Well, I’ve been blessed to have been invited to guest blog here at CarseatBlog, and I’m so excited that I’ve made about 193,329,382 punctuation errors in this first sentence alone that I had to go back and correct. In case you didn’t know, that’s the Internet version of wetting your pants.

I’m not a total stranger as I’ve been on the car-seat.org boards for years now, but lately I’ve been consumed with work and family life (read: eaten alive by my insane two year old) so I’ve been less on the scene than I used to. I blog semi-frequently, but blogging for an “official” blog with multiple people is a first for me, and I somewhat feel like Eve must have felt on Wall-e when she was shoved off the rocket. Not that I’m comparing CarseatBlog to a worn out planet of trash or Darren to a robotic trash compacter…but you know. Obviously my analogies aren’t the best. But I *do* know my car seats, and I’m a pretty passionate person, so here I am.

Be your kid’s superhero.

When I mention passion it comes to light that a lot of us (ok, if you’re reading this you are most likely included) are thought of as insane, or at least a little weird, to be “obsessed” with car seats and passenger safety. Everyone has their interests and hobbies, but I am always a little offended when someone compares my car seat passion with knitting or collecting postcards. To others, it’s small. But to me, it’s big. Very big. But I wonder what makes some of us latch on to this and take it to a level that extends beyond basic research?

I think it has a lot to do with control. If you think about it, having children is the epitome of being out of control. Conception is a crapshoot. Birth can be unpredictable. Make a child eat? Yeah, right. Force a child to sleep? You’re dreaming, only you’re wide awake with blood shot eyes and a deep gutted feeling of desperation. Get through an errand at Target without tantrums and dirty looks from strangers? Nope (ok, maybe that’s just me). Control every other driver on the road? I wish.

You can make the healthiest, greenest, organic food on the planet, but there’s no guarantee your toddler won’t dump it on the floor and yell, “all done!!!” while running off to eat the 3 month old cracker they found behind the entertainment center. You can buy organic sheets and expensive pajamas, darken the room, have the meanest swaddle on the planet, all while playing the whispers of sweet golden angels on the iPod speakers, but you can’t guarantee that kid will close his eyes. You can hand your kid a $500 iPad as bribery but it won’t mean he won’t try to launch himself out of the cart screaming “help me!!!” to strangers because you wouldn’t let him open all the bottles of detergent at Target. You can’t make people sober, attentive, or even good drivers. You just can’t.

But one thing you CAN do, is give your child the best possible chance of survival from all the things you can’t control. You can’t make your child like it. You can’t guarantee you won’t want to slice your eyeballs with a manila envelope after listening to the complaints, both from your child and those who criticize you. However, you CAN force that child to ride in a car seat that provides the proper protection they deserve. Every time. Without fail. Because you do have control over one thing in raising a child: giving them a fighting chance and forcing them to take it. They’ll thank you for it later.

Yours truly and the 36 inch tornado.

Editor’s Note:  Alicia is a long time member of c-s.org. She is an RN, former CPST, and toddler wrangler to her son Liam.

We just completed a cross country move from AZ to NC and my son is the true definition of “spirited”, however once I get my feet on the ground I’m devoted to getting back into the role of CPST and getting myself back where I feel most at home- in your backseat!”

Welcome, Alicia!  We were hoping you could help us make the place a little “lighter” and a little less “official”!  Alicia’s parenting blog is “A Short Story Made Long“.