Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Riding in Cars

Back in the good 'ol days, my mom would pop 2 of the legs out from under my "carbed" in order to level the device, make sure I was good and cozy before sitting down in the driver's seat and off we went. That was how they did things before the days of 5-point harnesses, airbags that sensed the weight of the passenger and LATCH restraint systems.

Now, as our state is on the brim of putting a new law into effect regarding kids and booster seats, I am finding myself torn and confused as to how to keep my children safe in the car.

Part of my problem is that my younger son is physically bigger than his older brother. It's been that way since birth. And although they've seem to struck a deal between themselves (McRae promises not to call Wyatt "fat" and Wyatt promises not to call McRae "shrimp", though neither boy is either one of those things) this new law is threatening the very core of their brotherly relationship.

Wyatt may not need a booster seat.

McRae most definitely does.

According to the information I have, children must meet 2 of the 3 requirements to be "off the hook" when it comes to needing a booster seat in our state.

Those requirements are 1) child must be 8 years old, 2) child must weigh at least 80lbs, and 3) child must be 4 feet 9 inches tall.

McRae is 10-years-old. That's it.

Wyatt meets all requirements. No question about it.

Now, where did I put my 10-year-old? I need to feed him cream puffs, put a little meat on his bones so that his poor little ego will survive this new booster seat law.


Christina_the_wench said...

Then someone will bitch because our kids are obese. Vicious cycle.

Mine are past any of the requirement crap. Though my oldest (14 yr old.) is short like me and just barely fits the height limit.

Tabba said...

Yeah, I just don't know. I understand the laws are for the safety of our children, but it does just seem like a vicious cycle.

Bon said...

what a dilemma...sure, the safety definitely matters. sure, not getting massive fines matters. but does risking both your boys' sense of self-image over an iffy in-between kind of law make sens cause if you think that either of them would end up feeling bad about the disparity, it would seem better to keep them both in the seats, or take them both out, i think.

that's a really tough gray area.

Kristin said...

My kids are screwed. Jack is 9 but not 80 pounds... in fact, he is not quite 60 pounds and so, by new CA regulations, he should be back in a booster.

My car has "stadium" seating so I stick him in the 3rd row where the seatbelt fits him properly...

Sheesh... you can't win!

BTW, I love the new look!

Lisa said...

Ohhh. Pretty new design on your blog! Me likes!

You know this is really funny that you mention this. We had a babysitter who was in 8th grade. Her parents were both short, small statured people. I don't think she was even 80 pounds and I KNOW she wasn't taller than 4'10 (Her mom wasn't even 5'ft tall). She always had to sit in the backseat when we'd pick her up for a babysitting gig cause she didn't meet requirements to sit in the front.

That's a gray area. Tough situation.

Woman with kids said...

Up until this past year, there was only about 10 pounds, but 3 years difference between the boys. Boy 2 was just as big as Boy 1. Now that PUBERTY! has hit, Boy 1 has grown and is very happy being the big kid on the block. It went straight to his head.

Left Coast Sister said...

yerg. So if I lived in WA I'd have to have booster seats for 5 MORE years?!! Best of luck with that.
You're so pretty in pink these days!

jen said...

it's funny, b/c when we travel in other countries we always see kids riding three to a scooter, in backs of trucks, in crazy situations.

no one can sue in most of those places, so folks manage it differently. when M has come we've taken her car seat, but it still strikes me, the difference.

Becky said...

oh man...i'd be torn too. keep us posted on what you decide

Brillig said...

Hi... I'm new here, so I don't yet know exactly where you're at. The law in my area is that after the age of 5 they no longer need anything, though a booster seat is strongly recommended. I want my kids to be safe and all, but life is so much easier when, for instance, my five year old wants to ride with grandma somewhere and I don't have to move any car seats.

I think these requirements are incredibly strict!!! But then again, what do I know? Maybe many lives can be saved...

Sean and Gen said...

Nah, just put some rocks in his pocket or books on his lap to weigh him down and save his life.

Just a little on the nutty side, huh?