There was a time not so long ago that Emory was terrified of the subway. All we’d have to do is get near an entrance and he’d begin screaming, “NO CHOO-CHOO! NO, MAMA!” Whenever Toby Joe left for work, he’d ask that he not ride the choo-choo. And on several occasions we’d wake in the middle of the night to him screaming about it. It was a little sad.
Something had to be done. It’s downright impossible to live in New York City and not use the MTA. The subway is a must. My son was going to have overcome his fear. But how?
We’ve been working on him slowly over time. At first we just talked about it a lot. Toby would get home from work and talk about how great the choo-choo was. (Which is hilarious for reasons I’m sure you are all aware.) We’d discuss its tracks and where it would take us. We told him there was nothing to be afraid of. We compared them to Thomas and his brood. And then we started taking him on it again.
At first, he was guarded and pensive. But we talked him through it and once he was on, all was well. That took a couple of weekends of riding it together as a family.
On Saturday, we set out early to see the ice skaters and tree at Rockefeller Center. We rode the L train to 6th Avenue and then the F Train uptown. He loved it. He loved every minute of it. When we arrived at our destination, he didn’t care about the tree or the skaters; he wanted to continue riding the choo-choo.
My son’s fear has folded in on itself and has turned into a passion. Instead of throwing fits for suggesting he ride the subway, he’s throwing fits when we’re done for the day.
Now, Mama has to overcome her biggest fear: maneuvering toddler and stroller all by myself, up those stairs, and safely.