Should Taxi Drivers Be Allowed to Give Sick Children the Boot?

When your day starts out with your kid vomiting all over himself and you on the way to school, you know it can only get better.

We took a cab this morning, because I didn’t feel like dealing with the sweaty, gross subway. Two minutes from our place, just after we had gotten onto the bridge, Mason got sick all over himself. Yucky, mommy! I had to agree with him. He was sitting on my lap, and I could feel the stuff dripping down my arms and legs.

The cab driver slammed on the breaks and tried to kick us out in the middle of one of the busiest bridges in New York City. I refused to get out. It was totally unsafe, and there was no way I was going to walk nearly a mile to get to the subway, in 70-degree weather, with both of us covered in sick.

Here’s what I felt like saying to the guy:

Sorry my sick kid is ruining your day, as-hole, but think how he feels. His tummy hurts, he’s covered in stinky sick, and now he has to listen to some jerk yelling at his mommy. Now turn this cab around, and take us home right this minute!

Instead, I bribed him with an enormous tip. He shrugged and looped back toward our place.

Then poor Mason got sick twice more. The driver swore and made us get out five blocks from our place. At least we were off the bridge at that point. I ended up carrying Mason like a baby, with sick on our clothes, arms, and legs, home to our apartment. People stared at us in horror. One guy actually yelled UGH! as we passed by. I stared straight ahead and kept walking, feeling like something from Night of the Living Dead.

Should cab drivers have the right to kick sick kids out of their cars? Or, is the occasional sick passenger just part of the job?

Photo: New York City taxis via Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Ann

    On August 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I am so sorry that happened to you today. I hate that fellow humans can be so mean to a sick child. I hope Mason feels better soon.

  2. by Heather

    On August 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks so much, Ann. It wasn’t the best morning we’ve ever had, but it looks like he’s on the road to recovery (knock on wood):)

  3. by Natassija Harrington

    On August 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    This really makes me angry to see such disrespect toward this mother and her sick child. What if she was on her way to the Hospital would he have denied her the trip still. That poor baby had to witness his mother be ridiculed about vomit that was obviously out of her control, it made me sick to just imagine her walking 5 blocks to get her sick child home. Cab drivers shoulldn’t be allowed to refuse service to mothers with sick children & this driver in particular should be ashamed of his actions…. So sad.

  4. by Audrey

    On August 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I’m glad I don’t have to rely on Public Transport – but I recently met a child that gets sick everytime he gets on a bus. I was with him for 4 days as he attended the children camp I was serving. He’s a great kid & he prepared plastic bags (much like the Paper Bags available on planes & trains – except that we don’t use paper that much in our region) … and did as much as he could in it. He’s a good sport. I bet his Mum taught him well.
    Just to say – BE PREPARED … as a Mum of 4, I used to prepare extra clothes (yup, 4 sets) – just in case of accidents like this. We can only do what needs to be done – and most importantly, to tell our children, it’s OK. Don’t get fearful of being sick, nor be proud to be sick! ;D
    Anyway, I’d like to think that most people have compassion for the sick – sad to say, you met the wrong ones. Anyway, cabs should have paper bags. Have a Blessed Day!

  5. by Melissa

    On August 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I agree he should have kicked you out. However, I was just wondering why was he sitting on your lap and not buckled in.