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My life as a viral-media ‘celebrity’

Nothing like a woman on a bus with a fussing toddler to set off an Internet feeding frenzy.


 

My life as a viral-media 'celebrity'

When the young man in the pickup stopped to offer me a ride, I was still in shock. I was carrying my 20-month-old down an arterial street in Victoria during Friday rush-hour traffic last fall. My daughter’s sturdy legs and a laundry bag from her daycare bumped against me as I walked. A tear had plowed down my cheek. I gratefully declined the offer. “We got kicked off the bus,” I burst out. The man looked surprised, then nervous. Only louts get thrown off buses, right? Little did I know the pariah I’d soon become when my story hit the Internet.

We’d been heading home from my daughter Briar’s daycare—a 10-minute ride on B.C. Transit. My usually cheerful daughter was stormy that day, and, after the bus left the terminal, began shouting, “No, no, no,” like a toddler metronome. My bag of tricks—book, snack, sippy cup—did not work. Five minutes into the route, the driver intervened. “It has to stop,” he said, or we had to leave the bus. “You have to learn to control her,” he told me, and pulled over. My daughter shushed. I carried her to the front, and told the driver I had no stroller (my husband had dropped her off by bike). I asked if we could get off at an actual stop. Other passengers began shouting: “She’s quiet now! Let her stay!” The chorus continued after we were out on the curb, and the driver mumbled we could get back on. “I can’t 100 per cent guarantee she won’t cry again,” I told him. I started walking.

When I returned home, still stunned, I filed a complaint with B.C. Transit. I was promised an investigation, and that the driver would be monitored. Two weeks passed. When I received a form letter and four bus tickets by mail, it rekindled my humiliation. I just wanted a sincere apology. I emailed our newspaper, and on Sept. 26 the Victoria Times Colonist ran an article: “Crying toddler kicked off bus.”


The story ran in several major dailies, and went viral, fast. The Times Colonist received a record number of website comments, and promptly published four follow-ups. I became the punching bag for anonymous commentators across Western Canada—more than 1,500 comments in total. Even the fan site of the Vancouver Canucks couldn’t keep their mitts off the issue. According to Internet critics, I was 1) an attention-seeking princess; 2) a hippie who teaches no boundaries; or 3) a single mom who should go to college to afford a car. I couldn’t win.

TV crews came calling. Talk radio in Calgary and Vancouver waded in. A local shock jock hadn’t had so many calls since debating “what goes inside a hot dog.” A headline on the Province’s website asked: “Who’s at fault? Bus driver, or bad parents?” The “Bus Fuss” story then hopped the border. The New York Post site ran an item about it in their “Weird, but true” column. (As if nothing weirder happens in New York!) An unscientific poll on Craigs­list reported commenters’ support to be “86 per cent bus driver, 11 per cent Bitch Spawn.”

Many felt I should have left the bus before being asked. “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” wrote a poster called “Old Guy.” “It’s obvious the rod was spared on the mother, too.” “They should have sent her some books on parenting or at least some children’s chewable morphine,” offered “Kevin.” Briar was labelled a brat, and someone Photoshopped the head of a slasher-movie villain over her sweet face. The story tumbled down Internet rabbit holes I didn’t know existed, such as Fark.com.

As the comments piled up, I became afraid to answer the phone, open the mailbox. I did have defenders who, for example, suggested the driver consider a career change if he requires silence to work. Lenore Skenazy, the Free-Range Kids author who gained infamy for letting her nine-year-old ride a Manhattan subway alone, blogged about my tale. Her readers were mystified. This was public transit. A grandfather in Abbotsford, B.C., sent Briar DVDs and chocolate.

Facts don’t matter in the world of Internet commentary. You can call yourself an eyewitness to an event—or Lady Gaga, for that matter. In real life, four passengers on that bus lodged complaints with B.C. Transit about this incident before the story was made public. One noted my child’s outburst was part of an already noisy bus, adding: “This bus driver singled out this woman and her child.”

After getting off that bus, I carried my daughter home the entire 14 blocks. “That was ridiculous,” fumed a young woman we met on the sidewalk, who had exited the same bus. I wish everyone agreed. But people want kids, and mothers, to keep quiet—at least if you believe what you read on the Internet.


 

My life as a viral-media ‘celebrity’

  1. I'm with you all the way, my dear. As a single dad with a 9-year-old, I've had my share of awkward moments when she was younger. I remember on one occasion, she was 2 years old and she had a fit right in the middle of an alley in the Safeway grocery srore. I let her yell and wiggle and scream on the floor for the whole 12 minutes it lasted (yes, I checked the time on my watch). People around were looking at me like I was the worst dad ever. I looked back at them with my "eat-my-shorts" look. But you know what? She never had a fit like that anymore. When I'd say "no" to something she'd want, she'd just sulk. Now that she's older, when I say "no", she says "oh, all right, then!"
    As far as I'm concerned, that bus driver is a goon.

    • Excellent! My Sociology professor recommended this when I was in college. One of the student's said, "But what about disturbing all of the other people in the store?" He said, "Those people are not my concern. My daughter is my concern." And like you he said that they only had to go through it a couple of times before she realized that throwing a temper tantrum to get what she wanted wasn't going to work. Lesson learned without spanking or yelling. I wish more people realized this is the way to do it.

      • It was the right thing to do, Jean. In shuch situations parents should not:
        1) agree with the child and reward her with what she want,
        2) spank her just to demonstrate authority and ventilate your frustation.
        You got the hard way, but indeed the right one. Your child will thank you when she will be an adult.

  2. That bus driver should be F-I-R-E-D. I'd never want to trust my safety — and certainly not that of my children — to a bus driver who cannot function while normal people are making normal sounds.

    • The good of the many outweighs the good of the screaming brat and lazy non-parent. It it's a 10 minute bus ride, just walk. How is this a horrible dis-service to you? You weren't embarassed that your child was screaming? Only when it was addressed by someone other than yourself? Wait, you don't respond!

  3. How devastatingly sad for you to have gone through that, in our so-called kindest and tolerant country. It is an embarrassment and shame that the bus driver hopefully feels, especially if he has a conscious. The Internet leaves to much room for people to "gang bang" – too much room to chant to a song or scene that they neither heard, seen or experienced, and yet can become instant revellers of opinion, and outright abuse and cruelt. Because they can. Only I am sure had they been "present" they would not have, as reality, real life, in the moment, person to person, still makes room for integrity, for people to do the right thing, speak up, not bash up – and in your situaton you rode with a man, who displayed that his behaviour, anywhere, is challenged easily, by the mere existence of humans of all kinds, in his space. Your damn right he should be fired! I am glad you had an opportunity to write this piece, well-done!

  4. Wow, I can't believe people piled on the mom and a toddler so badly. My first reaction was that the bus driver is such a huge jerk. Just another lazy, entitled union member who thinks the whole world should bend to make his job easier.

    • I say good for the driver, I would have done the same thing. Who wants a screaming kid, the buses are noisy enough. Its the typical "Who cares about others, as long as I can do as I please" If your kid was being a brat why don't you get off the bus, calm the kid down and take the next bus. Don't tell me Victoria transit only has one bus a day

  5. I'm guessing this is one Mommy who won't allow her child to scream bloody murder on a bus again………

    • Only someone who doesn't have children, or raised them in the 19th century, would write this. Even the children of the best parents occasionally have meltdowns that can't be soothed. If it never happens the parent is either incredibly lucky or an inappropriately harsh parent.

    • So next time she should clamp her hand over the childs mouth and deal with social services when the do-gooder self righteous population at large decide it is abuse.STFU DMER.

    • I'm guessing you're an ass.

  6. I'm guessing DMER has never had to deal with an upset child in his/her life! They are people, not robots. Do you think Mommy should have suffocated her child to keep the people happy? Spanking would not make an unhappy child happier either, so until you've walked in her shoes, managed a tantrum (other than your own) and suffered the embarrasment that most parents feel…shut up!

  7. The only people who do not understand a child crying on the bus, or in Safeway, are those who do not have children. The rest of us are just glad that we are not the parent with the crying child on that day. All of us have been in that position at one time or another and are sympathetic. Perhaps some of us could do well to remember that we ourselves were once children!

    • Agree 100%

  8. The only attention whore I see here is YOU, JWP.

  9. Apparently so since your around to post

  10. Children screaming in public are obnoxious and irritating. Still, like smelling women who wear too much perfume or smelling clueless people who need a shower, it's the price we pay for going out in public, and especially using public transportation. Even the best mannered and raised kids sometimes throw a fuss in public.

    Still, I'd take four free bus tickets over an apology any day. I hear an apology and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee.

  11. I'm a Farker, and although I think that some parents should learn how to teach their kids some restraint, throwing someone off a bus because a kid is having a bratty day is kinda ridiculous. It's not like they're watching a movie or flying in a plane. They're riding the bus!

    Either way, this page has been linked to Fark.com, so prepare to be flooded.
    Hope this is a good server…

  12. Ian, perhaps when you are an adult and (possibly) manage to have a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, you may be fortunate enough to have a child of your own (though, from your post here, that is quite doubtful). If that were to happen, you might possibly begin to understand that even the NICEST, most well-raised children sometimes have days where they misbehave. At least those children will probably grow up to be normal, socially-acceptable human beings. I don't know if anyone could say the same for you, however.

    • “If that were to happen, you might possibly begin to understand that even the NICEST, most well-raised children sometimes have days where they misbehave.”

      …And when that happens, you are supposed to willingly leave the bus of your own volition, instead of subjecting others to the earsplitting shrieks of your child. Your screaming kid is your problem, don’t make it everybody elses’, too.

      • Or you could realize like a normal person,that the world is full of loud scary noises that everyone has to deal with every day if they go outside. Personally I think that a person on their phone in a restraunt, bar, or department store is far more irrating than anything a child could do but we don't kick them out. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION means expect noise, d-bag. If you want a quiet ride to work or home get off the bus and buy your own car otherwise stop complaining like people give a damn about what bothers you.

        • Or you could choose to express the tiniest shred of common decency by not making the people on the bus go partially deaf because you refuse to get off when your child won’t shut up.

          There is no noise that everyone has to deal with every day that is anywhere near even a fraction of the decibel level of a shrieking child, and anybody who claims that there is clearly has no problem lying to support their position.

          PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION means obey the unwritten (and written) rules of society, which includes not disrobing in public, not starting fights for no reason, and not screaming into somebody’s ear from a foot away for 10 minutes in a row.

          If you want to scream nonstop on your way to work or home, get off the bus and get your own car. Otherwise, stop complaining when somebody who has more class than you chooses to kick you out on your ass instead of forcing everyone else listen to your SCREAMING.

          • And, obviously, the child is much worse than all the REST of the noise that had been on the bus.

          • Yes, INTERTRON, you were completely silent as a child. Too bad you can't self-regulate and shut up now.

          • That would be the time for YOU to get off the bus. That is if the crying child bothers you that much.

    • Some people on the internet are too frustated with their lives to think hard, McCoy. We are talking about adults whose mentality is quite childish. Don`t expect them to improve. They won`t.
      I totally agree with you coment. Children are children, that`s it. As another reader sad above:
      "Perhaps some of us could do well to remember that we ourselves were once children!"

  13. I feel that if you dont want to hear other people in public, dont go out into public. Public transportation is for everyone. I do think the bus driver should be made to attend some type of class where he is taught how to be a decent person, fired…no. we all make rash decisions. For everyone that thinks a woman and her child should walk 14 blocks so a bunch of stuck up senior citizens can get thier last looks at normal people while they ride around on a bus filling thier empty last days, go home and sit alone there it will be quiet enough for you

    • Know what the best thing about stuck up senior citizens is?? THEY'LL BE DEAD SOON

  14. There are many mean spirited people in this world, who have never had, or been a child. These are known as alien pod people, they are unsheaved fully grown, injected with their behavior/intel chip and sent into the world to "blend in". They never do. They simply fail to comprehend what it is to be human.
    Don't mind the people over at Fark, they'll be the first to admit to being a bunch of Fark-ups, each trying to beat the next in outragous statements, but they are really a soft hearted bunch, except for a couple of sociopathic sounding posters who are confined to wheelchairs or duct-taped to portable commodes, they never leave the room.
    Take heart in knowing many of us were screaming brats who would have attacked that bus driver with our four teeth and squeaky toys.
    Don't be afraid, you've stood up under pressure, and the bullies are the type that run from bunnies….really.
    You'r ardent supporter.
    Xvr "Chivo" Ortega

    • Exactly how many people in the world have never been a child? Moron.

      • Exactly what is sarcasm? Dimwit.

  15. I'm a mom and I wouldn't let my kids annoy other people in that manner – it's my job to teach them proper behaviour and make sure they don't piss off the world around them. My kids are the centre of MY universe – they're certainly not the centre of anyone else's universe!

    • Liar-If you were a mother you would know you can't control a child 100% of the time, they throw tantrums and act out, if yours don't, get them checked because there is something wrong with them…….or you hit them……

    • Sandra, you are a retard. Unless you beat your kids, you in no way can stop them from yelling if they want to do that. They open their mouth, and out comes a loud burst. What do you do? Stuff a sock in? Hit them with a metal pipe? Agreed, teaching a child to be respectful is necessary. At 4 years old, they have no idea what that means. They do however know what fear means. So, I'm guessing that's how you roll. How dare you justify the sickness surrounding this injustice. Again, you are a retard.

  16. No. Those comments are actually fueling another thread on a different board.

  17. Amen.

  18. Dealing with a willful child is a challenge for even the most disciplined parent at times. My grandson Clint is a case in point. It's one thing to experience the outbursts of a child while the parent(s) are making some kind of attempt to gain control. I will suffer with the parent(s) even if their efforts aren't effective or in line with what I would do. It's the parents that are oblivious and uncaring of both the child's behavior and the effects on bystanders that are behaving unforgivably.

  19. Oh, my goodness. I remember reading this on Fark.com, and I was absolutely floored that the bus driver pulled that stunt. I'm with you, too – I've yet to have that experience, but the whole thing was so ridiculous. I also cannot believe the gall of the people over the internet who dared to crucify you and you sweet little girl. She's a normal toddler – really, what do they expect? I really hope things get better for you and Briar. I am so sorry you had to deal with that. *HUGS* from Florida!

  20. In the story that you just posted, you yourself admit that you couldn't control your toddler. Why should fellow passengers have to deal with your kid as well? You chose to have it and you chose to ride the bus with it screaming.

    • "You chose to have it and you chose to ride the bus with it screaming."

      It? Well that says a lot about your opinion. Noted.

  21. Well, a Farker here as well. I initially felt that the driver was definitely the bad guy here. However, the more this woman droned on, the less sympathy I felt for her. I get it; kids throw fits sometimes. Yes, a public bus means you have to deal with the public. But I got the distinct feeling that Mom here did whatever she could to coddle the child. That's fine if it works. If it doesn't, you need to instill the fear of God. Even a two year old is smart enough to figure out when mom makes "that face" it's time to shut up and sit down or the universe will end. I mean, c'mon, look at me; I wasn't coddled and was disciplined appropriately as a child and I grew up to be perfectly cynical, sarcastic, disillusioned and maladjusted like a proper person.

    • Ditto. I like Ninja Turtles!! La la la Y2K! Y2K!

  22. You were offered a ride by someone and said "no"? You were offered to get back on the bus, and you said "no"? You say you do not want to be called a Spoiled Princess, but you act like one. On top of that, you keep having your face plastered on websites to whine about not wanting to be made fun of on the internet…what do you think will happen?

    • Some strange man in a truck pulls over to you, a young woman with a female toddler, walking down the street and says, "You want a ride?" You're telling this woman she should have said, "yes"?! The bus driver said if she couldn't keep the baby quiet, get the fukc off the bus. She couldn't keep the kid quiet, so she had to get off the bus. The only people against this women are the people with no children.

  23. By her own admission, the driver said she could get back on the bus and she decided she’d rather be a martyr.

    • Exactly. She could've gotten right back on the bus. If she was smart she would have. Instead, though, she chose to throw off a dramatic fit and tell the world about her sob story.

      • Precisely. The daughter is merely mirroring the personality of her mother.

  24. Maybe i'm reading this wrong but "The chorus continued after we were out on the curb, and the driver mumbled we could get back on. “I can't 100 per cent guarantee she won't cry again,” I told him. I started walking."

    So if i read that right he said she could get back on but instead she made a smart ass comment and walked off? and shes upset that she had to walk 14 blocks?

    • She was tossed for it once, what's to say the kid won't snap again in a couple blocks and make the driver kick her off again. Rather than be embarrassed twice she made her own choice, not to be a martyr, but 2 be treated as a human being.

      • Hear hear

  25. I've spent a grand total of a few days around my baby nieces… plenty of time to know which side I'd have taken if I was on that bus. Even if I could grant that your kid might be out of control (although at 20 months I certainly wouldn't make such a judgement), the most that should call for is an earful from the driver and other passengers – not getting kicked off.

  26. Sorry this happened to you, Jenny. In no way should you feel it’s your fault. We’ve all been there. Sometimes the bus ride is fun, sometimes it isn’t. Anyone who thinks a mother has absolute control over what her young child does or how they act, has never been a parent.

    The bus driver owes you an apology. Not the company. His job is to drive the bus and dropping a mother and young child off because the child is making noise isn’t fair.

  27. I like turtles.

  28. Well, she's a better parent than whoever brought up Tila Tequila. Did you know that she doesn't like using a toilet because "it's too dirty!"?? The other contestants on the Pants Off Dance Off had to complain to the judges after repeatedly catching her heeling her shiat down the shower drain. If you ask me, Tila Tequila is nothing but an alien looking MySpace midget slut.

    • So, in response to the media hurting your feelings… you put out another story? You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, don’t you?

      Foolish.

    • And this has to do with this news story how…..?

  29. It's public transportation — and kids are part of the public….damn straight she should be mad. What was she supposed to do, beat her kid's a$$ for crying? Then the story headline would be "mother beats toddler for screaming — child proceeds to scream more and mother gets arrested for abuse". I rode the bus for a long time…you learn to deal with smelly people, kids, chatty people, gang banging wanna-bes, obese people wearing see-through white tights, sour-puss looking snobs etc. Put on noise cancellation headphones….wear your mp3 player….or get a car if you can't handle it.

  30. I work in a store and have seen the difference between undisicplined children and a child having a "bad day".. When they start, there's nothing that can calm them down. It's embarrasing for the parent, but that's part of being a parent. The more you yell at the child, the more upset they become. If the bus driver put her off once, who's to say he wouldn't do the same thing 4 blocks later. And Mom, if you think that's bad, try having an 18 month old with sudden diarihha at 30,000 feet in the days before fold down changing tables! Fortunately, the other passengers were either all parents or stuffed up with head colds! But really, get a grip people, this is a child we're talking about, not an adult who can express themself, and somethimes even they don't go so great!..

  31. I'm a Farker, too. I just wanted to say that you write so well. So very well. Please keep it up. You should join Fark and liven things up over there. Plus, a good writer is a welcome addition to any community.

  32. Maybe if you were a better parent it wouldn't have happened.

  33. "I emailed our newspaper… I became the punching bag for anonymous commentators."

    So, just confirming:

    She wanted anonymous strangers to read her story and get angry? Check.

    She wanted them to then be angry enough to attack whatever they were angry at? Check.

    Sounds like she got everything she asked for. The only bit she didn't get was where she wanted the s***storm she released to be entirely one sided and only hurt the bus company with no one looking at her part in it.

  34. "As the comments piled up, I became afraid to answer the phone, open the mailbox."

    So she reopenned the story, attention whoring some more? Back in the real, non-self-obsessed world, when we say we hate the damage a fire does, we tend not to pour gassoline on it.

    She has a choice:

    a) She wants and loves the attention: Keep droning on and draw out your fifteen minutes. But don't be surprised when people judge you for how you come across. Accept it as part of the cost of your precious fifteen minutes.

    b) She wants it to go away: Shut up. Stop adding fuel to the fire. It's the internet. We'll be laughing at someone with gold spray paint on his face or an adorable kitten in 30 seconds anyway.

    Unfortunately, right now, her actions scream of A) and the lady protesting too much.

    • "Attention whoring'!! Sick jerk!

  35. Also a farker here. Rabbit Hole. Thanks lady.

    1) I applaud you for at least trying to get your child to calm down which is more than most parents seem to do.

    2) I know how hard it is when they are annoying to deal with them. Mine is 19 now and turned out alright so good luck.

    3) You did call the newspaper so you brought this on yourself. I am thinking you thought you should contact them so everyone could share in your outrage and make you feel like an awesome victim, an extension of your refusal to get back on the bus. So I don’t give you any sympathy – especially in light of the fact that while I have a fairly legit reason to hate bus drivers [SEPTA can bite it] I wish they could kick people causing problems off buses more. Here you whinging again. I detect a pattern.

  36. Yeesh, when did this become such a mean spirited, small minded country? Maybe it's just the internet?
    I wonder how many of those dumping on this lady even have children? Take a valium people. Way to blow something out of proportion!

    • FYI: There are people from all over the world, not just your country posting here. I'm not even on the same continent as you.

      • point taken…thanks…i guess it is the internet…that's a relief.

  37. She should have taken the pseudo apology and tickets and LET IT GO. The bus driver may have been in the wrong – but I think her response was way overblown.
    She demanded a heartfelt apology and was willing to go to the media to get …then posted another whining article when that did not get the 'Oh, you poor baby!' results she was hoping for…she is in for a serious reality check.

  38. Boo hoo, you had to walk

  39. OK..first..those of you without childern have no idea the fun us as parents deal with.so if your first thought is to blame mom..DON'T HAVE KIDS! second, kids are people too and we all have bad days.as a father of 2 girls I feel your pain and I am very happy that you had the balls to first walk home after that BS and then put this out for everybody to see just how terrible other ppl can be..so great job mom,F@@K ALL you A$$ holes that would even begin to give this poor lady a hard time.being a mom is the hardest yet the most rewarding job one can have and as parents there are desicions we have to make and a child that doesn't like our desicions(just like adults) will make it known that they are unhappy,whats worse an upset child or the 40 year just bitching to be bitching,?atleast the 40 year old should know that shit happens get over it as a small child will not. don't care you have my moral support! way to go MOM!!!

  40. Another Farker here. There's a large "anti-child" contingent at Fark as well as lots of people who grew up in seriously abusive situations, and a group of young guys who seem to enjoy posturing and acting tough (aka Internet Tough Guys). Anytime there's an article that involves parenting, you can count on plenty of venomous posts aimed at parent and/or child. But there are also many more intelligent, humane, extremely funny Fark followers, whose politics and worldviews cover a wide spectrum. Don't worry about other people. You were on public transport; crying children are members of the public whose behaviour falls within normal range, so the driver was wrong.

    • you sound fat

  41. Yes, the bus is for everyone. Which is exactly the point. If someone chooses to raise a child who will not behave in public, that does not obligate everyone else on the bus to endure the consequences of their choice. The fact that the overwhelming majority of children do NOT scream and like this is significant here. Should, for example, a person with a splitting headache have to endure the piercing screams of a spoiled child? Being a parent does not exempt you from the rules of civil society. "Thou shalt not cause a disturbance which affects other people" is one of those rules.

    And yeah, when someone rejects permission to get back on the bus, rejects an offer of a ride, rejects any assistance at all, and then rejects the letter and free rides presented by the bus company (which is now, no doubt, reassessing its decision to try to calm this woman down instead of just calling the lawyers) because their apology is insufficiently abject: Yes, this IS an attention-seeking princess. Nothing but global sympathy, the public flogging of the driver who just wanted a peaceful ride for ALL of his passengers, and of course plenty of money, is good enough for her.

    This idea that children cannot be taught to behave in public (although a puppy, on the other hand, can be) and that the only person who has any rights is the parent with the out-of-control child is of recent vintage. Some things really do need to go back to the way they used to be, and that is one of them.

    • Worldwalker sez "If someone chooses to raise a child who will not behave in public"

      Yes, right. I'm sure that when she brought her daughter home from the hospital she said "you know what, I'm going to raise this child to not behave in public."

      Here's the thing. If you think she deserves the negative attention because she asked for attention (and you get all kinds)…Fine.

      But if you're as clueless as Worldwalker here and don't understand that every child in the universe (including Worldwalker at some point in the past) will have a public breakdown…well, you're hopeless.

      Kids are kids. Adults, on the otherhand (drivers and Farkers alike) are , in theory, capable of turning the other cheek, ignoring the fuss, and chilling out. Who's the real spoiled brat in this situation? The crabby kid or the selfish adults who can't tolerate a screaming kid?

      • Actually, according to my mother in any event, I did not have temper tantrums in public when I was two, or at any other time. Maybe I was just a weird kid. Or maybe it's because I am from a generation which believed politeness and consideration for others were more important than "self-expression", and enforced the same on their children. I certainly don't remember any incidents of the kind, and I am fairly sure if there had been one my mother would still be ragging on me about it to this day. Further, if I had done so, my mother — and any other mother prior to the "me generation" — would have been mortified, apologized to all the people who were being disturbed, and immediately left the theater, restaurant, store … or bus. You see, back then people believed that everyone had rights, not just themselves, and that they had a responsibility not to do things (or allow their children to do things) which annoyed others.

        The spoiled brat in this case is the mother, who thinks she and her unruly child are entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and if anyone else is unwilling to put up with the results, she whines to the newspaper about how meeeeeeen people are being to her. And yes, in a sense she did say "I'm going to raise this child not to behave in public" when she decided that allowing her child to act however she pleased with no consideration for anyone else was a good thing … have to avoid crushing the little darling's sense of entitlement, you know, or she might grow up to be a polite, considerate person instead of someone like her mother.

    • I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the U.S. if she'd have accepted the offer of a ride she would be breaking the law. Children her daughter's age must ride in a front-facing carseat when in a car, truck, or plane.

  42. s/and like this/and carry on like this/

    Editing error.

  43. I'm so sorry to hear about that. The jackasses that have been bashing you obviously have no idea what it's like to be the parent of a toddler. Either that or they're chauvinist pigs that threw the parenting on the mother of their kids while they did god knows what.

    My 3-year-old is incredibly moody so I can totally relate to the situation. Some days she's the sweetest little princess on Earth and other days she can be a nightmare. That bus driver needs FIRED!!!

  44. Wrong – throw mother/kid off bus
    Right – offer ride again
    Right – offer 4 free tickets
    Score +1

    Wrong – failure to parent during prior 2 years leads to irritating child
    Wrong – smart a$$ response to offer to reboard bus
    Wrong – refusal of pickup ride (unless reasonalble safety concern)
    Wrong – refusal of bus companies attempt to be nice (4 tkts)
    Wrong – wine to nespapers that people expect you to parent your child
    Wrong – wine to internet that people expect you to parent your child
    Score -6

    Solution: Mom should buy 4 tkts, and return them to bus company unused, along with her written appology for overreacting.

    • ^ THIS

  45. The bus driver should not have given himself the authority to kick her off.

    I had forgotten about this story UNTIL I read this.

    He should be fired – even other riders said she was unfairly picked on End of Story.
    If the other passengers require peace and quiet they should buy a car.

    As far as those who pointed out the driver told her she could get back on the bus. I don't blame for for not wanting to exposure herself to any more humiliation and feel it was wise not to accept an offer to get into the truck of a man she did not know.

    My message to her woud be, rise above.
    I know it sucks to be treated unfairly. But who cares what others post about you. If you take any notice then there bs comment sticks to you not them they type a quick bauble (as I have) then move on in their lives.

    They aren't thinking about you anymore so don't think about them.

    Sometimes when we defend ourselves too much we end up looking like the jerk no matter how right we might be.

    Just like those who do not have children will never truly understand your point of view those who have not had 1500 comments posted about them will not understand why you care about it so much you woud be wiling to draw even more attention to yourself.

    There is nothing you can do that will get you 1500 all supportive comments the more you try the more negativity will be generated towards you.

    Time to clip the articles paste them into your child's baby book and move on.

    • Bus Driver's do have the authority to remove people from their bus that they feel are disruptive. I know for a fact, as I know this driver, he did NOT kick her off the bus, she chose to get off , and he asked her if she would like to return and there are witneses to back him up. This woman is a want-to-be journalist trying to make a name for herself. Her scheme backfired and she is now crying foul.
      Quit blaming the driver for all the crappy things that happen in your day and quit using them as punching bags. She had an incredibly bratty child and deserved to walk home. Maybe on the walk she could take the time to think of all the other people on that bus that wanted to get home without listening to a screaming toddler.

  46. Someone should just b-slap that kid into the middle of next week, with a side order of a-whup for the mother, hold the mayo.

  47. So, in response to the media hurting your feelings… you put out another story? You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, don’t you?

    Foolish.

  48. As much as crying babies and toddlers annoy me, the little people have as much right to be on public transit as the rest of us, even when they're being fussy. It's ridiculous that these two human beings were kicked off public transit for this.

  49. "Internet rabbit holes I didn't know existed, such as Fark.com"

    That stuck in my craw for the last hour or two. Frankly, my dear, perchance it is YOU living in a rabbit hole if you're not familiar with Drew's shrine to everything asinine and preposterous. Kind of like your indignant response to the situation you created.

    Side note: I'm sure Farkers will agree that had the driver been FRENCH-Canadian, he would've surrendered and none of this would've ever happened.

    • Vince, that is a good point about the FRENCH-Canadian aspect. Hadn't thought about that.

    • FRENCH-Canadian ROTHL! Good one Vincce.
      If she didn't like the comments the first go around why bring up again?
      French-Canandian ha ha

  50. Children that age aren't really reasonable.

  51. Thats terrible, the bus company should donate a free stroller to this poor mother for next time! (kidding!)

    Oh, and replace the driver with an adult. Not an imbecile with the self control of a 12 year old boy.

  52. Fark just got you your talk show spots, you should send flowers.

    • Flowers? To who? Drew? HA! Send him Heineken or send him NOTHING!

  53. All other points aside. Is an offer of 4 free tickets a meaningful gesture at all? No, not in the least. It costs the bus company nothing, and the cost to the mother is a pitance.

    It's like taking a dump in somebody's soup and then, when they don't like it, offering them another bowl of soup. "Yeah, that didn't work out for me the first time, so, um, no."

  54. Okay, she was too humiliated to get back on the bus..I would have been too. But I would not have walked 14 blocks..I would have caught the next bus at the next bus stop which surely is closer than 14 blocks!!
    Yes, I would have complained to the bus company..but that's it! No need to drag the media in…You don't call the newspapers, you call customer service.

  55. Children should be seen and not heard.

    • Hey Hymie, what creche did you grow up in where kids never were heard?

      • I see Al has never heard of the world famous Milford Academy, thus missed the subtle joke.

  56. Don't take your screaming brat on any more buses and you won't have this problem.

    • Bus driver: Must be nice to hide behind an anon name. Good to see tax dollars hard at work since buses cannot pay for themselves. Get a real job not paid for by taxes.

  57. If he offered to let you back on the bus and you decided not to get back on no one should have any sympathy for you. Had you gotten back on the bus, he may have given you that apology you feel that you so desperately deserve on the bus. The company extended an olive branch to you and if that was not enough to satiate you, then call the supervisor at the company and complain to him, not the media. It is really hard to cry about becoming a public figure when you went to the media. No one would know about you if you had not gone to the media. The public eye is a double sided sword and if you have any fault in an altercation, you should expect to share the blame when you enter the public sphere.

  58. Oops…another Farker. Simple statement-bad driver, bad mom…she doesnt have control and neither did he-2 fails make a baddy. I'm fortunate to have raised a strapping young man and the few times he even came close to acting up in public he got ' The Look'. Dunno but that was all it took to get the Pout on for a few, but it passed, and yes, I rewarded him after. Reward works LOL Sometimes KISS is the best option.

    Mick

  59. Shocking. since when did bus drivers have that authority? I have a 1 year old girl and I do my best to keep her quite and occupied but i will be the last person to get off the bus. it’s public transport, isn’t it?

    • Please keep in mind we only have her version of events about what happened on the bus. Perhaps things were more out of hand than she lets on. I'm not saying either way, but I'm sure the bus company reviewed the CCTV and made a fair decision in regards to the driver.

  60. You make your bed (e-mailed a newspaper), you get to sleep in it (people on the internet agree/disagree/make jokes about you). Moral of the story: If you want to remain anonymous, remain anonymous.

  61. maybe next time she'll get the kid to shut up.

  62. I used to be a transit driver, 8 1/2 yrs. If I had been in the mentioned driver's situation I would have encouraged the mother to sit up front. Depending on how long and hard the child's crying occurred If that wasn't an option I would have pulled over and either encouraged the other passengers to help cajole the child or called a supervisor to come give the mother and child a ride home if the crying (or screaming?) was too distracting for me to finish the route. A good driver doesn't miss anything that is going on in and outside of the bus. I think rather than focusing ill will towards the driver I would be looking at the management of the transit system in this instance.

  63. Some people need to remember that there are limits to public behavior. I don't know if this girl crossed them or not but the argument that you can do whatever you want because it is public transport is foolish. You can't sing at the top of your lungs or use your George Foreman on the bus, according to my bus driver.

  64. I am one of the "never had a child" people, and I do not use public transit. This is why.

  65. If your kid is bothering the people around you, you SHOULD do the courteous thing and stop that. It's called noise pollution. And if you can't stop your kid from crying, take it off the bus and wait until it calms down. Nobody expects a person to have total control over their kids all the time, but the fact that you have a kid doesn't mean you're exempt from basic consideration.

  66. So can I write to the B.C. Transit the next time a child cries for 10 minutes straight and it hurts my ears? Can I write to the Walmart headquarters everytime a child throws a fit in the middle of the cereal aisle? All you self-important moms, just because you have kids means everyone else should watch their step and accept your precious bundles..
    ?[youtube xyQt85vMfRc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyQt85vMfRc youtube]

  67. Sounds like the bus driver has a future career as a elementry school bus driver, or maybe a librarian.

  68. They call it public transit for a reason. As a public transit user who can't stand kids, I also understand that many people are using buses because that's their only option. My sympathies are 100% with the mother here.

    The driver should be fired, and then everyone taking the driver's side in the comments section of this magazine should also be fired in a secondary wave of surprise firings.

    Anyone who disagrees with what I said above can be fired later.

    Seriously.

  69. i walk with a cane.I was halfway across a (legally)Vancouver street when i was almost killed by a city bus making an illegal left turn.I complained to the driver who mocked me saying it would just mean more overtime pay for him.I was almost driven to violence at that moment.
    Boy do i feel for you!

    • Driven to violence, eh? All he would have to do is walk away quickly and you couldn't do much about it, could you?

  70. Yea… because still complaining about it months after the incident doesn't make you come off as an attention wh**re or anything… I, who hadn't even heard of the story that you call so hugely popular, now agree with every single comment you have used as examples in the article.

  71. Apparently your daughter got he inability to shut up from her mother. It's to bad the internet has no driver or I would have him kick you off too.

    Take a life lesson from this and learn to parent.

  72. I think there is something that everyone needs to remember: People providing services have the right to refuse service to anyone!

    People have such a feeling of entitlement these days – especially the "poor mothers" of the world that walk around thinking we should all go out of the way to make their lives easier.

    She probably could have used the exercise anyhow.

  73. Keep your crotchfruit under control and you won't have problems. What may be music to your ears is just annoying, useless, preventable noise to the rest of the society you live in. Screaming brats are right up there with the idiots blasting the subwoofers from their vehicles. Noise pollution is out of hand. Can't tell you how many times I've been in a store and been in another aisle and yelled STRANGLE THAT BRAT! I really do that. I'm not shy.

    • Sir, you owe me a keyboard and a monitor because of your first sentence. Please remit promptly.

  74. Hi Jenny, sorry you had to go through that. The bus driver was completely in the wrong — some people need to wield their supposed "power" in order to make themselves feel important. Pathetic.

    I wouldn't take any comments from fark.com seriously — the comments are always vitriolic no matter what the story is. The point of the site is to find entertainment from people's takes on news stories ("Headlines") and the comments made about them. Even Haiti's quake victims are fair game for trolling.

  75. This has reached New Zealand….Well, there's comments both for and against the mother depending on whether you digest the story and gather the facts or have a knee-jerk reaction and blame the driver. I wouldn't have contacted the media, would have learned my lesson not to take the little whinger on public transport until I had trained her how to behave in public and accepted the free bus tickets. End of story, everybody happy. Teach and train your kids as to what's right and what's not.

  76. You had my sympathy completely until I read where the driver had said that you could get back on and you opted to walk instead. I would have gotten back on and still lodged a complaint, personally. However, once you declined the option to get back on, the responsibility for the walk was all yours. Even after choosing to not get back on the bus, which I'm sure would have been a tad humiliating, you did have other options than to walk. Surely there was another bus that would be coming shortly, or you could have hailed a cab, phoned a friend, etc. Until reading this article, you really and truly had my backing all the way, but no longer.

  77. I hope she got paid for this article..

  78. I agree with your situation lady, but you have to understand it's not our fault you have a child and we shouldn't be punished with it. Children should never be on public transportation. If you can't afford a $700 Toyota like mine, you shouldn't be having children, like me.

  79. dude stfu yourself. personal responsibility for us farkers ends when we use anonymous sources to berate people. 4chan has more tact. what if your little magical "sesame street" thing doesn't work? Metal pipe next? a child that young doesn't have the mental capacity to fully realize the consequences of anything. Go back to your terminal. Leave child rearing to those with some sense. Linux is your game. No shame in that. I'm sure Linus will have a bootable kernel installed in a child within 10-15 years and you will be fit to raise a kid.

  80. Another Farker checking in… as the father of a wonderful but occasionally willful 16 month old daughter, I completely and fully sympathize with Mom's situation here. Briar is at that age where she's starting to push her boundaries, and that's a tremendous challenge to every parent. Complicating matters is the unpredictable nature of children- they can flip out seemingly at the drop of a hat. And unless you've actually experienced it, there's simply no way for you to understand how completely powerless you can feel as a parent when NOTHING seems to be working to calm your child. And then to suffer the indignity of an insensitive bus driver's actions and the subsequent bleatings of thousands of similarly ignorant individuals… well, it's a bit much to deal with, isn't it?

  81. Another Farker here. When my sons were toddlers and having a bad day, it was often due to not feeling well, such as when they were coming down with a cold or developing an ear infection. Even before they started showing any symptoms, they would start to get fussy. It wasn't a matter of misbehaving. Some days they would be irritable and the cause was never known. Maybe they didn't sleep well the night before. Sometimes toddlers cry. They don't have a lot of coping skills at that age. Mature grown-ups should know that.

    The bus is a public transit system. If you buy a ticket on a public transit system and there is no ban on having babies or small children on the bus, an reasonably intelligent person should know that there is a chance that there could be one or more on that bus. And they should suspect, that if there is one or more on the bus, that they might cry.

    • For that matter, how many times have you been forced to endure an adults ignorant telephone convo, in which they discuss any manner of private or offensive topics while in public? i think the entitled label goes both ways here , i guess for the mom who is pissed she had to haul her grouchy child 14 blocks after being kicked off the bus , and for the people posting that she should keep her kid under control. Turns out entitled is expecting people to accomodate your wants and needs regardless of the impact it has on them selves. Anyone who brays about bad parenting and shutting up screaming brats is just as entitled as the person wanting a ride with said screaming child. Since when did we al become the center of the freakin universe.

  82. I can't imagine why anyone would find it necessary to kick a toddler off a bus for doing what toddlers do, and I don't even have children of my own. Personally, my reaction to a crying child is to try to distract the kid – as a 20 year old, I have at least one thing in my purse that will interest a child – pen and notepad, a bell, etc. The driver really needs to just get a grip.

    By the way, don't be bothered by things that the people of the internet say. You would be horrified to know some of the things that go on out there in the untamed wilds of the internet. I know I've learned not to take everything I see on fark seriously; if any of the horrible things are meant in all seriousness, than the person who posted it is probably not worthy of being heeded. (And now I'm going to close the thread for this story, lest any farkers find my post here and I get crapped on over there)

    • I also used to carry things in my purse just in case I ran into a situation where a child needs something to cheer them up, or make the time go by faster, sometimes something new will do the trick. I'm not saying that everyone should do that, I just think it's neat that someone else mentioned helping the mother calm her child, I haven't noticed anyone mention that in the comments that I've read so far.
      I used to always get kids meals and used them, and still keep a bag of them at home in case we have visitors with little ones that are bored with their old toys and need some new stimulation to keep them busy.
      As a 20 year old, your very intelligent and seem to be a compassionate and caring human being. Kudos to your parents, and you too!
      Is it our duty to help others? Nope. But is it too much to go out of your way to help someone, no matter how small the deed might be? I don't think so.

  83. I am one of those Fark.com people, and I didn't come to the conclusion that it was bad parenting on the part of the mother from the evidence presented in the small newspaper article. I concluded that the bus driver found his nerves rubbed raw and acted rashly.

    As for all those OTHER people on the internet, well, the word "sanctimonious" comes to mind.

    • What I'm saying is, a "tie" goes to the mother who is transporting/protecting her child, unless the child is battering people (although I suppose one could argue that a child's yelling is a type of battery).

  84. we shouldn’t have to put up with your genetic mistakes …
    why should we have to suffer with the noise and filth of your git ?
    if you can’t control them , don’t breed them …

    • Try not to choke on your own vitriol now…try to have a happy life you miserable berk!

  85. followed from fark as well. She was offered a ride BY A MAN SHE DID NOT KNOW. No sane woman gets into a car with a stranger, and most certainly NOT with her child. In today's society there are lots of people who do harm.

  86. "devastating"? She only had to walk 14 blocks. Jesus Christ.

  87. Hey macleans, i don't come to your site to witness this sad spectacle…supposed adults calling two year olds filth and so on…yeah, yeah i know no one's forcing me to read it…and no one's forcing me to frequent blog central either. There are more hits here than any of the Haiti sites, and a lot of them vile too.

  88. While taking public transit over the last few months, I've been asked for money, have had to listen to the expletive-ridden music coming from someone's cheap headphones from an Mp3 player turned up way too loud, watched drunk college kids vomit, listened to half of a lovers' quarrell from someone who though she had to shout to be heard over the din of the bus, and exposed to a variety of other deplorable acts of public stupidity. All this is to say, a crying baby on a bus comes with the territory. If the bus driver can't hack it, he really needs to change jobs. Unfortunately, it be cheaper to give Mrs. Manzer free travel for life than fire a unionized employee in BC

  89. Bullroar, madam, bullroar. Your critics are the sensible ones. You have had all sorts of entitlements in your life; the one thing you're not entitled to is a blank cheque on public behavior — certainly not in an enclosed space.
    While we sympathise with your predicament, we don't sympathise with your indignation. The fracas you and your kid created would have caused me to exit the bus on the verge of a panic attack. Yet– I would have been the well-behaved traveller, not you.

  90. You should hear the buses after a local high school lets out. That would put one screaming child into perspective.

  91. As a mom myself, I have been in similar predicament and it's awful that this mom had to go through this situation. I for one, don't blame her for telling the bus driver that " I can't 100 per cent guarantee she won't cry again" and walk away. It would be pretty unnerving waiting for the bus driver to react again if the daughter started crying once more in addition to the humiliation she already experienced.

  92. You said "and the driver mumbled we could get back on. “I can't 100 per cent guarantee she won't cry again,” I told him. I started walking." Sounds like a form of an apology to me as well as an admission of remorse for what happened, but you figured it was better for your poor me story to reject the offer, through it back in his face and walk. So why would you expect the operator to offer you another apology when you already rejected one?
    Sounds to me that your child is displaying learned behaviour, from you!
    Manipulate an event to optimum effect to illicit maximum reaction, can't wait for your child to grow up, watch out.

  93. I am 78 and My Wife and I raised 6 children.Never once did any of the children raise hell in public.We were never abusive to them but they were informed at an early age that if they misbehaved they would be left home with a sitter the next time we went out.When children misbehave I blame the parents not the children.

  94. What a ridiculous series of comments. Kids have bad days. Doesn't make you a bad parent. End of story.

    The news? Woman helps protect environmental future for child by taking the bus! Thank-you for caring so much!

  95. I think it should be noted that ms. manzer is a 2005 Michener-Deacon Fellowship recipient for work she did pertaining to a personal experience. While uneducated in the area she found herself in, she made enough stink to get an award. Well, she's doing it again.
    She found a personal issue and is getting published for it.
    No matter what the TRUTH is. Ask the bus driver what REALLY happened.

  96. In fact, I really wished I hadn't read this thread or I wouldn't be writing this.

    If you weren't there, how can you comment?

    I think the bus driver has a serious case for litigation. Can you imagine the persecution he or she has had to tolerate over this crusade?

    I should think if ms manzer does not cease and desist in her attempt to further her journalistic career from this, such a case might be brought forth. but then again, what do i know? i was just on that bus and KNOW she and her lovely two year old child were NOT asked to leave the bus.

    the driver simply stated that he could not continue driving until the destraction stopped. since it didn't, he pulled the bus over to the next stop to get off and chill out. ms manzer CHOSE to take that as a sign and walked the TWO blocks DOWNHILL on a WARM SUNNY DAY to her destination.

  97. I remember being on a plane with my one year old and he began to writhe and scream as the plane came down. I did not know what to do. Plus he had diarhea which came out of his diaper. Luckily we were not kicked off but I am sure plenty of people would have liked if we could have been. He had been fine up to that point. Is it wrong to drug kids on a plane….By the way he turned out ok and is a Chartered Accountant now.

  98. Support! I just heard you on CBC radio DNTO! You are NORMAL! I SUPPORT you!

  99. It is unbeIt is unbelievable, how can someone kick a kid out of bus. Manners to 20 months old…I guess people are getting inhuman. A 20 months old won't be even understand what's going on. Public transit is for public. People who ride on it should better be prepared what they have to go thou and for God sake She is a baby. I am with you Dear. People who don't have kids get miserable and behave like crap. I hope they learn one day.

  100. Bus driver: Clearly acting like an ass.
    Mother: Clearly acting like a martyr.

    I'm sure it was embarrassing. I'm sure those 14 blocks were the most horrible thing to ever happen to you or your child. I'm sure that all of the internet attention was frightening. But did you ever stop to think about the fact that MAYBE the rest of the people on the bus didn't really want to hear your kid throwing a tantrum?

    I ride public transit every day to work, and there is absolutely NOTHING worse than a kid screaming. I don't blame the kid, but I do blame the parent. Why? Because the majority of the time it's not the only way to get where you're going. You could have taken a cab. No cabs? You could have walked — 14 blocks is not THAT far (which you did, but not because you chose to). By keeping your kid on the bus (or train or whatever form of transit you take), you're getting home a bit faster, but you're making everyone else's trip miserable.

    It's the feeling of entitlement that gets on my nerves. In all honesty, I understand that young children may be loud from time to time. If I'm on a trans-atlantic flight and some kid is screaming, it sucks for sure, but I'm not going to get pissed off about it. The parent can't quite drive to and from Europe. However if a kid is being obnoxious and there's a very clear and easy way to remove that kid from an environment where it's going to be annoying countless people, why not do it? This is just common decency. I don't get on the metro and blast loud music that annoys everyone around me, I don't yell randomly, I don't bring a dog that barks constantly. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you should bring something equally as noisy (no, I'm not comparing your kid to a dog except in terms of its audio output) onto some form of public transit.

  101. Okay, first of all, I'm VERY annoyed when there's an unruly child on public transit. There's no reason to make others suffer. Second, your appeal to pathos is, well, pathetic. I have no sympathy for you in the least, and I'm going to guess you still ride the bus. You act like you're a complete angel/victim when YOU'RE responsible for the child. As for people making normal noises, imagine the bus driver. I can assure you it wasn't his profession of choice and you're just making an already irritating task more irritating for him, plus it's a safety hazard if you're distracting him. Thirdly, he OFFERED for you to come back on the bus so no he was not "singling you out." Nor did it seem he was all that angry with you.

  102. Okay, first of all, I'm VERY annoyed when there's an unruly child on public transit. There's no reason to make others suffer. Second, your appeal to pathos is, well, pathetic. I have no sympathy for you in the least, and I'm going to guess you still ride the bus. You act like you're a complete angel/victim when YOU'RE responsible for the child. As for people making normal noises, imagine the bus driver. I can assure you it wasn't his profession of choice and you're just making an already irritating task more irritating for him, plus it's a safety hazard if you're distracting him. Thirdly, he OFFERED for you to come back on the bus so no he was not "singling you out." Nor did it seem he was all that angry with you.

  103. Why is the mother getting all the hate, the child was 20 months old at the time, it’s completely normal for a child to try unreasonably at times.

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