I HATE getting on the subway with the stroller at rush hour. When I was on mat-leave and needed to get uptown to run a few errands, I always tried to time it so that I would hop on the subway with PK BEFORE rush hour. Unfortunately, rush hour in Toronto begins at 3pm, so the window of opportunity isn't that large when you also have to contend with planning around naps and meals. Needless to say, my timing didn't always work out so well, and I was sometimes stuck on the subway surrounded by hordes of people pushing and shoving, and using the stroller bar as a hand rest. Some people just have no manners. Add to that the fact that in the winter, people are hacking away and/or sneezing, so I often had to pull down the canopy (false sense of security, I know) or put the rain/wind cover on the stroller to give PK some protection.
Now that I'm back at work, I HAVE to take the subway in the morning. Either that or wake up earlier and walk 40 minutes into work. I don't have that in me. I'm already sleep-deprived as it is, between getting PK ready for bed, preparing things for the next day, and trying to spend some time relaxing. So, subway into work it is. I must confess that it's not so bad most mornings. I don't usually take a seat unless the car is relatively empty. I really don't mind standing, because it's just a few stops. And on the most part, I have enough standing room.
Some days, however, I get really annoyed. Like today. The subway seemed more crowded than usual. I got in just as the doors were closing. I had made it in, but people behind me were still trying to get in and were therefore pushing me. I find this annoying enough when I don't have the stroller, but it's EXTREMELY annoying when you have a stroller. Not to mention the fact that today, one of the front wheels of PK's stroller got caught on someone's shoe, so while I was getting pushed, PK's stroller wasn't moving forward. Instead, it was tipping over 45-degrees, with the front wheels on the ground and the back part up in the air. I don't know how PK didn't complain, but I myself was PISSED.
The way home is entirely different. The subway is usually even more crowded than in the morning. So I avoid it at all costs. This is when I walk home. I do it for 3 reasons:
1. The 40-minute power walk home is great exercise
2. PK often gets a nap in
3. I avoid riding the subway at rush hour
Whenever I wonder if I'm doing the right thing in torturing PK with a 40-minute walk, I always think of these 3 things. Besides, if I DID take the subway home, it would probably end up taking me just as long to get home, since it's a 0.7km walk from the daycare to the closest station with an elevator (yes, I mapped it on Google Maps), and then there's the whole mess of getting on multiple elevators and getting onto the subway itself.
One time, I made the mistake of taking the subway home. I took it at a station further up my route, so I could still get a walk in. Miraculously, the subway car was half empty, so I parked the stroller in front of a row of 3 seats and sat down. As I sat down, a woman mumbled under her breath that I was taking up an entire row of 3 seats. First of all, the stroller blocked 2 seats (I was sitting on one of said blocked seats). Secondly, the subway car was half-empty. There were PLENTY of seats to choose from. Had the subway car been full, I would not have even fathomed taking a seat. I let her have a piece of my mind.
Still, for what it's worth, I'm grateful that I have the option of taking public transit to and from work. I just wish that people taking public transit wouldn't be such jerks.