I am loving being back home in Chicago where we don’t own a car and primarily use buses and trains to get around. I hate oil changes, car maintenance, and parking. The really wonderful thing about using buses and trains, besides not having to change their oil, is that I don’t have to strap my “spirited” toddler into a seat.
We did rent a car over Mother’s Day weekend for a longer trip to visit my family four hours away in Wisconsin. It was exhausting, both ways, to try unsuccessfully to distract and entertain my toddler on lock down. I am absolutely jealous of those of you with children that enjoy, or at least tolerate, long car rides. I declared “No more road trips!” on our way back last night (until a few weeks from now, of course). Toward the end of the trip Veda had tears rolling down her cheeks, screaming and trusting her chest forward in an effort to bust out of her five-point harness.
My preferred method of traveling with babies is on trains. I love traveling in India for that reason- they have fantastic infrastructure connecting much of the country with rail, one of the finest legacies Britain left behind to them. On our last trip to India a month or so back we went on several vacations with my toddler by train, and it was such a relief!
Unlike a car, Veda could walk up and down the corridor of the train car. There were usually other kids to at least say hello to or people to interact with. She could stretch out, jump around, and push her own wooden trains and cars down the aisle. She could sprawl across my lap and comfortably breastfeed. There’s a much better view of the world we are passing by- she can press her nose against the glass and stare outward.
Unlike a plane, with train travel there is no take-off and landing when she has to be belted down, no security check, and the leg room is much more generous. Plus, trains make fun train sounds.
Oh, how I wish the U.S. was better connected with reasonably priced fast trains. Being mobile with my babe would be so much more pleasant. Yes, there’s Amtrak, but it’s unreliable, expensive, slow, and not very well-connected. I can at least dream of my motherland being progressive in transportation, though, can’t I?