Girl on a Bus

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We had a chance to indulge Max’s fetish for all things transport this weekend, planes, trains and automobiles were all experienced during a weekend trip to Cindy as Max calls it or Sydney as it’s known to those who can pronounce it. The trip served as a reminder that city breaks + little people = exhaustion all round.

On the Sunday we took a bus to Coogee Beach to soak up some sun and maybe even dip a brave toe in the water. For anyone who might have a child with a crush on Thomas the Tank Engine, you will be aware of the work of Bertie Bus and so after convincing Max that we would indeed spend 40 mins on the famous Bertie he was willing to cooperate.

I suspect that 5 mins into the journey he realised he had been conned but he had a new distraction to occupy his fidgety mind and legs. Sat opposite us was a girl around the same age as Max that took his eye. Males of all ages and species have a little performance that they turn to when they want to impress a member of the fairer sex, peacocks shake their tail feathers, grown men puff out their chest and suck in their guts and Max jumps up and down over and over again.


By the fifth jump he had won her over, she relented a little and offered him a smile which he accepted and took as a sign to instigate a little bit of peek-a-boo. He then committed the ultimate act of passion and let her hold one of his Thomas trains. She asked her Mum if he could sit on her knee and he asked us if she could come to the beach, it would appear that they are both very fast movers.

All three parents involved had watched the entire performance with smiles stretched across our faces, this is the stuff of parental fantasy. I looked around the bus certain that everyone else would be enjoying this romantic connection every bit as much and was surprised to be met by some stony faces, with one or two smiles to soften things.

The reason I took so much delight in this little exchange was because the Mum told me that they were both from Sudan. Growing up in Bayside Melbourne I’m acutely aware that Max isn’t exposed to the most culturally diverse upbringing and he may not have seen anyone with the same skin tone as this girl. But children at this age have an endearing purity that ignores differences in others.

She liked the way he jumped and he liked the way she smiled and that was good enough for both of them.

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace

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  • Mel Duker

    That is SO cute!!!!!
    If I had been on the bus I would have been smiling :o)

    • daddownunder

      How could you not Mel? They were speaking to each other in the international language of peek-a-boo

  • Wendy

    Sounds like some adults could learn a lesson from these two :)

    • daddownunder

      That’s what I was thinking Wendy, I’ll do my best to make sure he keeps that acceptance of others.

  • Circle of Toast

    Aww, cuteness! Sounds like Max has got some moves going on there! I’ve been in relationships where we’ve had less in common than that, so he’s doing well already :)

    • daddownunder

      Its very amusing Lisa, he sees the object of his desires, stands in front of them and just starts jumping like its the best trick in the world and only he has truly mastered it, most just walk off leaving him heartbroken

  • Julie

    Smooth mover. Way back when Tamika was in year one, she came home and told me she had a new boyfriend, she said he was tall and pretty. She also told me that she wondered if he would taste nice. I thought this strange. I hoped there was no tasting going on! When questioned further she explained he was so pretty because he was just like chocolate. Next day this tall thin boy came running up to Tamika at the gate. The enthusiasm was over whelming. He spoke no English, but this did not stop Tamika taking a mile a minute to him.
    She was correct in her description, he was tall and very pretty and coming from Africa he did have beautiful chocolate coloured skin.

    • daddownunder

      You can get away with comments like that in Grade 1, not sure she would anymore Julie – I’m sure you remind her of that quote every so often. More proof if needed that kids are fantastic.

  • Rory Mouttet

    Brilliant post mate. If only we could see the world through the eyes of children and leave our prejudices behind.

    • daddownunder

      Thanks Rory, I reckon we all start off in our purest form and those people that can resist the extra layers that come along on the journey usually turn out the best.

  • yTravelBlog

    Love this post Matt. It’s why we travel so much. Children see what’s on the inside above all else. I love how they remind us how pure and simple it really is.

    • daddownunder

      Its not rocket science is it Caz – treat others how you would have them treat you. I hope we get to take Max on plenty of little adventures like your little ones.

  • Lynn

    Hi Matt, this, I can appreciate. As mommy to my fabulous daughter who was born in Haiti, I am always aware of how others interact with us in our relatively homogenous community. As a multi racial family we always get second looks but it is the interaction with children I enjoy. Its the most real. Always pleased to respond when they ask whether I am her mother or where she was born, we have a little discussion then all are off to the swings or slide. Easy peasy as my daughter would say. We are under no illusions that all interactions are as perfect, but the kids, yes, we will take any day. Lynn

    • daddownunder

      That’s all you can do Lynn, lots of honesty and openness and if people are too narrow to deal with it then its their loss.

  • Psych Babbler

    This is just one of the things I love about kids…the freedom with which they will interact with everyone and anyone.I love the confidence they show and they are not deterred by a lack of response unlike us adults whose brains start to kick into worry mode. Additionally, the whole skin colour thing is something I don’t think kids pay attention to…I must say, as someone who is dark-skinned, I forget the colour of my skin and those of my friends who are of different ethnicities as well. Shows you how unimportant it is! Kids can teach us a lot!

    • daddownunder

      “I must say, as someone who is dark-skinned, I forget the colour of my skin and those of my friends who are of different ethnicities as well” – that’s the way things should be. Proof if needed that kids are awesome.

  • Lilani Goonesena

    Gorgeous. Kids don’t even see things like skin colour and differences in appearance. They just see smiles and friendliness and think everyone is beautiful. Which they are!

    • daddownunder

      Lilani it’s very heart warming, there is a girl that we see that’s my sons age and she has cystic fibrosis, he couldn’t give a stuff he just tries to make her smile.

  • Sam Stone

    So gorgeous! I love when kids of this age interact like no-one is watching. When do we get all cynical and cranky :(

    • daddownunder

      Its a slippery slope to crankiness, I don’t think I’m there yet and hope I never am. Taking inspiration from Peter Pan.

  • Renee Wilson

    I love this story. So gorgeous.

    • daddownunder

      Thanks Renee, you can’t help but smile can you? I was grinning like a moron.

  • Zenlisa

    This is just sweet! Let’s all be more like kids.

  • carmen@musingnmayhem

    Beautiful post, beautiful story. :)

    • daddownunder

      Thanks Carmen, I’ll pass that on to the lead male

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  • NewLifeOnTheRoad

    Kids are brilliant, she smiled, he smiled and that was the beginning of a great friendship. Now if only us adults were so friendly towards each other :)
    Such a smart gorgeous little boy you have there xxx

    • daddownunder

      Thanks Lisa, I might be biased but I couldn’t agree more.