Lessons from the Menlo Park Train Station / by Susie Lubell

I have both kids at home with me on Mondays so I try to do fun activities to assuage my guilt for sending my son to preschool even though I've been home on maternity leave for the past five months and could have obviously had him home with me as well as the baby. This week's activity was riding the train four stops north to Menlo Park, eating lunch at a cafe, strolling up and down Santa Cruz Avenue and then taking the train home.

On the way home the train was delayed. Another mother was there with her six year old daughter and three year old son. The two kids wer annoying each other and annoying their mother and the train was delayed and mom was becoming undone. She, like me, kept leaning toward the tracks and looking north to see if the train was coming. She did this every few seconds until her daughter piped up:

Girl: If you keep doing that the train will never come.
Mom: Not true because the train is moving very fast.

And I had to laugh to myself. The girl was getting annoyed at her mother's impatience and the mom was basically employing the reasoning skills of a five year old. A momentary role reversal. It happens to me all the time now. Not necessarily role reversal but I let my frustrations get the better of me and I come up with remarks like "I don't want to change your pull-up. You do it!" Very mature. Classic inner toddler.