Mommy Life

Public Commuting Experience with My Toddler

We have been commuting with Olivia since she was born. We have been booking Grab rides whenever we take her to the clinic, mall and party venues. It has been very convenient, but it also has becoming quite expensive.

Since she was very young then, this is the only form of commuting we know. We did not ride the public jeepney nor take the train because of safety reasons. I honestly admire those parents who are able to commute with their child via public transportation.

Then, I thought, if these gutsy moms can tag along 3 kids to ride a jeepney, why can’t I do it with just one child ? I debated with myself if I should take the risk or not. One day, I summon my courage and rode different mass transits one step at a time.

The Infamous Motor Tricycle

They are also known as the “sidecar”. I am really not a fan of these because some drivers are reckless and opportunist. However, they are reliable for short distance travel whenever I take my daughter with me to a nearby mall or to a friend’s house.

Since these don’t have seat belts, she sits on my husband’s lap. If I were alone, she would sit on mine and would wrap my arms tightly around her. I would sit on the middle part so that there would be a balance.

What’s her reaction ? I think she fears it based from her body language 😀 . She balls her hands into a fist and clings tightly on my arms. She’s probably overwhelmed with the raucous engine and how fast it goes.

The Iconic Jeepney

This is the cheapest mode of public transport. People from all walks of life ride on this. I felt awkward the first time I rode this with Olivia because I did not know how to properly hold her.

One time, I held her the wrong way, ergo, she bumped her head on one of the hand rail. Good thing it was just a minor bump.

But, I soon got the technique on how to mount her correctly. My companion (either my mother or my sister) will go in first, then, I lift her up and instruct her to follow her grandma or auntie inside. She also sits on my lap with my arms enveloping her.

What’s her reaction? She likes it. She keeps saying that she is riding on a jeepney. Likewise, also gets to name what she sees and observes people around her.

“Wheels on the Bus”

We rarely commute on the bus if we are just getting around the metro. The opportunity came when we went to Cavite for an excursion. I was very hesitant to do this at first. I was even thinking of booking a private van or Grabcar. But, it’s too expensive!

I researched and planned our route. There are a lot of bus lines going to Cavite but I chose the one with the nearest terminal, so that we don’t need to board on the middle of the road. Likewise, its advantage was getting good seats (because the bus will be picking up more passengers along the way). We took the seat on the second row so it’s near the exit. My sister went with me on that day so travel became easier.

What’s her reaction ? She loves the nursery rhyme, so imagine her wonder when she sees the real thing. When we are inside a car or taxi, she points at all the buses and names them by their color. She was busy taking in the sight inside the bus on the day of our trip to Cavite. In the middle of the travel, she got bored, asked for milk, and then dozed off 🙂 .

Choo-choo Train

Mass rail transits are really efficient for commuters. But here in Manila, you have to invest a lot of stamina and patience when commuting on these. The LRT and MRT are not meant for my toddler yet because of the crowd.

We only rode LRT-2 twice during one of our weekend trip to Pasig. Since it was a Sunday, it was not as crowded and it was a point-to-point ride for us. The good thing about LRT-2 is its size. It’s bigger than the other two rail transits.

What’s her reaction ? I think she’s trying to grasp the difference between what she commonly sees on her books (a traditional looking train) versus the actual one (why is Thomas’ face not on it ?) 🙂 . Nevertheless, she had a good time looking outside.

A Few Commuting Tips

  • Bring extra snacks and water
  • Dress comfortably
  • Travel light (bring only the essentials)
  • Plan ahead
  • Practice safety commuting
  • And, make sure your toddler has gotten enough sleep/rest and has been well-fed before going out, otherwise, it would be a stressful trip with a cranky little kid

Yes to Commuting

Commuting may be exhausting but it’s actually fun. It’s a good outlet for toddlers to learn more about their environment and to have a clearer understanding of its reality. I think it’s a first step in teaching them how to be street smart too.

I am a wife to Francis and a mother to Olivia. I am an avid reader, but a frustrated writer. Maybe considered a millennial, but very much of a "manang".

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