Dignity and Parenthood? Forget It

Parenting can be embarrassing. You answer the door wearing a pink tiara and talk to no one on plastic telephones.

But sometimes CeCe wants things I cannot accommodate.

She recently declared that she didn’t want to wear her seat belt. I informed her that this was non-negotiable.

She countered with her argument of screaming, flailing and locking her body into a straight line whenever car seat straps neared her.

I appealed to her sense of reason, but I don’t think I was heard beneath the screams of “NO SEAT BELT NO BUCKLE NOOOOOOOO.”

Tantrums are nothing new to me. This is the same child who collapsed into a ball, wailing something about “the floor.”

We never did learn what offense the floor committed but we moved on eventually.

The car seat issue, however, had little time to be resolved. We needed to get on the road and I was desperate.

So I did the most logical thing I could think of. I grabbed the extra car seat meant for my nephew, stuck CeCe’s extra-large Dora the Explorer doll in it, and buckled her up.

The crying suddenly died down and CeCe curiously checked out her new seat mate. “Look CeCe, Dora is wearing her seat belt. You like Dora, don’t you? Do you want to buckle up now and be just like Dora?!”

CeCe nodded enthusiastically and happily clicked her three-point harness into place. We drove the rest of the trip in peace.

Dora has stayed in my backseat ever since, even when CeCe isn’t in my car.

I do fear that a traffic stop might include a police officer wondering why I have a stuffed doll buckled into a car seat.

“Oh, that, officer. That’s just Dora buckled in for safety.”

That would probably top my list of most-embarrassing moments as a parent.

Watch Baby Bump Editor Katie Saltz on ABC36 News@Noon on the first Thursday of each month. She shares her favorite products and resources for parents and babies, and always has giveaway prizes for viewers!