Friday, April 11, 2008

I Can See Heaven

I am a stickler about car seat safety. In the field day of motherhood there are many events. Breastfeeding advocacy might be yours, or perhaps homeschooling. Mine is car seat safety. I'm a car seat Momzilla. My son looks like an oversized baby in his Britax. At five-years-old, he belongs in a Carseat
booster seat, but I stress about his freedom of movement and the fact that his positioning, not the exceptional design of the car seat and straps, will determine his level of safety. I'm going to suck it up in August and get the kid a booster seat but, until then, my son's shoulders are still below the straps and I plan on making good use of that pricey seat.

I'm especially cautious when I have other people's children in the car with me. Every other Friday, I pick up my friend Candice's son, Cody. He goes to school with my son and they are great friends. I take them to lunch and then to my house for some play time. For this reason, I keep an extra car seat in my car, strapped in and ready to go. I had removed it, though, and moved the rear seat to move some big items so I had to reinstall it in the car line. I'm a stickler about installation and I always tug at the seat before Cody gets in it to make sure it hasn't loosened since the last time it was used. I went through this whole process when I picked Cody up last week. I made sure all three kids were strapped in well and I set off towards the golden arches.

There's only about a mile and two stoplights between McDonald's and my son's school. I was chatting  with the kids about the day's activities when I stopped, rather abruptly at the first light (it was pink). I heard a thud and looked in my rearview mirror. Cody was gone. Disappeared. Vanished. I freaked and called his name,

Me: Cody? Cody?

Cody: (calm) I'm here.

Me: Are you OK?

Cody: I can see heaven.

Thankfully, "heaven" was the sky, not the afterlife. While I had expertly installed the car seat, I had failed to lock the actual rear van seat into place (our seats flip back for tailgating purposes when they aren't locked). When I stopped quickly, the seat (with Cody in it), had flipped back so that Cody, still strapped into the car seat, was essentially lying down. He had been cushioned by the car seat so didn't bat an eyelash but it was pretty jarring to suddenly notice that one kid wasn't in the car anymore!


  1. ROFL!!!! My poor Cody! This has got to be one of the funniest things ever! I can sooo picture him lying there looking up at heaven a.k.a the sky! T-Man gets to ride in a booster in my car, and LOVES it, I think when August comes he'll be good to go ;)

  2. But he was buckled. So you're good. I'm sure his mom enjoyed hearing that story from him.

  3. I'm pretty serious about car seats too. I wrench my body in all sorts of positions until I get the car seat in as tight as possible. If there is any movement at all in the seat, I consider myself a failure at installation. The other day when I installed a third car seat in the middle of the back seat for one of Kate's friends I discovered that Patrick's seat was completely was effectively just sitting in the back seat not strapped in at all. When I announced this loudly, Katherine informed me nonchalantly..."Oh yeah, I accidently unbuckled it this morning." So, I had driven around town ALL DAY with my child safely buckled into a car seat that was not attached to the seat whatsoever. Scary.

  4. I am pretty serious about this stuff, so serious that Trey has taken liberty to YELL at me if I forget to strap him in, "Mommy, mommy YOU FORGOT TO STRAP ME IN". I don't do that often, but I am sure glad he does that. It scares me to death when he does this, but it works!

  5. Oh J- we have a Britax Booster Seat, love it! It is scary at first to have it b/c it just sits in the seat no straps to hook it to the car seat. The ladies at the store said that is how booster seats are. You can pay a little more for ones w/ the 5 harness method or one that straps to the car seat.
    But, I love the Britax, I love the head rest too, if Trey falls asleep, no heading hanging.

  6. Forgive my loud guffaws but it is pretty funny, carefully strapping a secure baby seat to an unsecured vehicle seat.

  7. LOL. For some reason, this story doesn't have the ending I expected. It matches your picture on this journal. LOL. Sounds like Cody has a developing sense of humor!

  8. this one made me laugh out loud - - thanks!

  9. i'm laughing so hard i have tears rolling down my face!!!!!!!!!!!!! love the "i'm here"......oh my god - priceless! (and thank GOD nobody got hurt!!!) thanks for the laugh today!!!

  10. Oh, gosh, too funny. Especially since no one was hurt. I've done what Jacquelyn did: buckled my girl into her seat all snug, but the seat wasn't attached at all. Glad it was a safe trip.
    How's the writing? :-)

  11. I can see heaven!
    Ha! I love it ! So hilarious!
    Thanks for making me laugh today.

  12. This is hilaious. I, too, am a carseat momzilla. We have had two Britax Roundabouts, three Britax Marathons and now Eleanor has a Britax Monarch booster. I was terrified to move her to a booster but she was at the height limit for the Marathon. She loves it. Here is my story I share with every person that doesn't have a safe carseat: when Eleanor was 5 months old she was in the car with my Mom. A teenage boy in a Mustang convertible ran a red light and hit them head-on. My mom's Lexus was so badly damaged we drove by it a couple of times when we went to retrieve her things from it. My mom was hurt badly and Eleanor only had two tiny bruises on her collarbone from the harness straps. The policeman said that was one of the best seats he had ever seen and it saved her life. I never want to get another call like that but I hope it will help someone if I share my story. Feel free to pass it along. I love BRITAX!
    PS- I can see heaven- so great!