Monday, 5 December 2011

All Aboard!!

Last week Penelope and I went to visit friends in London. It was hard not having a partner to rely on for 5 days (a salute to single moms everywhere). And, I learned that travelling with a baby can really go either way. Some of the trip was good, some of it caused me to pray under my breath for strength, wondering why I thought this might be good idea in the first place, and some of it was truly gigglicious. It was a week to just be; to spend time with those I love, and to bond even more with my little noodle. We got that, and I got the learning experience of a lifetime.

Welcome to the story of Penelope's first adventure on the train. 

First step, climb aboard and look for a possible baby friendly person to sit by. The 20 something in the university sweats and Ugg boots? The 13 year old kid with the giant headphones? I went with the middle aged lady with a kind smile. Stereotypical of me? Yes. But it totally paid off. Diane, my seat mate, played with P a lot during the trip when she got fussy and other than the guy in front of me, who thought Penelope would stop crying if he glared hard enough, it wasn't a horrible two and a half hours. Mind you there was a lot of walking to the back of the car with her - she loves being 'up' - and a lot of talking and interaction so she would stop fussing but I told myself that it could be a lot worse, and I discovered how true that was on the next leg. 

I thought by upgrading to first class from Toronto to London, I would have an easier go of it - a little more leg room and a meal. Was I ever wrong. 

Rather than risk this blog turning into a total bitchy rant, I'll just share a couple highlights from my letter to Via Rail: 

I recently travelled with Via Rail from Kingston to London and was surprised to find that "First Class" doesn't necessarily mean better service. 

Here I was, spending my first class train ride standing by the bathroom or, once my daughter had fallen asleep, crouched down in front of my seat. The least they could do was give me my meal.

I'm guessing your staff that day is not aware of just how hungry a nursing mom can get.

It was hell. A seriously unhappy baby and terrible service meant that by the time I got to London I was seriously ready for a nice cold beer. There were a few tears and deep breaths, but we got through it. And I got that beer. Two of them in fact. :)

The train ride home was the yin to my yang journey 5 days before, but definitely not without it's epic moments. Like Penelope deciding to sleep from London to Toronto and, after not pooping all week, taking a colossal shit ten minutes before we arrived. (I never thought I would find myself talking about feces as much as I have since having a baby.) In that ten minutes of cleaning her off, changing her clothes, redressing her, packing up our things and getting her strapped on as the train pulled into the station, I was a freakin' super mama! I was so incredibly proud of myself, and so grateful to have a happy baby girl for the rest of the trip home. We had lunch, boarded the next train - where she dozed on and off - and 45 minutes from home...

The train hit a person walking on the tracks. For real.  A person!!!

But for the 4 hour delay we had, P was a freakin' rock star... and not the full of themselves, faux encore, high maintenance type. More like the "you're amazing and I want to grow up to be like you" type. It was like the morning set the mood for the day. She was so wonderful dozing on and off. Chilling in her seat with her toys, smiling at all the people on the train. 

 I am blessed to have such an awesome person as my daughter.


  1. LOOK AT HER!! ahhh i just wanna pinch her little cheeks. it kills me that i won't see her until june! xoxo auntie t

  2. wow I think you were on the same train as my friend Katie - she was on a train that hit a person awhile back. Crazy! I also want to attempt a with-babe train ride soon.
    -Alicia (Ryker's mommy!)