So I lost my cookies with the police officer...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This will strike a nerve, I know.

    Missouri had a law that children had to be in safety seats til the age of 4. Then in January, they changed it to 8. No one was grandfathered in. difficult child 2 turned 4 early last year, so spent 10 months "legally" out of his seat.

    His seat had been a point of contention with him prior to that, and I'll admit, I used it sparingly. The reason being that he could get himself out of any seat we tried, and many times once he was escalated to that point, he went for the door handle while we're traveling 60 miles an hour down the road. After much discussion and thought, we pick and chose when its required. I know, its wrong. But its safer than trying to deal with an angry difficult child who wants out of the car at any cost.

    Anyway, I got pulled over tonight because my license plate is crooked from hitting the dog (not loose, not falling off, just crooked). I was picking difficult child 2 up from the sitter and he was not in his seat. The officer asked why, and stupid me, I told him.

    And he told me that perhaps we should see a child psychologist.

    I came unglued. Thankfully I held my tongue, other than producing the 3" binder full of evaluations and asking him who the he!! else he suggest I see. Then I just bawled.

    We've been given square pegs, and we're demanded to squish them into round holes 3 sizes smaller at every level - school, work, daycare, out in public, society on the whole. Just wish someone would tell me how.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    I'm with you on looking for a world that has all different shaped holes for all our square pegs. I was so happy when Tigger turned 8 because he refused a car seat at 6 and I couldn't get him in one. He was big for his age but I still would have gotten a ticket if I'd been pulled over. I hope the officer let you off without a ticket...
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh no, I got a ticket and a lecture.
  4. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    They have to be in car seats until they are eight??? :nonono: My difficult child would never have gone for that either.

    I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Hearing someone else tell you what you should do with your child when you have tried and gone through it all... granted, he had no idea but I know how much it must have hurt. :sad:

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so glad this car seat deal until they are 8 wasnt around when mine were young because Cory was such a Houdini that I couldnt find a car seat that would keep him contained from the time he could crawl. By the time he was a year old he could climb out of every single one we tried.

    I was thrilled when the law changed to just having to have people in the front seat buckled up because my kids STILL refuse to wear a seatbelt. I wear one, and I lecture them heavily but oh well. I cant force them and they have to pay the tickets now. When they were younger I just refused to drive anyone in the front seat unless belted.

    I would have never kept Cory in a car seat until 8. Never ever.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'd have lost it too. I'm so glad those car seat laws went into effect after the tweedles were too large/old to need them.

    I wouldn't be able to afford all the tickets that would have come my way.

    Shari, there are just days, like today, where you'll never be able to keep it all together. I'm glad the officer was "understanding?".

    Take care of yourself.
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't think they make a carseat that would have fit my son when he was eight! And if they did, he would have refused to sit in it! He would have had to hang his legs out the window!


    He was always very tall for his age and he passed the six-foot mark when he was still eleven! Can you picture that in a carseat?
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Seat belts are compulsory in Australia - have been for years. Back in the Sixties we had a TV cop show whose leading actor was also a race car hobby driver. HE insisted that on the show the cops wear seat belts to set an example. They even wrote in seat belt safety to a couple of story lines. And it made such an impact that it wasn't long before they moved towards compulsory seat belts. It IS easier when EVERYONE has to wear them. But the laws also have to be sensible about it.

    Baby restraints have to pass certain standards and you can hire baby capsules to get you past the first six months. The rules keep changing, so what you had for Child A will probably no longer be legal for Child B. Increasingly, though, we can get baby capsules that convert to child seats.
    The next stage of child seat is a five point harness in a seat which has to be mounted in the car according to strict regulations. This goes up to a certain age OR a certain weight. So if a child is unusually large for his age - then the normal seat belts for adults will be sufficient to keep him safe. Conversely, I've known people who kept their kids in the child booster seat (like a child seat but not the five point harness) until the girls were almost into their teens.

    We're not allowed to have kids in the front seat if they're still small enough to need a booster or child seat. And yes, if you have a Houdini difficult child it is really difficult. We even have to have animals restrained in cars now - no having the dog standing on the seat with its head out the window. Same with utes (aka pick-up trucks) - dogs riding on the tray on the back MUST be tethered on a short leash so they won't fall off. No more having the dog run from side to side on the ute tray as the ute is driving along. Unless they're in the farmer's private paddocks, that is.
    At least the officer told you to see a CHILD psychologist. He didn't have you detained so you could be scheduled! And despite the ticket, you probably opened his eyes on a few things.

  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    ours are not based just on age, but also on weight (thankfully that changed after my two were past both criteria).

    Keep in mind that my oldest could not wrestle in high school because he didn't weigh enough, and he just barely passed the weight part of the physical to be accepted into the Navy. He would have still had to be in a booster seat in eighth grade with the current law!!!!

    I DO understand the reasoning behind these things (I've seen some pretty horrible wrecks), but the one size fits all just doesn't.

    My mom is less than 5 feet tall, so, technically, the air bag going off in the steering wheel could kill her. She has a legal notification stating this, but cannot find any dealer willing to disengage the thing.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, that stinks. Does it have to be a carseat or can it be a booster? My daughter's were both very tiny and even though they legally were not required to be in carseats, I made them sit in boosters, which were kind of cool because they could see everything but not be completely locked in. If I remember correctly, difficult child was the master of getting out of it on her own...easy child liked it.

    Can you fight the ticket? In our area of CT if you try to fight a ticket, the court basically gives in because they don't want to waste court time, etc., with fighting you back. Also, they will excuse the ticket if you bring a receipt showing that you bought a carseat.

    Either way, it rots that we all have square pegs and no one seems to get it! Hugs~ sorry the cop was such a jerk.
  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I was extremely lucky, cuz all 3 of my kids LIKED being in car seats and strollers, too. I kept them all in car seats with considerable ease, and seat belt use was not a problem for us, either, and LOL my kids tell friends who g et in my car I am not even starting the car till they are buckled. a couple kids have gotten out. I did not used to wear a seat belt. Not even after it was made law. Then one day I got a ticket and had to go to seat belt school. yeesh. But I did not want to pay the insane $$ for another, so I began to wear my seat belt, and WOW! Not long after, I was the middle of a car accident (in my 2 week old new car) where an SUV hit me from behind and sent me flying into another SUV in front of me while we all were waiting at down train gates for a train to go thru. WHEW, I was really glad I had my seat belt on that day! ANd I prolly wouldn't have had it on if I had not so recently gotten the ticket.
    Yes, as our kids grew, seat belts and car seats changed, rules changed etc. It kept us busy keeping up with seat belt laws and it also kept us busy cuz when all 3 kids had to be in car seats and none could be in front seat it was hard to find a car we could afford that fit all 3 car seats!

    My husband jeep has a switch so you can disengage the front seat airbags.
    My now almost 17 yr easy child has only recently become the weight for her to ride in front seat. and my now 11 soon to be 12 son has just recently hit the weight to not need a booster seat.
    I know here on occasion the tickets they write are not for no car seat but for child endangerment. YIKES.

    When my oldest was finally old enough/weighed enough to no longer require a car seat, she cried for weeks, asking if we no longer loved her.

    And my extreme good luck also held for a stroller. We used a double stroller until youngest was 9 years old! LOL. I never took the kids anywhere unless they were secured in the stroller. and- they STAYED in it, never tried to climb out. I used that thing EVERYWHERE. LOL, the kids commented last summer they wish we still could use it, ROFL, yeah right, they are now 18, 17 and 12!
    My 9 year old did ride on back of my electric scooter while I still needed that. I still do not know why when we went to school or scout things my kids did not follow their peers and go running around, but they stayed in the stroller for me.

    I think that would be horrible to have to go to court on a ticket for something like this. I wish I had an answer for how to keep a kid in their car seat. I wish you luck with the ticket.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It was really hard for me to learn to wear the darn seat belt
    because I have claustrophobia and had nightmares about being restrained. BUT when I began this second stint of parenting I
    started verbalizing with easy child/difficult child and later his bro every time we
    got in the car...even when they were infants. "Now it's time for
    XX's seat belt." "Is it time for Mama's seat belt?" etc. We
    never have had a problem. I understand and sympathize with the
    issue but for anyone with a newborn you can head off the issue
    by making it a "normal" part of going "bye bye". DDD

    PS: I have NOT been successful getting any kid of mine to wear
    the required bike helmet!!!!! NOT!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What a mess. :frown:

    Our difficult child outsmarted me this past month... he's 70 lbs and almost 5 ft tall, and I have no idea what the law is any more but used it to make him stay in back. He pointed out that in husband's car, the air bags won't go off unless the 80 lb wt limit is met. In my car, he's tall enough that he won't be decapitated and probably won't break any ribs if it goes off. Sheesh!
    But in front, he sits calmly and holds my hand. So far, so good.

    He almost always fought the car seat and I always won. It was hard but his safety came first.
  14. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    DDD, yeah my kids argued with helmets for biking, skateing, skateboarding etc. I took all the bikes etc away and said well fine. too bad. One day I came home from work to see one of my kids on someone elses- no helmet- and I grounded them for quite a long time. At the time I was working in a nursing home with a teen in a perm veg state due to a closed head injury.
    One time we were on a trip on the interstate and one of my kids began to shreik, MOM MOM< so & so is unbuckled, MOM STOP the car! LOL- yup. my kids really freaked out bad. I was so strict about car seats and seat belts. and front seat riding. I know when I learned to drive people did not put kids in car seats, and yes we all survived, but....if the precatution is there, I will use it and if the law is there, I will honor it. My car insurance company told me they would NOT pay out if seat belts were not worn.........yikes, those medical bills could be a big problem if insurance did not pay, and so could car repair bills.
    Alas, all my precautions did not save my goofy sons eye.........things do still happen. '
    and even when we do all the things we are supposed to, sometimes things happen. I had my vaccinations and wound up quite sick and handicapped for quite a long time. BUT I still say- use the precautions available. At least then you know you did what you could.

    This morning on way to take easy child to school, news said 2 kids here smoked some marijuana laced with something- I said to her, SEE SEE! when you take a risk, sometimes it is a bigger risk than you think it will be. I bet when they smoked that weed, they assumed the biggest risk at the moment was gettingt busted..... and there they are now in a hospital.

    Ah nuts, we do what we can, do our best. SOmetimes it works out right, and sometimes................not.

    Yeah, I am very aware how lucky I was my kids stayed put in car seats and seat belts, and wore their helmets for biking etc. ANd then from behind here came my son loseing his gosh darn eye, -----yeesh......not 2 years before I permanantly grounded him from a friends house when I found out the friend had a BB gun they were horsing around with with no adults present and I said ACK do you want to lose an eye????????????/ the mom thought I was silly to be so concerned, how many kids lose an eye? and then mine DID, playing not with a BB gun but in a driveway with friends and rocks. Yeesh.
    We can try to protect them from everything, but we just cannot be everywhere all the ti me and save them from everything. But, LOL, I sure do try!

    OK sorry for rambling. The events countrywide of the last 24 hours are hitting me rather hard. Making me a little melodramatic and melancholy.
  15. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    perhaps the cop was having a bad day too. I hope he thought over what he said to you and chooses better words next time he comes across this.

    there was no need to insult you for sure!
  16. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Just to clear up any's 8 or 80 pounds.

    They make booster seats for children up to 80 pounds. It's never been an issue with us. It's the law and that's it. When Missy was little and was raging, it was very difficult for me to get her into her seat, but I would somehow manage.

    Can you take difficult child to the store and let him pick out his seat? They have character ones now, like Cars. Around here, people will call the police if you are on the road and the kids aren't in a seat, especially if they aren't belted in. CPS will be called if you are caught more than once.

    <span style="color: #FF6666">on a side note......for safety reasons, you should tape a detailed report of your child, including date of birth, allergies, medications and emergency contacts on the car seat that your child sits in. It's useful in case you are in an accident and are unable to give rescuers any info. Please do that, if you haven't. </span>
  17. Plate's_Full

    Plate's_Full New Member

    I live in ontario canada,it is manditory for the seats too ,I have booster seats with neat cup and snack holders on the sides of them built in ,I give difficult child's a snack they buckle up with reg seat belt in booster and way we go no booster no belt no ride!!!!
    if you lock seat belt there is a lock for the seatbelt that you can but toysrus sells them it is a safty first item you simply clikc belt in place and put this box over it that snaps shut so difficult child cant un do belt buckle once vehicle in motion most children cant losen belts to wiggle out might mean a few trips with loud music to drown out difficult child's protests but there safe adn no more tickets.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well Im glad they have improved the carseat and seat belt issues because years ago, my kid could unlock anything they made. I always said I was going to rent him out to the car seat manufacturers and if they could make a seat he couldnt escape from it would be a best seller.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I strapped difficult child into his seat from day 1. In fact, he preferred his seat when he was little and slept in it for a couple of months. But as he got older and more mobile, he disliked the restraint more and more and eventually learned to get out of it. I've tried three different types of harnesses and the booster type seat.
    The issue never starts as the seat. It becomes an issue when he gets ticked off for something else down the road. When he's not strapped in, he will scream, kick the dash, throw things at me, yell vulgarities, and spit. When he is strapped in, he seems to be further aggravated by the restraint and the issue is completely lost as the new goal becomes to "win" at something - and that is getting out of the seat, and once he's out, he's much angrier and more hostile than otherwise - thus he will go for the door handle. (who isn't going to stop the car at this one? Thus, he wins) If you've ever been trying to undo your own seatbelt, keep the car under control at 60+ in 4 lanes of traffic, and keep a 4 year old from getting the door pushed open while you try to get to the shoulder and stop without crashing yourself or anyone else, well, 'nuff said. When he's strapped in, its not "if", its "when". I dont' know why he doesn't go for the door when he's not strapped in, other than he's more likely to lose his grasp on reality when he's strapped into something. But I'm also not about to ask and give him any ideas.

    I carry vet wrap in my vehicles now. I've never had to use it, and I'm sure I'll be arrested if I ever do. But as long as its my job as a parent to keep my child as safe as I can, if it ever reaches the point again where I have to use it until I can get him somewhere where I can get help, I will. That said, I don't see that a safety seat is very safe if it results in a suicide mission for parent and/or child.

    Loth - yes, you're correct its 8 or 80 pounds. We also have the height restrictio of taller than 4'9".

    Plate's Full, I don't quite understand the lock you're talking about. Does it lock the car's seat belt or the harness on a child seat? This might actually be useful info I haven't tried.

    DDD - he doesn't wear a helmet biking, but he wears one on his horse and has never argued about that. In fact, he's proud of it! Funny how they have their "things".
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Dreamer, how awful! I am so sorry about your son's eye. How is he doing?

    Lothlorian, he was 80 lbs and lost wt! But I think ours is either wt./or ht. I'll check our state website in a sec. I didn't know they had booster seats for kids that big. I'll check into it.

    Shari, what's a vet wrap?