don’t want your daughter to grow up to be a horrible, spoiled little twat, SHUSH YOUR KID!
Bing Bong, the train doors slide open at Belmont to let out a stream of commuters. I turned around to face the duo responsible for my excited state of train-rage. And that’s when my face flushed with so much heat, I thought my head could explode into a bloody geiser. There she stood, the mother, wearing a cheap polyester track suit and a ponytail, defeated, pushing around a child of an age no younger than 12. That’s when I knew I had some serious anger issues. I was enraged at a mother trying to cope with an unruly, developmentally challenged tween, in a fancy wheelchair.
She started to thrash around and scream. Mortified, I turned my gaze quickly stared sharply into the corner. Then something fucking amazing happened. A man walked into the car and notices the commotion and comments, “Oh, first time in a carriage, huh?” The mother, without ever making eye contact, “Nope.” Bing Bong.