Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Trying Journey.

This photo is copyright of Maggie May.

I found a good seat on the bus and looked forward to being on my own for the hour long journey to the sea. I had a delicious feeling of a pleasant day ahead, with the possibility of writing post or two while I travelled. One of the last days of the half term school holidays, the lull before the storm because I was having all the grandchildren for a sleep over and a weekend with my daughter and son. I could recharge my batteries before they came, especially following my roof alterations and the tensions that had been building up with the rat hunt.

However, my peace was to be shattered. What was that noise?
Two very large women climbed onto the bus followed by their sons, who I estimated to be aged 4 or 5 years of age. One of the women and her boy made a very noisy couple as they walked in my direction down the bus. The mother shouted to him, "You got your DS?" and she flopped into the seat directly behind me. This particular mother and son were the noisiest of the two families and the peace of the whole bus was shattered as she shouted out commands to the boy.

"Sit back, put your feet down. Get out your DS. What game do you want? No not that one. That's me brain training one."
She went on to say. "Try this one. You got to take exams on this one. Yes, you have to....... do you understand you got to?"
The child was immediately put off this game and wanted another. He started to fidget around my back and I felt his fingers on my shoulders.
"If you pick your nose, you'll get a wart on the end of your finger." She announced. I shuddered at the thought of the yucky fingers on my back, but reminded myself that I was quite used to children and I blanked it out.

From time to time the woman behind me talked loudly to her friend across the isle. I noticed the friend's son was fairly well behaved and sat quietly with his DS , sometimes nodding off.
The bus, being delayed by the traffic, stopped for some time beside a colourful poster on a board outside.
"What's that picture mean, mummy?" said the boy behind me.
"It's a picture," She said.
"But what does it mean?" He insisted.
She answered three times that it was a picture before the boy gave up and I felt quite sad for him.
His mother ranted on. "Sit back, feet down or I'll put you off the bus."
"Stop doing that, you're hurting mummy. I'm going to smack you." SLAP! I expected a reaction but he didn't flinch. He must be used to it, I reckoned.

"When you get to the beach, you can have chips with your sandwiches.
The child protested that he didn't want to eat on the beach.
"Well you got to," was the reply. "We will have ice cream too." More protesting.
"Well you got to try it. Yes, you got to."
"Can we go to the shops? the boy asked.
"You will go to the shops when I want to and not when you want to," She replied. "You will not throw sand. Sit back, feet down."
"Don't do that, you are hurting mummy." Slap!
And so it went on.

Well I mentally started writing a post so I suppose something positive came out of the tiresome journey, but the loud voices and the mother's behaviour did grate on my nerves a bit. It was almost painful having her shout so near to my ears. Yet I couldn't bring myself to move. It would look so obvious and it was a single decker bus with no where else to move to.

When we finally reached our destination, the boy got off the bus with the others and started to cry. "I'm bored," he said. Already, I thought?
I turned away and looked for a bench to sit on and made notes so that I wouldn't forget the conversation that everyone on the bus must have shared.

I looked around me. The sun was shining and the day stretched before me. I could do what I liked, go where I liked and be answerable to no one.
A sudden wave of contentment coursed through my veins as I forgot about the trying journey and the boy.


Valerie said...

Thank goodness your day ended the way you wanted it to. People are very inconsiderate. I don't expect they even realised there were others on the bus as well.

jinksy said...

Oh, how I know what you mean - clueless Mums storing up future problems for their kids, as well as themselves are the pits! Glad you found a calm place to recover by taking a peaceful picture.

MarmiteToasty said...

Im surprised you kept your cool.... just imagine what those kids will be like once teenagers, and the mothers will blame the schools and the government and everyone but themselves....

Which beach did you go to?


Rose said...

Maggie May, I enjoyed your writing here so much--I felt as if I was sitting in the seat next to you. I feel so sorry for this little boy; I hope he got to do something HE wanted to do during the trip to the beach.

I hope you got a chance to relax a little and are having a great weekend with the grandchildren.

Akelamalu said...

I despair for some children, they don't stand a chance with parents like that do they? :(

Our school finishes on Friday
(17th) for the summer and we're taking our five grandchildren to the beach for the day the following week - weather permitting. :)

lakeviewer said...

Ah, life on a bus! Glad you found your peace at the end.

Granny on the Web said...

Doesn't it just break your heart sometimes to hear the way some children are 'dragged' up? What chance have some of them got with the parents they have, to be their example. The future generations and life and sanity are in jeopardy.
Good observation Maggie.

Love Granny

cheshire wife said...

What a nightmare of a journey that must have been! Hope that you had a relaxing day and a peaceful journey home.

Suburbia said...

I know I should feel sorry for you but I can't help feeling very sorry for the boy! I am thankful my mum didn't ever treat me like that. e

You did very well not to say anything.

I hope I become happy enough in my own skin to travel off for the day.Tall Girl told me tonight how she might spend Christmas with Husbands side of the family. I think I will have to get very used to entertaining myself.

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, those journeys! I remember climbing about buses and trains in Ireland and wondering what was coming. It all worked out when I surrendered to the noise.

I hope you had a beautiful day.

VioletSky said...

What a way to slap the natural curiosity out of a child. And sap the energy and happiness out of everyone else around them. Glad you found some peace at last.

Anonymous said...

We cannot take on the ills of the world, but oh how I wanted to balw that mother out, take her child away from her, cuddle him and whisper in his ear that questions are good, never stop asking questions. I would shake the mother, make her look me in the eye and ask her how she would feel if something bad happened to her son-would she wish she had taken a breath, thought a moment before shouting, slapping? When I hear stories like this my throat closes up and my head aches...why have children if they are too much trouble?

At least you found peace at the end of the journey.
I'm off to take a Nuerofen.

Jeni said...

Great post about a very annoying subject. I don't know that I could have maintained your calm and resolve though if I'd been seated near that woman.

Angela said...

Poor kid. Can you imagine growing up so stifled like that?

Expat mum said...

As everyone else has said - poor Kid. He's already started down his mother's miserable track already by the sounds of things.

Brian Miller said...

this one made me sad. especially for the little boy. my tension mounted with each line i read. glad your day ended well, and hopes for his. congrats ont he POTD mention.

The Green Stone Woman said...

I feel sorry for that little boy, Maggie. It must be awful to have a mother like that when you're so little and we all know she will ruin him for life, no matter how good a kid he really is. What a truly sad situation.

Cheffie-Mom said...

What a sad situation. Congrats on the Post of the Day mention from David's authorblog.

Eddie Bluelights said...

I'd have rammed the fish and chips and ice cream down his throat, or maybe his mother's.
What a fiasco! I expect her IQ was about 5. No wonder the boy behaved like that!
Very well written and you made me bristle which shows you conveyed the message well.
Congratulations on POTD ~ Eddie

JennyMac said...

My word...that is a long painful bus ride. But you did write a great post about it!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

deserved POTD mention....

Hadriana's Treasures said...

FFF is write SO well..I was glued to the story from start to finish. Sorry I've taken ages to get back to you.

There's a Hadriana award for you over at mine. :)

Hilary said...

I know that mother.. I've seen her on many bus rides with different children, ages, gender. She's always loud, unreasonable and bordering on cruel. And the child always evokes sadness. I'm sorry that your peace was invaded that way. I'm much sorrier still for that boy.

I hope your time at the beach was lovely though. :)

Thumbelina said...

Oh I feel for that boy. He got nowhere with his questions as he tried to make sense of the world did he?

I'm glad you got some peace and enjoyed a relaxing time in the end, away from loud mothers!

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