Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Magic Leaf

Josh is going through that stage that some children go through where they fight getting into the car seat. I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about. The one where you put them in the car seat and immediate scream, arch their back, and violently hurl themselves out of the seat. The one where you have to sit on them while you struggle to get their arms into the straps and once that's done try to find a way to get the buckle between their legs snapped into place before they hurl their bodies forward again, leaving themselves hanging by their arms. Yes, that lovely business of getting an uncooperative (to be nice) toddler into their seat.

Of course, they would never dream of causing so much grief when you are going somewhere optional and can just turn right around and go back in the house. No, they choose to do this when you have somewhere you must get to by a certain time. Places like the doctor's office. Or picking up your other child from a class. Places that won't appreciate you being half an hour late while you wait for your toddler to cooperate without the struggle.

So, what do you do? Do you just struggle with them and force them into the seat? I guess sometimes that's the only choice you're left with. I hate that choice. I'm always afraid that the struggle is going to injure him. Then there's the gasping-for-breath sobs that continue twenty or thirty minutes after you've finally gotten that last buckle done. His sobs, not mine. It's difficult to listen to. So, what else can you do?

Bribe him with a leaf. Yes, an ordinary leaf. For some reason, 9 out of 10 times, Josh will cooperate with getting into his car seat if I give him a leaf to hold. Toys don't work. Just leaves. Strange, huh?

Unfortunately, there's still that 1 time out of 10 that that leaf doesn't work. I asked a group of moms for their suggestions. Their ideas included making sure the car seat fits him correctly (it does), special toys (he doesn't care for toys), special books (they don't work), or a TV for the car. That last one just might work and we already have a DVD player in the car. It never occurred to me to try it. I'll be moving his favorite movie, Ice Age, to the car.

Anyone else have any brilliant ideas?

Anyone struggling with the same issue and just want to commiserate?

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Luke Holzmann said...


My wife says that's not an option, but it sure sounds like a good idea sometimes [smile].

That leaf trick is nifty. I'll have to give that a go when my kids act up.


Deb said...

I sure wish I had some great idea to cure Josh of this stage! Just remember it'll pass :)