**I started writing this post when Nate was out of town for 11 days back in March. It was a particularly bad part of the week, and while they don't sound that bad individually-when you put them together, and then add on the fact that I had been by myself for a week and it was just the last straw... it was just an experience I wanted to document. :)
I have never hated NYC public transportation more than I have in the last 15 hours. I usually don't mind taking public transit, but there have been a handful of times when it is just unnecessarily difficult.
Last night a sweet friend invited us over for dinner since Nate is out of town. We left our apartment right on time, with a paper plate of brownies tucked safely in the cargo basket of the Maclaren and the boys on their scooters. It was a beautiful, warm night. We got all the way down to the subway platform which I noticed was about 10 times more packed than normal. About a minute after we get down there I hear a message overhead stating that all 1 trains would be running express from 145th to 96th. What?! There are usually tons of signs and tape blocking off the subway entrance when this happens, so obviously it wasn't a planned change. But still, I was bugged. So back up to the street we went to catch the bus. At this point I was already sweating and starting to get a little frazzled amidst the hundred other people that were trying to do the exact same thing that I was, except none of them had 3 kids with them. We stood at the bus stop for a while about 3 or 4 buses passed... either the wrong ones, or ones that were turning into express buses. Just when I was about to get a cab, our bus finally came. I should've gotten a cab. I had to have Asher carry the brownies so I could fold up the stroller, which means that Bart was on the loose, which is never a good idea. We make our way to the back of the bus (as out of the way as possible) while I am juggling a crazy almost 2 year old, a stroller and 2 scooters. The 20-block bus ride was long and crowded and hot and Asher in Sayer were so excited about going to play with their friends, so they were in rare form. In other words, they were super loud and annoying. The poor brownies that Asher was in charge of were almost sat on multiple times, getting moved from seat to seat, the plate was starting to bend in the middle from over-handling. They were just one movement away from spilling onto the floor, and there was nothing I could do about it as I was holding the stroller up, keeping the scooters in place with my legs, while also trying to keep Bart from falling/getting off the seat and sprawling himself all over the lady sitting next to him. Thankfully he does have quite a bit of charm, so she didn't seem too upset about his pokes and kicks. I felt like everyone around me was thinking "what is this lady who has no control of her children doing?" I was starting to get anxious about the process of getting off the bus, as it was super packed and I was going to have to be super annoying in order to try to squeeze through all those people with all of our crap. Thankfully, most people got off at the 96th street stop where they headed down to the subway. By the time we got off at 93rd street, there was plenty of room for us to exit. Huge sigh of relief. We got off the bus and my back was soaked with sweat, the kids were going c-r-a-z-y. Thankfully Hailey's house was just down the street. What was supposed to be a very simple and short subway ride, turned into a 40 minute ordeal from Hell. Good thing the dinner and company were totally worth it!! After dinner, we took a cab home. It was not a good cab ride. The kids were super wired and extra crazy and Bart refused to sit still. At least it was only about 5 minutes.
I had another experience too, that happened the very next morning while taking Asher to school and then going home with the kids, but it's not as raw anymore, so I don't think I could do it justice. But it involved a rough morning, and then a bus driver yelling at me to make Bart sit down on the seat instead of standing on the seat to look out the window, (which my kids always do- never, ever, ever, ever, have I had a bus driver tell me to do this) then said bus driver waiting (at a green light) for me to make my kicking and screaming child sit down, then me getting off one stop early because I couldn't hold Bart still and didn't want the bus driver's eyes looking back at me in the rear-view mirror thingy anymore, and then almost breaking down in tears- because why should taking your kid to school have to be so hard?!
It's times like these when you think about living in the suburbs, and how simple it would (and should) be to just hop in the car and head over to a friend's house for dinner, or drop your kid off at school. Sigh. Needless to say, after the bus incident, we took a little break from the bus and the subway for a few weeks, except when we were going to church.