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I Forced My Kid Into Her Carseat WWE Style

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The other night my toddler and I almost had a knock down, drag out fight and she almost won. It was my lowest moment as a parent.

carseat-fight.jpg

Momlogic's Andrea: First off. In my defense. I am a law abiding citizen. If it is illegal for a child not to be strapped in a car seat,  I'm all over it. The laws are made to protect us.

Oh, and I wanted to go home. Bad.

I was tired from a full day of work. And not a particularly good day at the office. Those two reasons made me engage in one of the most horrible situations with my toddler I have ever been in. And she's thrown up on me a few times.

For some unknown reason, although she's done it willfully hundreds of times before, she refused to get into her carseat. Not only refused -- she seemed willing to die for the privilege of sitting on the floor of the backseat.

The whole mess took place in the parking lot of the preschool. And anyone witnessing me desperately trying to shove my daughter into her seat, arms flaying, her screaming at the top her lungs was probably sure that I was a child abuser. I sure looked like one. Trying to hold her down with one hand, hard, and shoving her arms through the straps. She fought for dear life. Between breaks -- when she cowered on the floor -- I tried to stay calm, tried to reason with her. Then we'd go at it again.

It was awful -- my lowest moment as a parent. So I thought.

I finally got the idea to bribe her with her pacifier -- reserved only for nighttime -- that I knew full well wasn't in the car. With the prospect of her favorite item ever within reach, she calmed down and allowed me to strap her in. Then, like a truly good negotiator, she demanded payment.

She cried the entire way home. So did I.

I know I failed miserably in this situation, but what was I supposed to do? Help!


next: Meet the Worst Mom in the World
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 8, 2009, 5:21 PM

just what you did sister… we have all been there and yes often the kid does win. Just think ahead next time, and say “if you get in your car seat like a big girl I will give you snacks and ponies and kisses if you don’t get into the carseat then I will be sad and have to sit in the front seat until you obey and then we can’t go home and do fun XYZ etc..” and then if she does it again just sit there.

Jenny January 8, 2009, 6:53 PM

We have all been there, don’t be too hard on yourself.

R January 8, 2009, 7:23 PM

My two year old came home with a tiny bruise on her back that she got while throwing herself into the back floor of the car while avoiding the dreaded carseat!

Anonymous January 8, 2009, 9:13 PM

lol I thought I was the only one

birdsfly January 8, 2009, 9:55 PM

My favorite is when they straighten out and make themselves so rigid you feel like you’re trying to karate chop them in half to fold them into the seat! That was when I discovered that my two year old (through sheer determination) was stronger than me.

Julie W January 8, 2009, 9:58 PM

My kids are older now- but I remember more than a few times having to physically wrestle them into their carseats- I was sure I was hurting them, but they are fine. So I think the verdict is- it probably happens to almost everyone and our kids won’t remember their ‘I’m not getting my carseat!!’ tantrums.

kerry January 8, 2009, 11:37 PM

My son has a “car toy”. And that’s usually my bribe to get him in. It’s a little stuffed elephant named Ellie. The minute he gets in the car he starts calling for “Ellie”. Then as we get out…most of the time he says “bye bye Ellie” and throws her across the car. But there are the days he wants to bring her with us into the house or where ever we are. We made the mistake of allowing this a few times, then forgetting her the next time we were in the car. Not good. Now she does not leave the car. No matter how bad he wants her. I think he’s getting the idea.

Christy January 9, 2009, 12:16 AM

Don’t be too hard on yourself, every parent has been there. I would suggest to never give into your child, pick your battles of course and hold your ground! lol If you don’t it will only make it harder for you in the long run. What helps with my son (4 and has since he was 2) is choices…. but the choices always has the same end result. “Name, you have a choice. You can get into your carseat all by yourself… or I can help you. 1…2…3” My son almost always does as I ask by the time I reach “2” and if he doesn’t I follow through with “helping” him. Consistency is a must. This may take a few times before you child to see you’re serious:)

But whatever you do, just be consistent(and loving)!!:)

Christy January 9, 2009, 12:17 AM

Don’t be too hard on yourself, every parent has been there. I would suggest to never give into your child, pick your battles of course and hold your ground! lol If you don’t it will only make it harder for you in the long run. What helps with my son (4 and has since he was 2) is choices…. but the choices always has the same end result. “Name, you have a choice. You can get into your carseat all by yourself… or I can help you. 1…2…3” My son almost always does as I ask by the time I reach “2” and if he doesn’t I follow through with “helping” him. Consistency is a must. This may take a few times before you child to see you’re serious:)

But whatever you do, just be consistent(and loving):0) Good luck!

Tammy January 9, 2009, 8:48 AM

Good stuff Christy, that works for me and my 3 y/o and has since she was almost 2!

MarMar January 9, 2009, 11:14 AM

Hon, I’ve bribed my kid before to no avail and had to hold her down to get her in the car seat, with her kicking and flailing and wailing. Did I feel awful too? Of course. But did I have any other option? Not at all. Don’t feel too bad, we really HAVE all been there.

Ty January 9, 2009, 9:42 PM

Tickling and/or raspberries on the belly is an instant cure for the stiff as a board thing. If not there’s always the Aikido pressure points :p

Sheila January 11, 2009, 11:28 PM

My first son (who really didn’t have much of a “terrible two” phase) decided one day that he didn’t want to get into his car seat. It was dark, raining and we had just left the store. He was fine until it came time to enter the car seat. I had a two-door car and for safety his car seat was in the back seat, so I’ve got to push the front seat forward, step over the door jamb…etc (you know the drill) and he fought me tooth and nail. I had never seen this behavior from him before. He was kicking, screaming, arching like a board…you name it. Well (after seriously five minutes), I finally get him partially into the seat while he is still in stiff-board mode and before I can try to get him to bend, he leans forward and literally threw himself backwards into his seat. You’d think that would be a happy ending (he was in!!!)…well this woman was in the parking lot and only saw the end result and had the nerve to come over to me and yell that she was going to call the police for child abuse because I threw my child into his car seat. Needless to say my patience was done for…I told her to go ahead. I didn’t feel the need to explain or defend myself to her, I’d be more than happy to explain to the police (one look/examination of my son would show he was so not abused). She left in a huff. That was the only time he ever did that, thank goodness! He’s 17 years old now and, OH, how I wish I were only dealing with car seat issues now!!!

Jessica January 16, 2009, 11:06 AM

Sounds so familiar! My daughter has 2 positions she uses when she doesnt want to get into her car seat - The first we call Limp Ragdoll - she makes herself totally limp and she just kind of slides out of the car seat; the second is called Stiff as a Board, which usually requires some kind of folding in half of her little torso to get her into the seat.

Carlita July 22, 2009, 5:43 AM

My son did it all and I had had enough. I eliminated all sugar and dye from his diet and didn’t bring it back til he knew how it affected him and howo handle it. I never want to go through that again!


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