On car seats

Jesus, getting the kids in and out of the car is a drag.

Child car seats, and now those bastard compulsory booster seats, must be specially designed to make journeys as stressful as possible.

I think companies are mandated to make them dysfunctional. There I am in the back of the car, doubled over like a porn star being drilled by a moustachioed washing-machine repairman, trying to get two pieces of metal into an impossibly small slot while my kids wriggle and squirm like captured fish.

Maybe child car seats are a subtle weapon in the war against climate change. The government, it seems, are committed to making every car journey as painful as possible.

It was raining this morning, and both of my children have the sniffles. It made sense to keep them dry and warm in the car, but I spent all morning dreading the rigmarole of getting the little scamps into their seats.

The wife is over in Paris for a week with her sister, so the opportunity of getting out of the school-run this week is non-existant. Tomorrow I’ll put an extra layer on the kids and brave the winter air sans automobile. I guess you win, Al Gore. You smug big-faced bastard.

BJ the Mayor Bear wrote about car-seats a few years ago, so I’ll leave you with opening paragraphs of his rant ::

Of all the sensations of joy and release that Nature in her kindness has bestowed on the human race, there is little or nothing to beat the moment when you get rid of the baby’s car seat.

It beats getting off a long-haul flight. It beats taking off a pair of ill-fitting ski-boots after a hard day on the slopes. It verges, frankly, on the orgasmic. As you take the wretched thing to Oxfam, you thank your stars that never again will you have to grapple with that incomprehensible buckle.

Never again will you stand sweating over your baby as it screams and writhes and sticks yoghurt in your ear. Never again will you have that struggle of wills, as the child’s efforts to escape become ever more desperate and violent, and you grow later and later in setting off on your journey.

For children and parents alike that precious moment – when it is deemed that the offspring are capable of sitting on their own in the back with only a seat belt – is one of the pleasures of growing up. It is a rite of passage, a moment of pride and childish prestige.

It is, therefore, utterly incredible that the state should now be trying to prolong our national car seat agony. How old do you think they have to be before the nanny state will let your kids sit in the back without a car seat? Did I hear six? Did I hear seven? No, my friends, we are being asked to put our children in plastic booster seats until they reach the ripe old age of 12 or attain a height of 135cm, whichever is the sooner.


2 thoughts on “On car seats

  1. what was even better, as a kid, was not having to wear seat belts in the back at all.Complete freedom to scrabble about from one side to the other and look out the back window of the car waving (or gesticulating) to lorries and such.Oh, the caring nanny state, eh?

  2. It’s worth noting that figures, according to BJ’s article, suggest as many as 1.5 children a year would be saved by the booster-seats.Of course if your child is one of the 1.5, that makes sense, but I’d be more interested in the lobbying the seat manufacturers conducted to get the law passed when the cost/benefits are so extreme. Surely it should be a case of parental choice and communicating the risk.I wonder how many children we’d save if we totally banned car travel or if we forced every child to live in a bubble until they’re eighteen. You have to draw a line.As you wisely point out, flashing your arse at a lorry-driver, is much harder when restrained. We have to get our priorities right. Many lorry drivers are wankers.

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