The Mom I Judged in Subway

It was hard not to stare. The Mom balanced a baby carrier in one arm, and lugged a screaming toddler with the other; her face a frazzled mess, her snot-faced kid even messier.  Quite a sight.

There goes my quiet meal.

It was almost comical how she attempted to order over the ruckus; her toddler’s complaining getting more emphatic. Would you like some cheese with that whine, kid?

She apologized about twenty times in the two minutes it took to place her order; the poor sandwich artist struggled to keep up. Get yourself together, lady.

I watched The Mom fumble her way to the back corner of the dining area. Right under a map of Central Station. Her face was a forced calm, teeth clenched; I could just tell she was going to blow a gasket at any moment. Her lips formed a large O and it appeared that she was hee-hee-hoo breathing. I bet she wished she were in a Lamaze class right about now, a mammogram, anything other than her current embarrassing circumstance.

She crouched down to eye-level with the ear-piercing mouth. She raised her hand toward her toddler’s face. Oh my Lord! Is she going to smack her kid!? Do I need to call Child Protective Services? The Mom cupped two hands around her daughter’s face and started weeping, pleading. “Baby girl, please. Please stop. You can’t have Minnie Mouse right now.” The child wailed louder, still. Don’t be such a Scrooge, Mom. Get that kid her toy. She’s causing a scene. And get your little girl under control, please.

Rustling sounds emerged from the baby carrier, the little one thrusting her head from side to side. Here we go, she’s going to whip it out in public and start breastfeeding. Does she have to do that here? Right now? Sure enough. She did.

Could this circus get any more painful? How was she going to juggle a nursing newborn and tantrum-throwing toddler? The Mom dug around her unorganized diaper bag and procured what all parents do when nerves are shot: the iPhone. The whining stopped in an instant. “Oooo, thank you Mommy!” The child squealed. Really? All of this foolishness solved by an iPhone? Typical desperate Mom move. Rewarding bad behavior with a screen. I could do a better job than this.

The Mom I judged in Subway was me.

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