I dread going on public transport with Child 2. All of two years old, she is at the height of her terrible twos. Going by her antics, I am confident it’ll continue for another year. Oh, what fun!
I had to go into town for a lunch appointment today and impulsively decided to brave the 45 minute bus ride with Child 2, with Child 3 strapped in a sling. Five minutes into the bus ride and Child 2 was kicking up a fuss. “I want to get off. My head is hurting,” she moans.
I’d packed her a little tin of pumpkin seeds, my lame effort in the hope that the small activity of seed consumption would be sufficient amusement to last the journey. Alas, no. So I watch Child 2’s transformation from perfectly pleasant little girl into a growling pitbull.
Improvisation was necessary. Immediately.
Here are a few tricks I resorted to.
1. Play ‘I Spy’. At 2 years old, of course she doesn’t know her ABCs. But did that stop me? Nosirree. I persisted and she humoured me by playing along as if she understood the rules of the game. Good on her!
2. Egg her on to count the number of spots on her ladybird rain coat. She only knows numbers 1 to 10. So it was hilarious to hear the numbers she came up with after 10.
3. Show her photos I’d taken on my Blackberry. Videos will do just fine too. No games on phone allowed though.
4. Start a completely pointless competition, like who can spot the most dogs on the street. Alternate dogs with babies in buggies.
5. Always let the child win the aforementioned competition.
6. Point excitedly at whatever that catches my eye. “Look look!” I screech. Then quickly make up some crazy story about it.
And that is how I survived the bus ride there and back.
Lesson I learned today about travelling on public transport with a toddler? Come up with anything. I mean anything. All in the name of distracting the young one to keep the peace.