Vodka, Cigarettes and Car Seats.

When my mom was a child, everyone smoked, drank and never wore car seats. Now I’m all for the advancement of medicine and science and hair dryers that work faster without frying my hair follicles, but at some point, life begs this question:

Is the world getting scarier, or are we just getting more anal retentive?

I’ve been looking into getting Riker a forward facing carseat. He’s 1 now, and over 20 pounds (he’s a tank, a slender tank, but a tank) and he’s very tall, so his feet stick way out of his little baby seat.

Forward facing car seats, when and where to put your infants into them, are a source of much debate. The American Academy of pediatrics recently changed their recommendations that children not be put in forward facing car seats until they are two. Which is hilarious to me, because at that point Riker will be 3 feet tall and his ankles would be dangling over the back edge of the seat, as he lays propped up like an ‘L’.

Some people say, wait. Some people say, just put them in the forward facing seat. Some people hew closely to the AAP recommendations, some just go for it when they feel like it.

Now, of course, I want to attend closely to my childrens safety. That’s why they sit in, and indeed are buckled into, car seats. But when I started to research some forward facing seats, I found that many are built like tiny sherman tanks, with teflon and head arresters and crazy Nascar racing 5 point harness straps.

There is more armour in this car seat than most Humvees. I know the upholstery is nicer.

I think about when my mom was a child, and kids bounced around the back seat like tiny Yorkies while parents flicked cigarette ash out the window on their way back from cocktail hour.  And yes, cars were bigger and there were less drivers on the road and we didn’t all drive like crazy hellions on the freeway and kids were hardier stock yadda yadda yadda.  All true. Like I said, I put my kids in car seats, so get off my case.

I know knowledge is power, and scientific advancements save LIVES, and stuff. I want my kids to be as safe as possible, but can we just for a moment consider the fact that perhaps, we’re kind of getting a bit paranoid?

All that said, I’m buying the best car seat I can afford. I mean, this isn’t the 60’s.

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About Jennifer James

I'm a full time mom who works full time. I'm a painter, a dreamer, and a believer that the most feminist thing you can do is adore your femininity. I say what I think, when it's appropriate for sharing. I write when I feel like I have something to say. I love always.

4 thoughts on “Vodka, Cigarettes and Car Seats.

  1. Ransom is really long, too. we switched him to forward-facing at 1, and i haven’t felt one bit bad about it. he was about two inches short of the length requirement (surprisingly, despite how crunched up he was in that silly seat), but i kind of didn’t care. we were also about to embark on a 2,000+ mile road trip, and it would have been extra lame for him to be staring at the back seat leather the whole time.

    i get the “safety” stuff. i get the paranoia. but i also get that everything is politically and fiscally motivated these days and that things get pushed on the public because there’s more to gain from fear than from truth (or practicality). what better set of people to manipulate than parents, right? ’cause if you don’t heed the warnings, you suck as a mom. (yuck. i don’t play those games…)

    we have one of those ridiculous mack-truck-looking car seats, too. my mom gave it to us… it’s pretty great, to be honest, but it is massive.

  2. In the very best of all possible worlds, our darling little bambinos would be wrapped in environmentally-friendly bubble wrap that moisturized their skin while providing vitamins and nutrients, as we carried them everywhere in slings and sang them songs about the universe. But, alas, this is not the very best of all worlds. And I can’t remember my point because I got distracted thinking about the logistics of that kind of bubble wrap.

    Suffice it to say, I think you’re making the right call. Would it really, truly be safer for him to be rear-facing with his little knees crammed into his chest? I think not.

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