Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bubble Wrap Brigade

Sometimes I think it would have been a lot easier to be a parent 50 years ago - you could send your kid out to play by himself without being paranoid that someone was going to call the police on you for child endangerment, adults in your neighborhood weren't afraid to correct your child's bad behavior and help him learn what was acceptable and what wasn't, and your child didn't have to ride in a booster seat until he was 8-years old.

But then, 50 years ago I wouldn't have had my boxes of disposable diapers and wipies, my groovy double snap 'n go stroller, or my glorious minivan. Yes, now is definitely a better time to be a parent.

But, I do find myself being annoyed now and then at the pervasive idea that we must protect our children from everything, whether it's scraped knees on the playground (playgrounds which became boring ever since the slippery metal slides got banished when the lawyers came out to play) or losing a game of soccer (no keeping score anymore - we must spare the feelings of our little ones!) It's like parents want to send their kids into the world swathed in bubble wrap. We must prevent all accidents!

So I read this article with interest. The gist is that car seats should only be used in the car as injuries are more common when the car seat is set on a counter or other elevated surface.

What struck me was not the article itself (of course babies will be safer if they are strapped in and sitting on the floor instead of the counter - we didn't need a study to tell us that), but one of the comments on the article which said:

"I see parents with car seats sitting on the front of shopping carts every time I am shopping. A warning against this practice is posted on car seats as well as on the front window/door of many stores. I know new parents are tired, but I wish more would use some common sense."

Several other commenters agreed with this person and it made me curious - how many people would not put their child's car seat in a grocery cart (more to the point, how many people are judging me as I walk around the store this way?) I have always done it without worrying too much. Is it ideal? Probably not. But the seat clicks in and is stable enough that it is not going to fall off without some pretty serious assistance (I do check to make sure it is secure before I move the cart).

Honestly, how else am I supposed to get my grocery shopping done, especially with twins? I can't carry both babies, and I'm not about to pull my stroller along with the cart - that is just impractical and annoying. And there is no way I'm going to hire a babysitter so I can run to Wegmans by myself.

So, I'm curious: am I the only one who thinks the car seat on the grocery cart isn't a big deal? I have posted a poll for your input. Take a second to tell me what you think.


Kristin said...

No judgments here. I did it all the time when Clara was still in her infant seat. After Anna was born I often put her infant seat in the main body of the cart since Clara was still sitting in the child seat portion. Or I would have Anna's infant seat clipped into the child seat and have Clara sit unsecured (gasp!) in the cart. They're both still alive. Like you, I always made sure the infant seat was secure, I never stray more than an arm's length from the cart, I usually kept a hand on the infant seat while I pushed the cart, and I've never worried much about it.

Cameron and Nonie said...

Wow. Never thought it was that big a deal. I've done it from the beginning and you should see me now. Carseat on top with 2 if not 3 kids hanging off the sides and maybe one in the back. Honestly people. Can't we grocery shop without the judgements. It's hard enough to get there with four kids, and harder not to have a major meltdown by either a child or their crazy mom. Pity they can't see me navigate down the road totting two behind my bike and yelling at the other two not go so far into the middle of the road. All well, nobody's died yet.

fiona said...

Yeah, I never thought it was a big deal. Just don't go too far from the cart, duh! I like to wear Maeve and not lug around the car seat, but I have noooo problem clipping the seat in the front of the cart, and usually keep a hand on it, when I do take the whole shebang in. Also throw a kid (or 2) in the back sometimes, if there's room! And if they'll go for it.

Sara said...

Pretty much exactly what Fiona and Kristin said.

And I've seen no such warnings posted either on my car seat or the store window.

Marci said...

Hi Bonnie--if I couldn't put the carseat in the cart I think I would die.

Megan B ♥ said...

One clipped in a carseat up front, one riding in the open section of, and one surfing the underneath rack.

That's how we roll.

Chris said...

Most internet comments are from armchair quarterbacks ... imagine a 12-year-old girl or a 30-year-old man who lives in his mother's basement. I find that puts most stupid comments in the proper context. Once in a while you find an honestly intelligent, well-thought internet comment and think, "Wow, that 12-year-old girl really knows her stuff."