Travels With Child : http://www.travelswithchild.org

Local Treks

Sunday, 30 March 2008

"... you missed it by 3 minutes!"

Remember that great public transportation system I was talking about a while ago?  On weekends it runs on the hour.  And getting seven people (4 adults, 3 toddlers, so we had a kind of zone defense going with one adult playing sweeper) out the door and down the three (ok, five) blocks to the train station in time for the 9:17 local downtown was a squeaker.

"It just left!" said a guy cleaning up leaves near the station.  "You can probably catch the one on the other line, 7 blocks thataway…"  I looked at my crew.  No way.  Possibly if it were just me, in 1992, but not with three kids riding on shoulders.  We decided to wait for the next train.  Did I mention it was about 40 degrees out?  Luckily, we'd dressed warmly, and had enough emergency rations to last 40 days.

The trade-off for public transportation is giving up freedom to be late - and having to come up with an hours' worth of activities to keep kids from freezing to the station's platform.

These included:

  • Simon Says - and rocks-paper-scissors to decide Simon: 10 minutes.
  • Alphabet I-Spy - helped by all the signage around the station: 5 minutes 30 seconds. Including the debate about whether we could skip letters.
  • Singing goofy songs while bouncing one or more children on knees, lifting them in the air, and doing a chorus-line kick: 22 minutes.
  • Answering the question 'how much longer' by pretending to note the sun's position in the sky: 3 minutes.
  • Talking about what we were going to do when we arrived downtown (the Please Touch Museum): 5 minutes.
  • Several rounds of Little Bunny Foo-Foo, and the theme from Bonanza with all the kids' names in it (still stuck in my head thankyouverymuch), plus a couple others: 14 minutes, 30 seconds.

When the train arrived, it was a huge hit.  The kids spent the whole time watching out the window, as we passed through the various parts of the city.  We spent the whole time watching the kids look out the window.  And then we arrived, and spent a great day downtown.

Posted in Americas : Toddler : Young Child by Fran W. at 9:06 PMPermalink

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