Bus Chick: Riding with a Little Bundle of Joy
Part I: Great Expectations
Just as we were settling into car-free married life, Bus Nerd and I got a surprise: We’re (rather unexpectedly) “expecting.” That’s right, folks. This October, Seattle will count another bus baby among its natives.
Since we’ve started telling people our news, the most common question we’ve been asked (aside from, “Are you going to find out the sex?”) has been, “Are you guys going to get a car now?”
No, we’re not — and not just because we both believe in adhering to our convictions, even when they are challenged. At the core, our decision is based on the fact that we both sincerely believe raising our child without a car will be good for the child. A few of the reasons why:
• It will be raised by financially secure parents. (College fund? Check!)
• It will learn to be self-sufficient (at least transportation-wise) at an early age. After I learned to ride the bus by myself, I was able to get to my favorite haunts — Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, and Grandma’s apartment — without waiting for an available adult to drive me.
• It will have exciting adventures. What’s more exciting for a five-year-old than pulling the bell or sitting in the bendy part of an articulated bus?
• It will learn how to interact with people of different ages, cultures, and levels of income and education.
• If we’re very lucky, it will develop compassion for its fellow human beings.
If only answering all the other new-parent questions were so easy. We’re still trying to decide if we should find out the sex.
Part II: Not-So-Great Expectations
The joys of busing while pregnant:
• All bus riders have experienced the odiferous unpleasantness known as the funky bus. Unfortunately, when you have the nose of a bloodhound, every bus is a funky bus. Perfume, lotion, hair products, food smells — to say nothing of the less pleasant scents associated with humans — all can cause an olfactory nightmare at least as offensive as a crowded 4 on a summer afternoon.
• Walking? OK. Sitting? Very OK. Standing in one place for more than a minute? Not OK. Hence, benchless stops and crowded buses are not a pregnant bus chick’s friend.
• New, important addition to the bus chick bag: A sturdy, leak-proof plastic bag, to be used in cases of extreme nausea emergencies when exiting the bus is not possible. (Fortunately, I have yet to use mine.)
• Jeans are no longer a wise fashion choice, as opening a top button (or two) of one’s fly when seated is generally frowned upon by other riders.
• There is no event or destination (with the exception, perhaps, of a Prince concert) worth running to catch a bus for. Important meeting? Court date? Swearing-in ceremony? They’ll get along alright without you until the next bus arrives.
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