I am Strap your Kids in the Car Mum

Most days we all see something silly or shocking on our roads.

Maybe it’s a close call.  Maybe it’s a near miss.  Maybe it’s someone speeding…

And usually, we tut, or we hold our breath, or we swear or gesture some form of WTF at the offending driver…

But there is ONE thing that is becoming more and more prevalent on our roads, and Mammy can not for the life of me get my head around it…

Driving with kids who are NOT STRAPPED IN.

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In the past fortnight, I have seen THREE cases of this.

One car swung around a busy roundabout in my town with two toddlers standing at the windows in the back seat.

One pulled in to a carpark beside me and the child, no more than 5 years old, jumped out of the front seat, having been already standing when the car came to a stop.

One had a three year old standing between between the front seats as she swung into a parking space this morning. And yes, I know the child is three, because I know the woman who was driving.

Can I say anything?

God no.

Because how do you say it? Why is it my business?  How do I have ANY idea what that parent has been through this morning? How can you possibly comment without turning into the one thing that I personally despise…a sanctimammy.

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Others will say “Oh there were no seatbelts when we were children”.  I know.  I am one of that generation.  But hey, guess what? There was a lot less traffic and the roads were very differnt. Also, in the 80’s we thought it was safe to smoke while pregnant and that it was OK for teachers to hit our children…

So, HOW is it possible that this is happening?

My kids have grown up thinking that my car won’t start until they have their seatbelts on.  Of course I have rows with them where one of them will refuse to get into the seat, or where one has planked so impressively that I can’t get their belly to buckle so I can buckle them in.  And we have been late many many times because of these stand-offs.

But guess what?

This is ONE battle of wills which this Mammy will ALWAYS WIN.

Because I don’t give a continental shite how late I am, or how much she is crying, or how much I want to scream and tear my hair out, there is NOTHING in this world which will make me put my children into the car without them being strapped in.

NOTHING.

(And trust me, I have put my back out trying!)

Because as difficult as kids can be and as much as we are “only going around the corner”, none of us know what or who is also coming around that corner and even strapped in, none of us are 100% safe on the roads.

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I hate to sound preachy.  I really do.  It goes against every fibre of my blogging-being.  But seriously, the one and only true thing of any value that we have, is our children.

And while none of us can guarantee their safety when we’re on the roads, we CAN guarantee it within our cars and thereby give them the best possible chance in the event of the unthinkable happening.

I’d rather put up with tantrums and fights than live with my self if anything happened my child while I am driving.  Because if you don’t strap them in, then it’s as much your fault as the other driver’s if they get hurt.

Stop it.

Strap them in and wise up.

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I am Strapping her in Mum

To the Lady in the Car.
I know that right now, it does not look like it, but yes, yes they ARE my children. I am not trying to kidnap them.
Yes it may look like I am a stranger, dragging them against their will to a world unknown, to torture and penance, but trust me, the only one enduring torture and penance at this particular moment, is me. (and perhaps your eardrums.)
I am not a stranger however. I am their Mammy. I carried each of them in my stretched womb for 76 months… I have loved, fed, clothed and nurtured them since their births, and I spend the entirety of my existence working to provide for them, both spiritually and physically. Sometimes, mentally too, but that’s mostly Me. I have paper to prove that these little ones, who right now are screaming and hollering so much that I forgive your raised eyebrow, ARE INDEED MINE. I also have the stretchmarks and ruined ladybits as a receipt.
Right now, as I fight with my Twoublemaker to get her into the car seat in the car that they know well as ours, I wonder if I had an ACTUAL receipt, would some shop take them back…even just for ten minutes? Her plank is stronger than any grown Man in our Jim, and her ability to remain in said position despite Mammy’s manipulation, begging and near force, is fecking ridiculous. While she refuses to allow her arse onto HER car seat, the 6 year old wails because apparently going home with the woman who feeds and clothes and loves her, is a punishment worse than anything imaginable. She too, is crying. WHY? Fecked if I know…
What I do know however, is that to a stranger, it looks like the crazy sweaty woman in her honking gym gear has randomly pulled up to the childcare and lifted the first two children she bumped into. It looks like I am a monster, determined to steal them to sell them for rubies or diamonds…or gin or something.
And as I finally force, (not gonna lie, she didn’t go gently…), my uberstrong fartypants into her seat and strap the crying one into hers, I get into MY seat to start the car. I turn off the radio as I can’t hear it over the pair of them anyway. One is now asking why it is not Friday so she can have a treat, and the miniest one is screaming “POP POP POP” at the top of her strapped in little lungs. I look across and see you smile at my sympathetically and I wonder if your children also like to play the “Let’s make her lose the will to live as she straps us in the car” game. I believe it is their way of expressing their love for me… They love me dearly, they do.
We begin the long journey home, to the house where YES we do all live together, and of course, after approximately 35 metres, both of the little feckers are singing and chattering away in the back seat as if NOTHING has just happened.
I imagine them high-fiving each other behind my back, their eyebrows communicating in secret code, “Go us… we’ve made the wench pay. Now, let’s work on getting pizza for tea.”
“What’s for tea Mammy?”
“Brocolli”.
Take that Bitcheepoo. (Yes, they’re getting pizza… )
Sincerely in nappies and gin,
Mammy
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Funny how Jessie and Woody don’t freak out on HER when she’s strapping them into her “car, isn’t it?
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