Remember when it was popular to equip sedans with the dog-door-like access into the trunk via the backseat? Well, as I have said before, I was a very skinny kid: skinny enough to fit through that porthole into the trunk of my dad’s Saab.
However, this wasn’t a sneaky, rebellious little kid activity. I would be sitting in the back, no booster seat and simply say to my parents, “Can I get in the trunk?”
Usually, they would say it was okay and I would climb back there, lay around with my thoughts and whenever we arrived at our destination, my parents would get out of the car and pop the trunk to let me out.
Sure, we got some weird looks in the parking lot of Home Depot or wherever we may have been, but that was it. If I wasn’t in the trunk of my father’s four-door, I was in the back of his suburban asleep on a pile of blankets and pillows.
The other day, I was feeding O her bottle and couldn’t reach the remote. The show that I was forced to watch was about stupid people getting caught doing stupid things.
One of these stupid situations was caught on a police dash cam when a woman was pulled over for her expired inspection sticker. It was all going smoothly until the policeman heard her children but couldn’t see them.
You guessed it: they were riding in the trunk.
Then the officer arrested the mom. He arrested her! No dirty looks. Just handcuffs.
This stupid show about stupidity represents our society today and what is expected of us as parents. Those kids were having a gay old time in the trunk followed by watching their mother be taken away by the police.
Even as I write this, I can hear the other mothers shouting, “Is this biotch insane? She’s actually advocating putting your kids in the trunk?!”
No, not necessarily. I am simply advocating against fear-based parenting.
You know what else I did when I was little? I played around horses. In fact, I would bring my potty out into the stables and pee right next to them.
I also played on a trampoline without supervision, took a flight alone when I was seven, and God forbid, trick-or-treated in the dark. And I’m alive to tell you about it.
I’m no fool; the world is a scary place and getting progressively scarier. However, should I keep O out of school because of the rise of school shootings? Out of the ocean because of sharks? Off of all public transportation because strangers are all crack-head murderers?
No, I don’t plan on doing any of the above. I want my baby to grow up, buckle up and ride the rollercoaster. I want her to strap herself in and jump out of the plane. To put on her seatbelt and let me take her on some winding roads.
Before anyone calls the cops on me, let me just say that I strap O into her car seat, into the car facing backwards and with the blanket on top of the straps.
But, guess what? I rarely use the base! I take the seat belt and put it through the loops and buckle it in. Bam.
I also count down the days until I can turn her forward. The only time I feel unsafe while driving with my baby is when she begins to fuss and I have to blindly reach all the way around her hooded seat to feel around for her binky and pray I don’t try to stick it up her nose.
The safety regulations mandated by insurance companies are not looking out for our children, they’re looking out for themselves. So live a little. If you’re cool with it.
Or go ahead and have your freshman in a booster seat with a helmet on but eventually, he might grow up and ride a motorcycle. And, we all know how safe those things are.
Don’t be scared, Baby…
I got you.