Our two boys love taking public transport, and are always game for a bus ride or a trip on the MRT. We rely on public transport frequently, since I don't drive (or rather, I have a license, but do not have the guts to take our manual car on the road!), and they usually regard each trip as quite an adventure.
However, sometimes the adventure turns out to be rather strange. Like the day I went out with Junior J to town. We boarded the MRT and had to stand as the train was really crowded at 10.30 am. After one stop, some kind souls offered up their seats to us, and Junior J settled comfortably into his seat next to me. He was tired that day, having woken up much earlier than usual, so I was glad that we managed to get two seats. At the next stop, a lady (probably in her late fifties or early sixties) boarded the crowded train, and promptly made a bee-line for Junior J. She tapped him on the shoulder, and told him loudly to get up and sit on my lap so that she could have his seat.
Initially I was rather surprised, since those seated around us were all young, able-bodied folk. Junior J, being the reserved and introverted fellow he is, was rather freaked out at having a stranger give him commands and did what he usually does when he panics: he said no, and burrowed his head in my lap. I was in a fix: should I force him to sit on my lap, given that it would be very uncomfortable for me since he is relatively heavy, and my belly was quite large at 28 weeks, or stand and give up my seat? Or should I just ignore the lady? I guess it was a reasonable request, an elderly lady asking for a seat on the train. But of all people, the littlest person in that carriage?
Thankfully, the person sitting next to Junior J gave up his seat to the lady, and we were spared. The ironic thing was the train then stalled at the next stop, apparently due to some obstruction at a door, and we were asked to disembark and wait for the next train! (Oddly enough, the train doors were not able to close due to the obstruction, but after everyone got off, the doors closed and the train sped off, empty!)
Now if you were me, what would you have done? I'd think it would be appropriate for older children to give up their seats to others who need it, but I'd think we'd be looking at kids aged eight and above, those that could safely stand in the train on their own. Or am I just spoiling the kid?
PS: Another issue I have with strangers would be those that take photos of my children (you can read one mum's experience here). Previously, when we travelled overseas with Junior J when he was a baby, we sometimes got approached by tourists who wanted to take a snapshot with him. We sometimes said yes, but felt it was really odd. But these days, with all the talk about privacy and sharing photos online, I'd be inclined to say no. I think the worst are those who secretly or casually snap photos of the kids without asking for permission (one mum blogged about such an incident here). Would you let them, or would you ask for the photos to be deleted?
Linking up with: