Hope everyone is doing good and enjoying the May flowers? I know I am, they just make every where look more beautiful and they definitely cheer me up. Hmm-mmm-mmm
So yesterday I had children in my car, *like, I ever drive around without one or more kids in the car* But I am talking about kids other than mine; kids who are not aware of the rules I have in the car about seat belts; kids who have never seen or experienced the panic that attacks me, if they take off their seat belts for whatever reason while I am still driving. Yes, those kids.
So one of them took off her seat belt to get a toy that she had dropped on the floor. Immediately I realized that she was off her car seat trying to get said toy, I panicked. I was transported back 2 years ago.....
It was a Sunday evening, I was home alone with the children. My house-help went for a class and I wanted to go to my mom's. I had no car seats for my kids because they were always carried whenever we went out *error*. The sensible thing was to wait for my help to get back so we would all go together to my mom's and she would carry my 9 month old as we usually did. I was impatient. I was thinking to myself, the drive is less than 5 minutes, my mom lived a street away, what harm could happen? I forgot about the terror of okadas. I was almost at my mom's house when one okada came out of nowhere and to prevent hitting him, I stepped on my brakes forgetting that I had a baby not properly strapped at the back. Before I could say jack, my baby was on the floor crying, his older sister was trying to pull him up only to come up with blood on her hands. I dont know how I made it the rest of the way but it wasnt funny. Spent hours at the hospital that evening. Thank God, the cut on his head wasnt deep so he didnt need stitches. The enjoyable evening I envisioned became one of worry, tears and 'had-i-knowns'. So from that day, I was preaching the gospel of children must be properly strapped in their car seats.
....Sister Calm deserted me at that moment. As I was telling her to get back on her seat and fix her seat belt, on the same breath I was asking my son why he didnt stop her from taking her seat belt off* wonder what a 3+ could have done* I was also looking for an available spot to park and make sure she gets strapped properly before we continue on our journey. I was so scared that the worst could happen. I was super glad when I dropped them off at home. Only for me to see a small child seated on the center console of a car, playing with another child in the car who was seated properly while the mom was looking for a parking spot at the mall. I just shuddered. I was scared all over again for the mother.Ehn!
Children must be restrained in a moving vehicle at all times no matter how short the distance.
Children must ride at the back of car either in an appropriate car seat or booster seat. Children below 13 must sit at the back.
Everyone must be buckled up on every ride.
And that is my gospel of safe driving with children.
What are your own tips for driving with kids?