Thursday, November 3, 2011

Car Seat Hijinks

Once upon a time, there was a young man who not only didn't mind getting in his car seat, he actually enjoyed it. Observe the smiling face:At some point, however, the young man realized that being in a car seat meant three things:
1. He was not anywhere near his mama and his mama's conveniently placed nutrition delivery vehicles (ahem).
2. He was strapped in and unable to roam hither and yon.
3. He was going backwards and therefore surprised by his arrival at any location.

It was at this point that the young man decided to assert himself. No longer would it be sufficient for his mama to simply fold him into a seated position, quickly tuck him into the seat and buckle him in with the speed of a fast-buckling demon. (Those are the demons you really have to watch out for).

For the young man had discovered that he could turn over in the car seat (REITERATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE SAFETY-CONSCIOUS AND ONLY HALF READING THIS POST: the car is not moving when this turning over occurs) and he could then stand facing the front end of the car, gloriously aware of which direction the parked vehicle was pointed.

It looked something like this, except imagine the young man is clothed and standing in his car seat rather than against the supportive shoulder of a grandma:The young man's discovery of this power brought about changes in the daily routine of driving places. For his mama was forced to use alternative methods to safely buckle the child into his car seat. Cajoling was largely ineffective, although that was generally the mama's go-to method to begin her attempts to corral the child in the hopes that one day the phrase, "Come on, LO, I really need you to sit down" would produce the desired effect.

(Considering the fact that the mama had been a high school English teacher in a previous life, she really should have known better than to attempt cajoling when any human being under the age of 45 is the attempted cajolee. But even four years of teaching could not dampen the hope that springs eternal in the breast of a mama.)

The mama's second method of safe bucklery was to wait out the child's thirst for autonomy and exploration. Had she continued this method out to its conclusion, both she and the child would have had white hair and beards (don't think about that too hard) before safety prevailed.

And so the mama ultimately ended up having to use the tool in her arsenal that she most hated: being bigger, stronger and faster than the young man. With ruthless efficiency, she folded, stuffed, held down and buckled the young man so that he was safe in his seat whether he wanted to be or not.

And he most definitely did not:
Feeling a similar emotion, the mama would strap herself into the driver's seat and set off on their shared adventure. Within moments, the young man would calm down, feeling the devious hand of the sandman steal over him.

By the time he awoke from his motion-induced slumber, he would be back to his smiling and happy self, doing a great deal to alleviate the mama's guilt at her heavy-handed, misery-inducing tactics.
And the young man lived safely ever after.

(His mama is wondering if she can take a nap.)

1 comment:

  1. We are having the exact same problem at our house(car?). Only one of our twins does this, but the other one thinks that the shrieking from her sister is fun, so she will start to yell as loud as she can (which is *very* loud) as soon as the shrieking and wriggling begins.

    Let me know if you find any other fool-proof techniques. :)