Calling Dr. Ferber …

28 Jun

Nothing says “Good morning” quite like riding to work on the T — and a warm T at that — with a crying baby. I got a nice Parenting 101 lesson from two mothers who shared the C line with me today. Both women had babies in strollers (and I’m assuming they were friends, because although they weren’t really talking to each other all that much, they stood next to each other as if they were traveling together). But whereas one child was well behaved and quiet and happy, the other was clearly, um, not. At some point as we traveled down Beacon St., this child began to cry. (I didn’t see why.) And not just a whimper, but a full-on wail. So what’d the mother of this child do? First she tried to hug the child while it was still strapped into the stroller. Then, when that didn’t work, she took it out of the stroller and sat holding it in a seat, practically smothering it. Still, no change. And all through the underground stops — from Kenmore to Hynes to Copley to Arlington to Boylston — the kid just cried and cried and cried. And cried. Amazingly, the other kid remained silent the entire way, seemingly content in its stroller. Finally, when we pulled into Park Street, the mother put the child back into the stroller, whereupon it put its thumb into its mouth and stopped crying. Just like that. And just in time for me to get off the train.

So apparently, if you want a child to shut up and not disturb fellow passengers on the T, the trick is to leave it be. I’ll remember that. And I hope other mothers do too.

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