Monday, November 7, 2011

Kickin' it

We are having a situation! And so, because my lovely husband is once again out of town and because you all are so brilliant and because I'm really unsure what to do, I turn to you for advice:

As you know, in my car the kids sit three peas in a pod. The current configuration has E on the right side, so she can hop out quickly for kindergarten carpool; L in the middle, queen bee that she is; and G behind me on the left, because he still gets hoisted up into the car, he doesn't walk, so he's the one I want entering from the traffic side.

G, at approaching 21 months old, still sits rear-facing. Maryland law would have let him turn around about ten months and ten pounds ago, but current AAP recommendations suggest that children stay rear-facing until at least age two.

(Full disclosure: we turned both girls around at about seventeen months old. And they were much smaller than this boy, but those turns occurred before the release of the new AAP guidelines.)

And herein lies the problem: G keeps kicking L in the face. (With his sh*t-kicker huge shoes.)

Observe the blue-fanged shoe monster in his natural habitat as he plants his foot and marks his territory. Note the artful dodge of the big sister, a blur of Justin Beaver-topped movement as she once again evades his attack. Will she survive this ride unscathed?

He is a very affectionate little creature; he loves to hold his sisters' hands or sit on them or leap upon them for a hug. He is a very solid (not-so-) little creature, and he's very capable of smooshing. When L is paying him the attention he wants, he gurgles and claps all the way home. But if she decides she wants to tell me a story, or if her thumb hurts and she doesn't want to hold hands, or if she (G-forbid) falls asleep, then he prods her for the attention he wants. And subtlety is not his strong suit.

Most of the time he just rests his foot on the side of her car seat. Occasionally he leans it on her shoulder; which amazingly L doesn't mind at all. But every so often, either while she's turning to look out the window or he misses his aim or who knows what, he kicks her hard in the cheek. It happens about twice a week, and I can see why she's not thrilled about it.

So here are the potential solutions I can identify, with my comments in parentheses:
  1. Take his shoes off in the car! (But his feet will get cold.) (But he'll still kick and it may not hurt quite as much but it will still hurt.) (Duuude, that is one more thing that will slow me down in the morning, because then I'll have to put them on before we get out of the car. I do not need any help being late to work.)
  2. Rearrange the order of chairs? (I cannot think of a better order. E's carpool laws dictate she must climb out the passenger side, and for her to climb over her siblings to get out is onerous. And I can't put G in the middle because I can't lift G into the middle.)
  3. Turn G's car seat so he is also forward-facing. (Except, you know, AAP recommendations.) (Plus then the'll probably kick the back of my seat as I drive, which is also not entirely awesome.)
  4. Teach the boy not to kick. (Pfft.) (I mean, we're working on it. But what else have you got?)
  5. Buy a bigger car. (Do you have any money?)
I turn the floor over to you, o wise ones. What would you do?


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