Friday, July 31, 2009

Seat Belts and Head Resters

OK, so among this summer's Issues, Joey has decided it is delightful fun to play with seat belts and take the head resters completely off. Nothing to get the heart leaping that to be entering a dangerous intersection, to realize your child has decided to unbuckle his seat belt and play with the head rester, which has two large spikes on the end of it when it is removed from its intended position (who designed that?) Every time we get in the car now, we start with a litany of rules:

1. Get in your seat and lock in.
2. Once you are locked in, you leave the seatbelt alone.
3. Do not play with or touch the head resters.
4. Do not touch any other seatbelts, either.
5. Stay in your seat, sitting upright, with your shoulderbelt properly over your chest and your lapbelt over your lap.
6. Do not duck from under the shoulderbelt to lean forward and remove the head rester.

And then we proceed to have constant reminders of these rules throughout the trip. The length of the trip does not matter. So now a typical fly on the window in my car hears something like this:

Internet! Internet! Internet!
Toppit, Doey!
Honey, don't play with the seat belts.
I put glue on Grandma! I put glue on Grandma!* (Wild cackling laughter)
Toppit, Doey!
Sweetie, put the headrest back, please.
Head rest ER.
Yes, dear, just put it back.
TOPPIT, DOEY! (smack)
We don't hit. That's a star.
Joey, sit up, please!
Boys have wieners and girls don't.
Joey, stop playing with the seatbelts. Lock in, please.
Joey, put. the. head. rester. BACK.
It's after twelve o'clock. We are late for getting lunch.

Anybody know where I can get locks for headresters and seatbelt buckles? Because the addition to the general cacophony is not good.

*I have no idea why this phrase is funny, what it actually means, or why it has become so prevalent in the chants, other than the amusing alliteration and probably funny visualization. He has never actually put any glue on his grandma.


Stimey said...

Both Sam and Jack took off their seatbelts once when I was driving. I very intentionally had a total freakout and scared them so bad they never tried it again. It feels wrong when I read it like that, but it worked for my family. I'm waiting for Quinn to do it so I can freak out on him too.

Also, I love the car convo. Hysterical!

farmwifetwo said...

When that happens in the country it's easy enough to pull over and sit and wait out the temper tantrum... which was impressive when we started this... and the seatbelt being put back on.

Little boy has started as well.... is it a phase???

Maddy said...

Been there. Once, a long time ago I had to pull off the motorway 19 times ona 7 mile trip [to therapy!] I thought I would go completely bonkers and I was also deaf from the screaming. It is a particularly tortuous phase as quite frankly mine had no motivation to conform as they really didn't want to go to therapy anyway.

I would like to say that I found a clever solution but happenstance stepped in. I was on the side of the road [again, on a different occasion] leaning on the outside of my car on the path as it rocked. I'm not sure if I was trying to calm myself down or them to be honest.

Anyway, about two doors down [it was a residential area] I saw a policeman pull into the driveway on his police bike, presumably finishing his shift and coming home. He looked at me and my shaking car. I looked away as I was a complete wreck at the time and I thought I might blub which would make everything ten times worse.

Anyway [I am detecting ramble] he stepped over to me with something like 'is there a problem here?' [That takes understatement of the year award!] The car stopped rocking as did the screaming. I explained that they were autistic and kept taking there seat belts off and I didn't know what to do about it.

We had a five minute conversation where he explained about fines, safety and that I was a parent. [I had forgotten that bit] It was a lengthy and quite dull lecture. I didn't bother to re-explain 'autism' since clearly he had no clue about the fact that that was THE FACT. He left. He didn't smile.

I decided that now would be a really good time to howl at the moon but as it was daylight I thought better of it.

I got back into the car put the key into the ignition and drove home in silence.

The silence was broken when we arrived on the driveway and I parked up in the garage. They had been watching out of the back window [I think to see if he was following us] Once inside Leo said 'I ain't never gonna go to jail!'

So in summary all I can suggest is that you find a local flat foot [does that translate, it means cop] and ask if they can help out. Failing that, hire a costume for a friendly stranger and do likewise.

abfh said...

My kids decided to keep their seatbelts on after I described to them, in graphic detail, how their aunt had once been in an accident without a seatbelt and had gone through the window and ended up with a broken neck and a halo brace screwed into her skull.

I'm sure there must be plenty of gory vehicle safety websites that would be similarly effective...

Joeymom said...

All good ideas. I tried the explaining the accident thing, the safety thing, etc. Now we have added "I might DIE!" and "You're going to JAIL!" added to the perseveration and when he scolds Andy for something. Nothing can be simple. This week we're doing cars, trucks, and things that go, so maybe a stop off at the police station isn't a bad thing to try.

kristi said...

Maybe he got the glue phrase from a cartoon or book??

TC came into the kitchen the other day, I was cooking and he said, "Do I smell carrot slices?"
I never make carrots. And he wouldn't eat them if I did.
I realized he got that phrase from a book he likes called "Duck Soup" where a duck makes soup with carrots.

Too funny!