As parents I think we take getting in the car for granted. When I mention to the children that we are getting in the car, there is always a flurry of excitement. It doesn’t matter where we are going, it could be to the supermarket to
cause havoc shop, to soft play or off on a road trip, they are always really excited about the prospect of going for a drive. I love watching how happy they get over the smallest things, and to be honest I find it quite contagious. It brings back all the milestone moments that we have shared as a family and how important driving them around safely is.
The Graco All In One Car Seat, designed to see your child secured safely in the car from birth to 12 years old, will see you through many of these moments. While chaos reigns in the back of the car, to a very enthusiastic version of Let It Go, you’ll know they are going to get to their destination safely with this flexible car seat option.
Do you remember bringing your baby home from hospital for the first time? We’ve all seen Prince William master getting the car seat into the car in one swift movement haven’t we? We’ve all wished our own partners had the same skill, but when they attempted the same manoeuvre it was a little less refined. In fact, there was a fair amount of flapping and a rather unhelpful ‘Did you not think to read the instructions?’ from me followed by more flapping as the midwife becomes a tad impatient. Thank goodness he didn’t have the eyes of the world’s press on him too.
Once everyone is finally strapped in, we leave the car park, at 5 miles per hour! Daddy’s best old man driving is in full swing, and meets another rather unhelpful comment from me, ‘Are you going to drive like this for the next 18 years?’.
I know what your thinking, I really need to learn to keep my big mouth shut. I do most of the time, but we are going back to a time when I hadn’t quite mastered the art of thinking before I speak. I’d forgotten what it was like being a first time parent, and that was the difference between Daddy and I when Princess arrived. I was being very blasé about the whole thing, while Daddy was enjoying the moment of taking his new baby daughter home for the first time.
We’ve had some stressful moments with a baby in the car, and there is nothing worse than having a very upset newborn in the car when you are stuck in traffic and can’t hug or comfort them. If this has happened when there are two of us in the car, someone has always got into the backseat to try and comfort them. Suzie Hayman from Family Lives says, ‘Safety comes first in a car however so they need to be strapped into that seat, but keep a hands-on close connection and sing and talk to them on the trip home and go back to cuddling and holding as soon as you can.’
The last time my daughter cried in the car was on the way to the hairdressers. It was for her first hair appointment, and she was quite unsure about what to expect. It took some persuading to let some scissors near her hair, and a lollipop or two might have been required to get her in the chair. The funny thing was, when she was finished, she was all, ‘when can I come back?’. Kids are funny aren’t they when it comes to this stuff, but it will be nice not to drive to the hairdressers with a shrieking 4 year old. She’s got quite the set of lungs on her when she wants to be heard.
As kids get older, you find they make less and less noise in the car to the point where they stop talking to you all together. I’m sure my teen son and I have spent hours in the car without uttering a single word to each other. If I tried to speak to him, I would be accused of asking too many questions. One such occasion was dropping him off into the city centre for the first time. You know the day is coming when they are going to ask to go into town with their mates, without you, but there is a part of you that really wishes they wouldn’t grow up so quick.
My son was around 10 or 11 years old when he wanted to go into town. I wish I’d have had Suzie Hayman’s advice then. She says, ‘The trick is never to imply that they might not be able to cope. Instead of “Don’t…” or “Do…” explain it’s all about your own anxieties. “What I worry about is…what if someone harasses you, what if a security guard gets the wrong idea and thinks you’re shoplifting, and what if you lose your money…?” Playing the “what if…” game allows you to voice concerns and then listen and coach them through coping mechanisms, so you can trust them to behave sensibly.’
Fortunately my son and I have moved on since those difficult days, and I’ve watched him take his first driving lesson, to passing his test to going out in the car by himself. There’s a heart in your mouth moment, right there I can tell you. I think it was actually worse than the day I drove him to university and dropped him off for his new life studying in Manchester. There are so many milestone moments we share with our children in the car, and it’s nice to take a moment and remember what they are. Share your favourite milestone moment in the comments below.
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