As cooler weather descends upon us, we parents of the Great White North must resign ourselves to the dreaded daily struggle that is the snowsuit. But it doesn’t end there…
I recently came across online recommendations saying that when you strap your children (of any age) in their carseats, you must remove winter clothing first. Here is a link. (Note: The images in these articles always feature smiling children sitting cooperatively in the back of a spacious mini-van. The angry, red, chapped, tear stained faces with drippy noses never make the cut).
Do you do this?
We have always been careful to follow carseat rules, using appropriately sized seats and adjusting them correctly. Heck, these days, they won’t even let you leave our local hospital with your newborn until you can prove you have a carseat and know how to use it. When the kids were itty bitty little things in bucket seats, you could buckle and then bundle them up appropriately indoors and then just pop them into the base in the car, no problem. (Note, my son was not yet appropriately bundled for winter in this photo).
Getting my 2.5 year old toddler into his snowsuit these days could be compared to wrestling an angry octopus into a mesh bag. Through all of the running away, kicking, screaming and flailing, I eventually get all of his limbs into the correct holes, and I carry the bundle of tears, often football style out into frigid temperatures and into the car. Then, he adopts a variety of plank-like positions and ear-splitting screams in order to prevent the buckling of the seatbelt at all.
However, the seatbelt always gets fastened, and tightened. You’re welcome son.
Tell me to add the removal of the snowsuit before getting into the car and to put it back on at the other end, and I’m going to look at you like you’ve got two heads. (Please see update below).
There was a time when people rebelled against wearing seatbelts, and then helmets. Now these things are the norm. (Here’s a link to the history of the carseat and a slideshow of how they progressed ). Perhaps snowsuit removal will become the norm too. Maybe I’ll change my mind on this one too. Who knows?
But isn’t there a point when too many rules and regulations make things so complicated people just stop going places?
I have two sons. They climb, they fall, they wrestle, they bump, they bruise and they
bleed. Some days I feel I will be lucky if I can get them safely to adulthood. I do everything that I can, within reason, to keep those two little men safe. I am a worrier. I am a stickler about helmets on bikes, parental supervision, and following the rules. But sometimes, I just have to buckle those kids into their seats as they are.
Spend half an hour online and you will find a dozen ways you are endangering your children’s lives on a daily basis. Carcinogens in the baby soap? Non-organic vegetables? Co-sleeping? (Oops … three more strikes).
How are you failing your children?
(Disclaimer: Do not follow my lead. Always follow manufacturer guidelines.)
So…as an update, after a lot of online research, we are looking at possible compromises. It seems one possibility is leaving the coat unzipped, and buckling against the chest. Still not ideal but better. The guilt got to me once again.