Quantcast

Monthly Archive:: March 2013

It’s like Russian Roulette with Play-Doh

Raising your kid is just like that. You try to mold them and shape them to the type of person you want them to be, but at the same time who they are and who they become is really a crapshoot. You can influence them, but they pull the trigger. Am I who I am because of my parents? Yes, because they walked me through the first part of my life and taught me things while holding me to a higher standard than some other parents. But also no, because I am my own person with my own personality and opinions. They are proud of me for my education and decisions I’ve made in my life, but also my mom comments constantly that she has no clue how the heck she ended up with such a crunchy treehugging daughter.

I think about this a lot when it comes to Liam and it’s kind of scary. There are all these things I want him to do, see, and be, but I know there are going to be tons of hard times and pain in his life too. Things out of my control. Situations where I won’t be there to help him. Situations where he will have to make his own decision based on what he thinks is right and good. And I hope I lay a sturdy enough foundation that he can build on to make those decisions. Problem is, I’ve always been a very shoddy handyperson and my organization skills suck. I remember when he was smaller, at night I would lay in the pitch black, on my side with my knees drawn up, with him balled up against my stomach, one hand under his cheek and the other thrown over me in a sleepy hug while he nursed in his sleep. My hand was always on the same spot of his back, and I would always think to myself how perfect it all is and how I wish we could just stay there forever before I drifted back into unconsciousness and he rolled away into his little space to sleep sprawled out with his butt in the air.

What do I want for him? I can’t even think of it all. And I can’t find right words for most of the things.

I want him to be happy, obviously. But not the ignorant, blissful kind of happy. I want the happiness that is a rarity when a person KNOWS all the negatives and sadness and awfulness, but also knows all the goodness and beauty in life and chooses to be happy because of it. I struggle with this a lot and I wish I knew how to raise him so he won’t have to. That it will just come naturally.

I want him to give. I figured this out early on, and I wish I knew how I did. That nothing is more important in this world than reaching out for other people and holding them. Giving them what they need. That is the only way we will survive anything, and I believe it’s the purpose of life. To give. The earth is constantly giving to us. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be here. There is no need to worry about yourself because if others are giving and have the same mentality as you, then you will be taken care of. I want him to feel the joy of taking what you have and giving it to someone else. How it really does come back to you tenfold. I want him to reach out not with rose colored glasses, but with clear ones so he can see things for what they are but choose to give anyway. And I want others to give to him.

I want him to be humble. I want him to look at a leaf and see the tiny veins and intricacies that no one notices unless they study it. I want him to feel wind blowing onto his face and marvel that his body knows to breathe it in even when he’s not thinking about it. I want him to look at an elderly person’s hand and see the withering and thin skin. Feel awe and wonder at the fact that it has touched things in the past that he will never know, and that it is nature’s jacket housing a soul that will never be duplicated. I want him to look into a baby’s eyes and see how wide open and unmarred they are. That the pure newness is a gift to humanity and enough to make you cry with gratefulness. I want him to know he is special and loved and unique in every way and that he is the only one on the entire planet that is HIM. But I also want him to know that goes for everyone else as well. That we are all that way. And sometimes we look at another person with disgust and forget that. That we were all nonexistent at some point, but then were put together and now are here. I want him to feel pure awe that I made something from nothing, knit him together inside my own body. Every capillary and hair follicle was grown from nothing at all, and made into the most perfect baby boy I have ever seen in my life. That in and of itself should make anyone humble, because we all know it happens without us doing anything. We don’t actively build that life. And I want him to wonder who or what does. I don’t care whether he calls it God/Goddess, Nature, Evolution, or Bill Nye the Science Guy. I just want him to feel that awe and that belonging and that feeling that there is something bigger than we are happening all around us every day.

I want him to understand how much I love him. I want him to experience that same ferocity that makes you say, “screw all the niceness and the fact that everyone is special and equal and all that junk. You hurt my baby and I will rip out your throat with my bare hands”. The joy that makes your chest ache when you see their smile. The tears that fall either out of feeling physical pain when they do, or out of feeling awestruck at their existence. The urge to keep them balled up against your stomach in the dark, wishing time would stop so you never have to leave that safe place.

I want him to laugh. All the time. Because life happens regardless of whether you are cracking up or scowling. And it’s much easier to get through if you laugh.

I want him to have a connection with animals. There is something about staying connected to that raw innocence and purity that keeps you from getting swept up in humankind and all it’s crap. I want him to realize that sometimes just laying on your stomach in the dirt next to a dog and watching the sky is more worthwhile than shopping or driving around or buying things. That they will teach you things if you let them. They have no flaws, and people mistake their meekness for inferiority. I want him to learn respect, devotion, loyalty, and humbleness and I can think of no better way than to spend time with animals.

But mostly I want him to stay little. Every milestone makes me smile and breaks my heart at the same time. I remember clapping my hands for him while smiling and telling him how good he was when he pulled himself to his feet for the first time while holding onto the couch. As his toes curled into the carpet for balance, I thought about how his grip on life will take him away from me and out on his own little by little. And how he is my little ball of play doh, so I’ll do my best to not make him too lumpy and uneven. Then I took his picture and smiled because I’m so lucky to be the chosen one for him.

Motor Vehicle Deaths by Age

According to the CDC leading causes of death reports from the WISQARS database, the total fatalities by age in the “MV Traffic” category from 2001 to 2010 (the most recent decade available) are as follows:

Age 0-12 months:  1,208

Age 1: 1,147

Age 2: 1,201

Age 3: 1,119

Age 4: 1,085

Age 5: 1,075

Age 6: 1,040

Age 7: 982

Age 8: 991

Age 9: 1022

Age 10: 997

There is no information provided about the whether a child restraint was present or not.  If a restraint was present, there is no information about misuse.  We don’t know if alcohol or distracted driving contributed to the fatality.  We really know nothing else about this data, other than the total number of children killed at each age.

Even given the lack of specifics on this raw data, do these numbers surprise you?  Would you have expected toddlers age 1, 2 or 3 to suffer fatal motor vehicle related injuries more frequently than babies under 1 year old, those presumably more likely to have been rear-facing in 2010 and earlier? Would you have expected booster age children age 4 and up to have more fatalities than younger kids that are more likely to be in a 5-point harness?  Or, is a pretty even distribution just what you would have expected?

Discuss!

 

First Peek Review: Britax Pinnacle 90 & Frontier 90 Combination Harness-2-Booster Carseat

Britax has officially announced the next generation Harness-2-Booster seats in the Frontier line.  They will be the Frontier 90 and Pinnacle 90 (with Side Impact Cushion Technology).

The biggest news?  The new ClickTight seatbelt installation system.  It’s an automatic tensioning system, similar in a way to the Cybex Aton base, but it also serves as a belt locking device.  It may also remind some of the Britax King, but it’s much easier to use than the King was.  Basically, you flip up a metal reinforced plate on the front of the shell, then route the seatbelt underneath and buckle it.  To finish, you push firmly down to close the plate and the seatbelt is tensioned and locked in one easy step!  No worries about locking a retractor or using a locking clip.  No worries about LATCH anchor weight limits.  The most difficult part of the installation process might be knowing to flip up the fabric cover to find the ClickTight system!

*UPDATE: See our complete review of the Frontier 90 HERE.  And our full review of the Pinnacle 90 HERE.

You can order at Amazon.com with free shipping and free returns.

The Britax Pinnacle 90 will have an MSRP of $369.99

The Britax Frontier 90 MSRP is $329.99

 

 

 

But wait, there’s more!  

Big Announcement Monday at Noon!

Make sure you’re here Monday at Noon for the full scoop!  We wish we could spill all the details now but that would probably land Darren in some very hot water.  So… our lips are sealed until the media embargo is lifted at 12 PM on 3/25.  For once, I’m actually looking forward to a Monday morning!

Driving Graycie Home: The Tesla Model S Goes for a Long Drive

Matt and I worked on this next blog post together. Well, I shouldn’t say together exactly, since if we actually wrote it together, it wouldn’t be almost 22 years of wedded bliss now, would it? I wrote some parts and he wrote some parts and we meshed it together. Actually, I have to admit I slept most of the drive home; put me in the passenger seat of a smooth car and I’m out faster than a mellow baby in a swing. Matt was very sweet not to mention this part and I’m very lucky he was busy driving and not taking pictures . . .

We had been planning our “unplanned” trip home with the Tesla Model S for a few weeks, ever since we decided to go pick up the car from the factory instead of having it delivered. My dh, Matt, had wanted to make it a “bro weekend” with our son, but hello, anything that included a vehicle factory tour must include me, so the ladies barged in on their plans.

We drove to the airport and parking our old Lexus RX330 in long term parking. A colleague interested in buying it would pick it up later that day and try it out over the four days that we would be gone. We have not been in it since. She served us well.

We flew into San Jose and went out to grab a cab to go to the Tesla factory about 10 miles up I-880 in Fremont. It was amusing; the cab line in Las Vegas can be scores of people long with cabs lined as far as the eye can see. In San Jose, there was one cab waiting. So we hopped in. It was a Prius. Gas guzzler.

The factory has a new owner greeting and waiting area, where we were greeted and waited. We were early, and looked around the parking lot at the new, shiny Teslas.  On a whim I looked at the VINs of the gray cars, and lo and behold, there was ours, just waiting for us.