Safety Belts 101

Did you know that safety belts were created for a reason? It took me a while to figure this one out. I know it sounds like a lack of common sense going on here, but in my defense I had some incredibly good kids the first few times around. The Baby has been my undoing. I know there are those parents who use safety belts on their kids because they're just plain good parents who care about the safety and wellbeing of their children. But it's the parents who strap their kids in out of sheer necessity that I sympathize with.

Micah is a climber. It took him a while to learn to become completely mobile because of his lack of muscle tone, but once he got going he was determined to make up for lost time. He climbed out of his crib, he climbed out of the playpen, he climbed over gates and he jumped out of shopping carts and strollers. Actually he still does these things at the should-know-better age of 4. The crib and the playpen have been put away, and we've learned that gates are ineffective unless mesh ones are stacked on top of each other to create a wall. (Mesh does not allow him to get a toe hold and climb over.) But I've since learned that those little belts in shopping carts and strollers are some of the handiest inventions ever. Kudos (and sympathy) to the mom who invented them.

Here is why one needs to use the safety belt in shopping carts. Once your little one becomes aware that they can stand up in the seat of the cart, the next step is to exit the cart. They can do this in two ways. They can launch themselves head first into the basket of the cart and acquire a red grid mark on their foreheads declaring to all the world that their parents are indeed slackers. I am here to testify that Children and Youth Services does not instantly rappel down from the ceiling on ropes when this happens. I feared that they would and was nervously trying to hide said grid mark while consoling my child from the realization that he had slacker parents. The other way to exit the cart is to simply jump head first to the floor. Thank goodness small feet can get trapped and they can dangle for a split second giving mommy enough time to pause from pinching the produce and rescue her future bungee jumper. Children and Youth also do not victoriously emerge from the vegetables. I was lucky, and I'm here to share my story so that you may be a better parent than I.

Safety belts are an important part of the stroller as well. Weird, I know. Who wouldn't want to be pushed through the mall rather than walk, carrying children, purses, coats and shopping bags? But somehow kids don't appreciate what they have and try exiting the stroller at any given time. When the wheels come to a stop it's a sure sign that it's time for their feet to take off. And then instead of browsing the racks for a bargain, you're searching for your son. On occasion kids will decide the stroller has not stopped when it should and will simply exit while on the go. If the slacker mom is talking with a friend or even window shopping she can be known to run over her own child. This is not as traumatic as it sounds, but the fact remains that she is, indeed, a slacker. While this is really more annoying than a safety issue, it can come around to bite you. I have learned that dressing rooms are not safe places to confine children. You are not exempt from using the stroller's safety belt if they are locked in a small room with you in it. This could well be the most important thing I need to convey to you. Please listen closely. Your child is not stupid. They will amuse themselves with the mirror long enough to fool you into thinking that they are enjoying this as much as you are. But when you are stripped down to your stretch marks and fat rolls they will suddenly jump out of their stroller, fling the door wide open and run down the hallway. You've got a choice to make. Pretend that it is not your child, quickly close the door, and put clothing on. Or streak after your child in an attempt to be a better mom. Friends, I'm here to tell you that this is a lose-lose situation. Please, always fasten your child securely in their safety belt.

12 comments:

Kellan said...

Very niced written, "stripped down to your stretch marks and fat rolls," - funny. Good post - I enjoyed it. See ya.

Cecily R said...

Snort! You are so fun Karen! I love your posts. I loved "Children and Youth also do not victoriously emerge from the vegetables.". I can totally see that happening.

Last week my sister and I were in a car with our babies and our mom and grandmother for several hours going to and from a baby shower (the big kids were home with dads). My grandma started talking about how when she had babies she could just feed them in the front seat and we started talking about how inconvenient car seats can be. Then my sister said,

"It can be annoying, but there's something to be said for being able to strap the kids down for a few minutes. Sometimes I take them for rides (she has four year old twin boys)just because not only can I strap them in, it's the law!"

Cecily R said...

I want to read about your 15th. Send me the link (I am too lazy to look for it at the moment...sorry)!!!!

Karen said...

My husband never did understand why I'd go shopping so often when the kids were little. Lawfully "strapping" the children has benefits. One of which is mama's sanity.

Karen said...

Cecily, here's the link to the events up to our wedding:

http://therockingpony.blogspot.com/2007/09/15-years-baby.html

And the honeymoon to follow:

http://therockingpony.blogspot.com/2007/09/honeymoon.html

Kari & Kijsa said...

Hey...would you mind if we posted about your umbrella stand? We wanted to talk about solutions on what to do with it! Let us know!

blessings, kari and kijsa

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

OK, so what do I do now that the toddler has figured out how to undo seatbelts? She doesn't touch the one in the car, but she can break out of the stroller in 2.2 seconds. Of course, she only does it when I'm not looking.

Karen said...

kari & kijsa - I'd be honored to have my umbrella stand grace your sight. I'll be looking for it.

bb's mom - I'm so sorry. It makes shopping sheer misery when fighting the toddler. Try a belt around her and the umbrella stroller maybe? But those don't give you the basket underneath to stuff all your finds.

Michelle said...

oh no! did that happen to you?! Yikes!

I'm always worried about taking Kayla to a public bathroom when I have to go. She's tried to undo the lock and open the door, thank goodness the stalls are small enough I can hold the door shut and plead with her to just WAIT until I'm done LOL She's also attempted to crawl under the door to get out...oh my!

Shellie said...

Hallelujah and Amen Brother! I totally agree. So much so I trust you not to refer me to Child Protection Services. My little child restraint vent is on my blog in September under Blast From the Past 2001. If you have food issues too, this could save you a lot of work!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Karen,

Check out your question on our site! Hope we get some fabulous answers!

blessings, kari and kijsa

Dancin Queen said...

Dressing rooms terrify me!