Who needs jazzercise? Who needs step aerobics? Who needs a personal trainer?

Not me! I got Tallulah. All 29 pounds of her. Wrestling her into her carseat EACH and EVERY damn time I run errands renders me sweaty, sore, worn out, and definitely ready for a full body massage.

It is something to behold. She screams loud enough to mobilize CPS workers around the nation. She stiffins her body with such severity that it takes super human strength to fold her bottom into the car seat. She holds onto any and every thing within reach -- the seat in front of her, the other seat's seat belt, the edge of the car door -- with a super-glue grip. I've even tried pouring a dissolving agent over her hands to pry them loose. When I start to get the upper hand, she bites, scratches, pulls my hair, pinches my arms, and flails like a lunatic. I put her arms in the straps 10-15 times before I am able to make them stay that way.

It can take up to 10 minutes for the entire process, at the end of which I am too worn out to even remember where I was going in the first place. The other children wait patiently, looking like they'd like to be swallowed up by the earth instead of enduring this dance between the youngest and the mama. Usually, one or two of them actually apologize to me. They feel pity for me.

We've talked with her about it, in a nice reasonable, "teachable moment" kind of way; we've had more forceful talks as well; we (the whole family) have encouraged her to "be good and get strapped in;" we've done time outs; we've done rewards.

Since she turned three, the severity has increased. I utterly dread the act of getting her in her seat. Today, I've had to do it three times already, with a minimum of two more in front of me.

It's a waiting game. She won't be doing this when she's in high school, right? It will end eventually?

Although when that happens, I'm going to have to find a new work out regimen.

* * *

Kidding about the dissolving agent.

* * *


Gabriele said…
Just think of the exercise you would have gotten if you'd had Tallulah twins! ;-)
Jen said…
Oh, poor you! I remember my oldest doing this when she was 1.5-2, but she was much smaller and weaker. And I didn't have other kids, so I didn't have to load and unload her too many times each day.

Once or twice when my twins have done this, I have given up and driven home with them loose. I thought it would be better for all involved if they were injured in a car accident than if I intentionally hurt them because I was so freaking angry.
Teacher Mommy said…
Oh lordy. Every time? Every single frickin' time?

I'm in awe that you aren't in a straight jacket by now. I bow to your awesomeness.
Tallulah twins...that is a daunting thought, Gabriele. But then, Jen could comment on that I am sure! And Jen, I've done the same thing -- left her loose to spare her life.

And TeacherMommy, they let me out of the staight jacket for a few hours each day to cook, clean, and blog.

And about the every frickin' time? Well, my new solution to problems is to blog about them, because right after that post, she popped into her seat easy as pie! It was bliss. I doubt it's permanent...
Viv said…
I. Feel. Your. Pain. Please remember, my three year old (who reacts just like yours to his car seat) is now 49 lbs. Then there are still two more that need to be put in their car seats before we can leave. Plus, it is still in the 90's here everyday...the sweat makes it even harder to wrangle kicking children into their straps.
Heather said…
Ok forever the optimist I am...free from the car seat = competition for the car radio. Perspective baby!

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