Jessica Gross

Subway Kids

In musings, people watching on November 20, 2008 at 11:51 am

Last night, two women boarded the uptown 1 with twin boys, aged seven. (I’m bad at guessing age, so i call any kid between five and 11 a seven-year-old.) These were raucous children. They wanted “window seats,” which apparently means the seats underneath the subway windows, which have no view 90 percent of the time. They also repeatedly threatened to bite their mother’s hands. She laughed.

The second woman, aware of other passengers’ scorn, tried to joke. “Anyone want two boys?” she asked the rest of the car. “Twins, very quiet.” No response.

It’s awkward, though, having children on the subway. Sometimes, as in this case, they behave truly poorly and their parents just don’t know how to control them. But in other cases, passengers judge parents really harshly for having kids who make normal kiddie noises, like booping or saying “la la la” or telling a story too loudly.

Passengers even roll their eyes at kids for making better-than-normal kiddie noises. It’s a good thing when children practice counting by fives or reading the names of the subway stops. That’s productive learning. Can’t people put on their iPods and be glad that something good has come out of New York’s educational system? They can go find a quiet spot in five minutes when they get out of the subway.

  1. Question: were these kids cute? I find that cute kids can get away with a lot more than ugly kids. If cute kids are loud and obnoxious, they might get a giggle from the other passengers and an “aww thats so cute” look. But ugly kids, now they get the mean glares. Just curious lol.

  2. They were cute! And I think you’re totally right – just like the more attractive adults are, the more leeway they have to be obnoxious.

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