Monday, January 2, 2012

Beginning of the End

With the start of the New Year, I am feeling like a new girl. But this year I am a smarter girl and will not be setting my own death trap- there will be no making a list of goals that I will never live up to. I'm intimidated the second my "goals" find their way to paper and at that exact moment....I start moving away slowly with my hands raised in the air. It's a real self-esteem buster so this year I'm steering clear of it. I'm thinking about coming up with a sort of "bucket list" with the kids for 2012. And I'm sure, masked in there will be things that sound veerrryyy much like...goals. But we would NEVER call them that.

There IS one resolve that I'm willing and ready to take a stance on for 2012. And I might go as far to deem it a goal, only because I know without a doubt that I can live up to it. It's probably like the equivalent of putting something on your to-do list AFTER you've already done it just so you cross it off and pat yourself on the back all in one swift motion.

Word on the street is my kids should be sitting in a booster seat. Let me tell you what I think about this:

Growing up, my mom taxied us 10 kids around (ok, only 7 but almost 10) in a big ole full-sized van. I think it had like 3 benches plus a HUGE "trunk" area. And that trunk area didn't go to waste. Because with 7 conspiring minds, there's no way wide open space- such as that- wasn't going to eventually be turned into a playing field.  And this happened when at some point we discovered 4 folded up lawn chairs were being stored there, probably after going to the park or something like that. And with a prop as inviting as that, the wide open space had created it's own game. We popped those chairs open, 2 in each row, with the rows facing each other and there we took our seats.... WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS MOVING. We had no time to worry about safety and getting in a real car accident because every bump my mom hit felt like we just rear-ended someone, which brought on the challenge of bracing yourself, finding your inner balance and not letting your chair tip over. Thus...creating the game. We mastered a few of those small bumps and we were begging my mom to find bigger ones, to go faster. Every town has the known jumps- where you drive at just the right speed, hit the bump, and it'll send you flying, causing your head to kiss the ceiling, resulting in just a few stars if you've reached optimal speed. As an adult I'm sure these bumps are AKA potholes or ditches or....curbs. Usually they're found by accident, but if you're young and dumb, you're going to keep going back for more. Now I'm not by any means calling my mom young and dumb. BUT...she had kids that were young and dumb and wanted excitement and had our fingers crossed that she would accidentally find one on the way home. Because it was one thing to hit one of these bumps when we were sitting on the bench seats, but to hit one of these bumps while we were on the lawn chairs was nothing short of a 2 second version of those rocket rides you find at amusement parks- it ejected you to space while your stomach stayed put right there on your seat. Those were good times.

Please note how many times you read the words 'seat belt' in this account. No need to re-read- you didn't hear it even once.

As absurd as an idea as this might be for now-a-days (I mean imagine your little 6 and 7 year olds bouncing around in the back in some flimsy old lawn chairs, secured down by....nothing), well.....that's how I feel about all these booster and car seat laws. I think it's absurd. I'm not going to disagree with the safety part of it. It most likely is safer than just a seat belt to have our kids in booster seats (although I really don't see how 4 inches of height makes that much of a difference). I also think it would be safer for all of us to walk around in bubble wrap and kinda bounce back up when we fall, or do a clumsy side step when we run into something. A lot less scratches, bruises, and broken bones and a lot more laughs. Society would benefit from both of those. But that's never going to happen- we aren't going to turn into a bubble-wrapped community. It is safer... but not necessary. And I- as the mom- like to be the one to make decisions like that for my crew, where it may be better or safer or more politically correct but not exactly necessary. I feel myself competent enough to decide when my child has outgrown a booster seat and I don't need a guilty conscience- induced by an overprotective law- to make me feel like a rebel for letting my 6-year-old (let's be honest, 5 year-old) out of a booster. I have enough unnecessary worries on my mind and I don't need help adding to the ever-growing list.   

So I'm committed in 2012...I will not be moving any children back to boosters. And I will maintain that 12{...ish} months is when babies go to forward-facing car seats......

With that resolve for 2012, I can confidently already call this year a success. 


  1. I feel like ever time I turn around there is a "new rule"... I was shocked when I was told that they want kids to be facing backwards tell two. That's a long time to be staring at the back of the seat. Em

  2. We set out on a family ride Sunday in the Scout and not 10 minutes in some lady yelled at us from the next lane something about "new law" and "$450 fine". It was enough to make us take back roads to our hiking spot - but the Scout only has lap belts, so not even sure if it applies? Also, at Wal-Mart last night and they had a HUGE display of booster seats. Sounds like a money maker to me!


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