I’ve had this post in the hopper for a few months and then a debate on a friend’s Facebook wall led me back here to dust this off and hit publish. In a nutshell, there was significant commenting about how one person is a certified safety expert or something and they have “scientific proof” that kids should remain rear facing for…well, they didn’t exactly say when this ends. But at 3 years old, their kid is still facing rear. I commented that we turned the Pirate at 11 months and people have to do what is right for their families. I’m not sure that went over well. And because I love my friend, I decided to make a flip “soon we’ll all be in bubbles, breastfeeding til our teen years and peanut butter will be outlawed” comment to lighten the mood a bit.
So, my car seat story. I was driving clients around about a month ago in the “work” car – you know, the car we keep as a dog and kid-free zone. (When I say “we” I clearly only mean “me” because when Cool Dad takes the work car, I often find halves of sandwiches and individual servings of Cheerios floating around the backseat. Annoying!)
Logistics that are too stupid to explain here, have made us put the First Mate’s car seat base into this car. That ends up resulting in all sorts of kid-centered comments when you’re in the car and clients are sitting next to a car seat, sans baby of course. My newly married clients were saying how they want to have kids but they can’t imagine how people deal with all the “stuff” that kids have. They said their brother and sister-in-law were texting from a 1 year old birthday party that actually had pony rides and sushi or some other such crap. Yes, those people throwing that party are assholes, but I digress. I started going on a rant about how I’m bringing 1970’s parenting back. These were new clients by the way. I probably should have toned it down until I knew them better but they still ended up buying a house with me so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
I started out by telling them how I ended up having to drive to a playgroup in Logan Circle where you have to have a permit to park on most of the streets. I have the permit, but it is not in the car that has the Pirate’s car seat. Because I am bred from a generation of hoarders, I’m stuff-averse, so buying 2 car seats is not an option. This parking permit isn’t just a permit you can move from car to car. Noooo, it’s the damn registration sticker that self-destructs if you try to remove it. I ended up shoving the Little Pirate into the back seat with the tinted windows, put the seatbelt around her and just drove to the playgroup. When I got home, Cool Dad asked how I got to Playgroup since it was pissing down jugular cutting icicles outside. I told him I drove. He asked how, since he had the car with the car seat, and I said, “uhhh…..”
He said, “You didn’t.”
I said, “Uh…I did.”
He said all sorts of that’s dangerous, how could you do that, kind of comments.
I said, “Please. In our family I wasn’t in a car seat at 2 years old! I even tried to get out on the highway because they let me sit by the door and Squidward had to save me. It’s family lore now!”
He said, “Yeah, and my dad used to smoke with the windows up and they would let me lay in the back window of the car but that doesn’t make it right.”
Well, we turned out okay. I think…
The other day the same situation presented itself again. Cool Dad had a meeting in the hinterlands of Maryland that was supposed to be at 9:00 a.m. He dropped the Pirate off at daycare and headed north. The day ticked by and his meeting kept getting pushed. This is what happens when you have a meeting with county officials – they can do whatever they want. So he said he was going to leave the meeting. But it’s necessary for him to be there. Like, very financially necessary. Like, without going into details, very lucratively necessary because it’s a big real estate deal that Cool Dad has to be there to defend and explain and ultimately get approved. Which it did. Yay!
I told him to stay. I told him I would borrow a car seat from someone. I told him I would borrow a car too. I told him I could take the metro and a bus (even I laughed out loud at that as I was texting it) I told him I could get an uber with a car seat, but not to worry.
I planned on doing none of those things. The First Mate in tow, I walked out the door to pick up the Pirate. I never had any intention of spending my afternoon trying to locate a car seat for her. I smuggled the Pirate into the backseat, and when she saw she wasn’t going into a car seat she was gleeful. She got this big smile on her face. I told her she was a big girl, and she had to be good, or Mommy would go to jail. She said okay.
Midway through the ride home she started grabbing at the other seatbelt by the window and flinging it into the window.
“Little Pirate, you have to stay in your seat. Do you want Mommy to get arrested?”
Hmmph. I actually think she would enjoy that. You know, some jail time isn’t looking so bad. It might be a nice rest.
Anyway, the Pirate is now too big for her convertible seat. And if I faced her backward like some people suggest science dictates, her feet would be hanging into the luggage compartment. Perhaps this is why I failed science in high school. Anyway, we got her a booster seat. At 2 years old. About 2 years before “they” say you should. And you know what? I don’t effing care what anyone has to say about that. I made the right decision for our family and for the Pirate.