This past week, on the number 72 bus from Victoria to Sidney, a woman sat near the front with her stroller, in which her toddler screamed and yelled for a quarter hour or so. The mother ignored the tantrum as the bus trundled along East Saanich Road.
Meanwhile, a few rows back, another woman’s eyes rolled in annoyance.
“You never expect to listen to that first thing in the morning,” the woman said to a neighbour on the bus. “Can you believe she’s just ignoring her kid screaming like that?”
For the next 15 minutes, the woman complained about the noise, even stating the bus driver should kick the mother and crying child off the bus.
Now, no one likes to hear screaming kids, but the woman’s behaviour and disrespect toward the mother was unnerving. To suggest a woman and her child should be ejected from a bus in rural Central Saanich in 30 degree weather is frankly rude and a bit unbelievable.
As someone who doesn’t yet have children, this editor sympathizes with the mother on that bus. Teaching a child that tantrums earn attention isn’t the best parenting practice, and that practice needs to be exercised in public as much as in the home.
To the woman who complained about the noise, it’s a small discomfort to endure. Even people without children understand that parenting is no easy task. We should go out of our way to make life a bit easier on people who are raising children in our community.
Further, the Peninsula is known as a friendly place where people look out for each other. A bit of noise on a bus isn’t the end of the world. Take a breath and have some sympathy or empathy for others around you. It’s a small step that will help the Peninsula continue to be one of the best places in the world to live.