Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frog Legs

It's funny because of all the parenting decisions that we've made regarding birth choices, breastfeeding, circumcising, disciplining, and so on the one thing people ask about (and take issue with!) more than anything else is this sweet girl's"frogged" legs in her car seat.

I think it's partly because it's not as "private" as those other things and partly because it's just an obvious thing that people notice.  But I also think it's because some people just don't have enough information.  NOW, I have been rebuked before for being too aggressive about "educating" people.  Here's my take on that: there are lots of things that I never would have set about "researching" as a parent, but based on a blog post, a tweet, or a personal anecdote from a friend, I have sought to do so.  That said, I'm more sharing about this because we get questioned about it a lot.

When AP was eighteen months and we got her a "big girl seat" (yes, she rode in an infant carrier until she was eighteen months), we took it to the police station to have it checked to make sure it was installed properly.  Now, in their defense they were about to take classes on car seats, but I expected them to at least be minimally knowledgeable since the fire station had just turned over this civic responsibility to them.

Y'all, the guy looked at us and said "Why is she still backwards?"  This was before the new recommendations came out that suggested children be kept rear facing until they're two, but still.  He could look at her and tell she was tiny.  I'm not saying he should be trying to force everyone to comes in with a convertible car seat to flip it back around, but it was ignorant he had to ask that question, I thought.  All that to say, I just think it's something that's overlooked sometimes.

Anyway, when people ask me why she's still rear facing, I simply respond "because it's safest".  Because it is.  Several people have shown concern for her "froggied" legs or worried because most kids her age rides facing the front. But she's never objected.  It's all she's known and she doesn't care.  Someone told me that actually some kids are more uncomfortable facing forward because their legs hang over the seat and it's that same feeling you get when you scoot to the back of a chair and your feet don't reach the ground (as a short person I HATE that).  If you're worried about your (or my) toddler's legs, you can just tell them to "criss cross applesauce" which they hear all day at preschool anyway. 

Y'all, this isn't just a hill to die on for me.  It is important to us, but she's been so laid back about it that it's been really easy.  I don't know what I'd do if I had a super tall kid or a kid who hated their seat.  I sure wouldn't flip them before a year and with all our children I have a minimum goal of two years (like my minimum goal of breastfeeding for at least a year) and I'd like to see it through to that point and then assess the situation.  Who knows what will happen with Graves.

Maybe he'll end up being a froggie at almost three like Sister.


The Niemeyer Nest said...

Stick to your guns, Mama! Carl switched Evie and it was a nightmare until she got used to it. I would have kept her rear-facing much longer. Henry sits in the middle too and we get a lot of comments about people wondering if Evie bothers him. Nope, she does not but I'd rather him get poked by her a little than injured in a car accident. Everyone does what they feel is best for their kids though and that's what makes life so interesting.

Christi said...

It's all about what you feel comfortable about because you're their momma. Thanks for educating. Car seats have certainly changed since I had my first child and for that I'm so thankful. Safety is so important.

Carrie said...

I agree and we are REALLY trying to make it to two with Jude. He's one of those kids who doesn't do well in the car, especially since we took the paci away, so its kind of hard. David asked me the other day if I would be mad if I went out to the car and Jude's seat was flipped. Ummm, yeah! Ha!

Elizabeth said...

That's so wild that people have issue about how your child sits in your car! We had a car seat safety person come speak at our MOPS group recently and she explained the importance of being rear facing for as long as possible. A lot of my friends asked about their legs being bent and what would happen in an accident. Basically it boils down to broken legs are easier to fix than broken necks. After she said that, I was sold on rear facing.

Anonymous said...

I'm am right there with you! Mine rides backwards and he's a couple months passed 2.5. It has never bothered him a bit and it's so much safer. And I think our Britax is rear facing until 35lbs, so we're getting close as he's right at 33lbs now. So he'll be turning around soon. The most vocal about my choice for him to ride backwards is my mother- in-law and sometimes it drives me batty, but oh well :). I usually just say well he doesn't mind it and sometimes I say to look up YouTube videos about it.

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I agree! It surprises me that people would take issue with this decision. You are right in that it is the safest! And as long as it isn't bothering AP, I would keep her that way. I don't get why other people would care!? My goal was to turn c around at 2 but I caved at 20 months bc it got miserable to be in the car with her! But she had passed the size requirement by a good bit at that point so I was ok with it. With SC I'd like to keep her rear facing for much longer!