Monday, September 25, 2006

The Adventures of Doll, part 2

Some of you may have read about Doll's adventures in potty training the other day. Well, this morning's story involves another adventurous activity here in this Asian culture--taking a taxi.

Taxis are our main form of transportation as a family. When John goes out alone, though, he rides his bike, which he loves because he can zoom through traffic quickly and also get good exercise. I used to have a bike, also, but when I became pregnant with Clara Anne, my balance was not so great and after a near-miss collision at a busy intersection, John has forbidden me from any more bike riding. I could also potentially take the bus when I go somewhere, but with two little munchkins the bus is not quite as convenient. So usually we take taxis. There always seem to be an abundance of them so it is often just a matter of standing by the side of the road for a minute and waving my arm to flag one down.

When it used to be just John and I, we always sat together in the back seat of a taxi, letting the front passenger side go empty. That continued to be true even when carrying Clara Anne along. But now I find it more difficult to slide across that back seat with a child in arms (as a rule, the back seat door only opens on the passenger side) so now I often sit in the front, carrying at least one child, usually Chloe. Then John and Clara Anne share the back seat. However, the clincher is when I am out with both girls by myself. I have actually found that it is easier to corral Clara Anne (remember we are in the land of no seat belts) if she is in the front seat with me and Chloe in the Baby Bjorn. I am aware that this is a practice which would never fly in America--especially because none of us are wearing seat belts, much less are both children in car seats! Needless to say, taxi rides are not relaxing events for me any more. I am kept busy hanging on to both children and keeping track of our possesions, the most important of which are (in this order) my money, my keys and Doll.

So the other day (to finally get to the point of this post) we were riding in a taxi in this fashion: I am in the front seat with Chloe attached to me in the Baby Bjorn, our bags on the floor between my feet and Clara Anne sitting on what is left of my lap. Clara Anne was holding Doll, and she and I were singing songs to pass the time when suddenly she got curious about the door handle. I responded with a firm "Don't touch!" She looked at me, looked at the door handle...and then took Doll's hand and made Doll reach out for the door handle. Oh no, Doll! I wasn't sure whether to punish Clara Anne, give Doll a talking to, or just laugh. I guess Clara Anne thought maybe Doll could get away with something that she couldn't!

Until next time . . .

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