“Shut up kid.”

This morning I had a little kid standing near me with his little sister and parents.  Overhearing the conversation, it turns out that the dad used to live in Manhattan years ago.  The family was in town on vacation.

It started off with them jumping on the train.  Dad told the kids where to hold on, etc.  Mom looked a little jacked up about the whole experience, but whatever.  The boy was about 7 or 8 years old.  The little girl was probably 5.

Well, every little jerk and bump, the boy would yell, “Whoooaa!  Hold on,” like it was a roller coaster or something.  Of course, he was asking his dad a million questions.

Why does it go so fast?
What stop are we getting off?
What’s the next stop?
What are the lights outside?
Why isn’t that guy holding on?
Etc.

At first it was pretty cute.  It was clearly his first train ride ever, and he was super excited.  It was like Disney world for the kid.

After about 5 stops is started to get a little old.  I made a note to invest in Ritalin stock later today.

I was fine with it until the train started to really get crowded.  I mean it was the heart of rushhour and I think they were headed to the Statue of Liberty.   So they were on board for the long haul.

At one point the kid was behind me holding on to the pole that is in the center of the aisle.  I was closer to side holding the overhead bar above the bench.  Once we started moving again, he kept slamming into me.  I mean he was holding on, but he was being ultra dramatic about each little bump and jerk.

I guess the thing that made me uncomfortable was it’s an 8 year old kid that keeps throwing his back into my ass repeatedly.  We adults bump shoulders and what not all the time, so you hardly notice it.  But when there’s something behind you constantly hitting your butt, it gets a little awkward.  I don’t even think he was paying attention to what he was doing.

But it is just another example of parents not taking control of their children in public places.

7 thoughts on ““Shut up kid.”

  1. Even worse, the kid probably got on for free. But seriously, I have taken my (now) 8 year old twins on the subway a billion times. I would never let them act like that.

    But on the other hand, isn’t it nice to have one ride that is not like all the rest ;D

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  2. Depending on how you thought the parents might react, you could tell the kid to “Watch it!” in some menacing voice, just to complete the NYC experience for him. But seriously, a parent saying, “Watch out for other people, sweetie,” isn’t nearly as effective as a stranger telling the kid to stop.
    A stranger telling the kid to knock it off is a natural consequence that might have more impact on the kid (through embarrassment) than his parents telling him what to do. I believe that once kids are too big to physically restrain, humiliation is the best teaching tool.

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  3. I absolutely despise of kids on trains. I have a son who has probably been on the train twice in his 4 year life and even then I would watch him like a hawk. I think it is so rude when children don’t just sit or stand in silence or at least use their inside voices. I was trained at 2 to behave that way and that was 22 years ago. Why is this day and age any different? Lazy parents, I guess.

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  4. Entitled parents don’t take kindly to strangers telling their kids what to do. I’m only 34, but if someone in the supermarket when I was a kid told me to “knock it off” or stop running my mom would probably tell me to “listen to the man/authority”

    At a museum last year some kid put his pudgy finger directly on a print. I gently moved his hand away and said “don’t touch” and the parents suddenly showed up all over my ass saying “Next time DON’T talk to or touch my kid”

    I simply responded “Next time?”

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  5. My son is 5 and recently enjoyed his first subway ride. We went from our local stop in Brooklyn to E 56th in Manhattan. We had the misfortune of being stuck behind a garbage train for several stops so we would have to wait outside of the station for several minutes at each stop. Everything was going ok for the first 3 or 4 stops with him just asking a few questions about the train and why it kept stopping. After we had been on the train for about 20 minutes he got bored and started trying to talk to other passengers. I tried to explain to him that it was rude to talk to the other people on the train but he didn’t really understand it. We recently moved to Brooklyn from Virginia in a small town where everyone knows each other or at least is friendly enough to say hello when they meet you.

    I knew it would be hard for him to sit still on the train but even having planned ahead and brought toys and books he lost interest in anything but talking to people and looking out of the windows.

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