Today the family and I went to the NYC Transit Museum. I had never been before, though it was my wife and son’s second visit. For the most part we had a great time looking at old fashioned buses and trains, and learning about all that went into digging the subway system. The museum has a popular lifelike modified city bus on display that the kids can pretend to drive. Of course both children and adults find this particular exhibit kind of interesting. In fact one kid found it so interesting that he hovered around the bus for about two hours. He was always “on line” even when he wasn’t and his mother was always a passenger, not budging from her seat.
When it was finally Devin’s turn (he’s impatient so he would walk away and lose his place forcing us to start over about 11 times) the hoverer was of course there; he acted shocked as my son took his turn. The hoverer’s mother noticed and told her son to politely inform my boy that it was his turn. The kid was about ten to my boy’s four, so we figured he would see that he was wrong and wait for his one thousandth turn. My wife and I opted to ignore most of the interaction because we knew we had been patient and assumed the mother was crazy.
And apparently she was.
After her kid shied away from actually asking my Devin to move she had the audacity to “politely” ask my four year old to move and wait his turn. Needless to say my wife and I got into a heated debate with her. We pointed out that our son had not had a chance to sit in the driver’s seat and that her son had hogged the exhibit all afternoon. Had this not been the case I would have gladly negotiated a withdrawal. I’m not going to go as far as to say that race played a role, however it is an interesting coincidence that she would pull herself out of the seat she was stuck to for the duration of the afternoon to ask the only black boy in the entire museum to get up. Trust me, a lot of other kids hopped into that faux driver’s seat as her boy hovered.
For that the lady from the transit museum should consider herself Black [Dad] Listed.
And with her I am putting all parents on the list that think its OK to give negative direction to other people’s kids without going to the parents first. I am a firm believer that kids at play can work out most issues on their own, but when they can’t a single biased parent cannot be judge, jury, and executioner.