I think we've all been there -- you're on a plane or at church or in a restaurant, somewhere public, and your baby starts crying. You try to comfort her, but nothing works. Nothing! No one wants the crying to stop more than you do. Not only are you attracting a whole room's worth of ire (embarrassing!), you're also feeling horrible for your unhappy baby.
My best defense in that situation was always to start nursing, but breastfeeding in public can get you in trouble with certain types. Still, when I heard about this Oregon bus driver who kicked a mother and her crying baby off a bus this week complaining that she couldn't "drive with all that noise," I was outraged.
The driver says she warned the mother, telling her over the loudspeaker to quiet down her baby. But we all know how that works. There is no "off" button for crying babies.
Some of the other passengers defended the mom, pointing out that the baby's crying wasn't that loud. But mom and baby were forced to leave the bus at 8 o'clock at night by this female bus driver! Imagine getting dropped off in an unfamiliar neighborhood in the dark with your tired, miserable baby?!
Another woman passenger joined her to help. And then, after arguing with the driver, the rest of the passengers marched off the bus as well out of protest.
Since then the bus driver has been suspended. A spokesman for TriMet Public Transit says if the driver was really having that much difficulty, she should have called her supervisor for help. It's against policy to force "vulnerable" passengers like babies and the disabled to leave. "Drivers aren't just supposed to ask them to leave." No kidding, bus company.
It's good to know at least the passengers and the bus line have some compassion for parents of crying babies. Sad that the driver didn't.
What would you have done if you were that mom? What would you have done if you witnessed this?
Image via MissD90/Flickr