I nearly gave my parents a heart attack one car journey when I was growing up. Well, to be honest, there must have been many car journeys that weren't exactly enjoyable with my brother and I bickering in the back, but this one journey was particularly memorable! I must have been about 7 years old, maybe a bit younger, and I decided to see what would happen if I opened the car door while we were driving along the main road. Needless to say, the result was my Dad pulling over straight away, and being soundly told off and smacked. My parents realised that this was what child locks on car doors had been invented for, and I never tried anything like that again! In my defence, I was actually carrying out a scientific experiment as I was wondering whether I would be able to open the door or whether the force of the car moving along would hold the door closed. My parents were not exactly impressed with this explanation though!
So, why am I sharing this childhood memory? Well, I after the car journey I had with B this morning I now realise how much stress I caused my parents! We've always had the child locks on both back passenger doors and also the lock on the windows so that they can only be operated from the driver's controls. This really annoys T when I'm driving as I won't take the lock off as I know that he'll only open the window and let the cold air in - he just doesn't seem to feel the cold! But anyway...... B suddenly realised this morning that he could reach the buckle on his seat belt and promptly undid it. Cue yells of fright from me, demands that he sit properly and STAY STILL!!! and pulling over to the hard shoulder of the motorway as soon as we could. The rest of the journey (thankfully only another 10 minutes) was spent with B crying as I had told him off so much and me trying not to cry as a) he had frighten me and b) I was feeling so mean and horrible for making him cry so much. But my theory is that if I've made him realise how serious it was and how much he frightened me then he won't do it again! I did think about trying to find a device that fits over the buckle so that he won't be able to undo it, but then I realised that he's got to learn that he mustn't undo it himself unless I've told him that he can. I think he's got the idea - T and I had a chat with him about it before bed time this evening. I think sometimes that all these safety devices that we can buy nowadays don't do children many favours in the long run as if you go over the top with different locks, guards etc then the children don't learn how to deal with and recognise danger for themselves.
So, I'm sorry Mum and Dad for giving you such a fright all those years ago! I'm sure that B will give me a few more grey hairs in the next few decades!