There are plenty of shiny, expensive objects I lust after, but I’ve never cared much what my ride looks like or what company’s insignia is on its rear. But as my family stands at the crossroads between old car and new car, I find myself feeling unusually emotional about the transition. I am going to miss the old buggy.
This, after all, is the car in which we brought home both of our babies. It’s the car in which I struggled and eventually learned to install a car seat. And it’s the car that suffered innumerable tire problems after a harrowing drive to the hospital through pothole-riddled streets to get there just in time for #2 to arrive. It’s the car for which I then waited at the shop as my wife cuddled that newborn on her first full day of life. And so on.
So yes, it’s just a hunk of steel and glass and other materials, which I will be glad to see driven away by a buyer who’s just handed me a check. But it’s also a pile of memories, our mobile home of sorts since before we even had kids. And so forgive me my wistfulness. Those tiny creatures whose first precious moments outside of the hospital were spent in that back seat are now on their second and third car seats. One is going to be a first grader, the other will start nursery school come September. Old enough to ask, incessantly, “Are we almost there?” and to seemingly drop more pretzels on the floor than were in the bag originally. Old enough to lobby for specific types of cars and colors and for where they will sit once we get it.
There’s nothing wrong with the old car, and it should have many years of good life ahead of it with its new owners. But as we look forward to a new member joining our family this fall, we’ll have a new tiny creature who will need his or her own seat and will need to find his or her own place—in the car and everywhere else—beside his or her bigger sisters. Bigger family, bigger car.
And so it’s not all sadness to see the old car go, not by a long shot. But as I learn to navigate a big honkin’ car unlike any other I’ve owned, I’ll also need to do the same with my big honkin’ family. Exciting, even thrilling, something I wouldn’t trade or surrender for anything. And also more than a little scary, a jump into the unknown.
Umpteen car salesman have promised me smooth rides and easy maintenance. May it be.
A great many moms are sailing down streets and highways when we’re desperately sleep deprived, distracted and futzing with our phones (a habit that’s twice as dangerous as drunk driving). All the while, the lights of our lives—our babies!—are in the backseat (often in a carseat that’s installed wrong). And it’s happening all the time—moms log an average of 150 miles a week.
These are just a few of the alarming habits revealed in a study of more than 2,000 mothers with children under age 2 that American Baby conducted with Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization aimed at preventing childhood injuries. In fact, nearly 10 percent of new moms have been in a crash while driving with their baby. That’s almost three times higher than the rate among the general population, and rivals the crash rate of teens. One of several possible culprits: 64 percent of moms turn around in their seat to tend to their child instead of looking at the road ahead. For more eye-openers, check out this infographic.
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I’ve been guilty of careless driving myself. When my firstborn, Julian, was nine months old, I missed a stop sign while heading to Costco. I was newly transplanted in the suburbs, rusty at driving after a decade in the city, and beyond delirious. I realized my mistake and screeched to a halt a few feet later, causing another car to rear-end us. No one was hurt—massive sigh of relief—but the accident shook me. I signed up for refresher driving lessons and vowed to be more aware on the road, especially while chaffeuring my most precious passenger.
It’s time to STOP, think and hit reverse on these risky habits. This year, let’s all resolve to be more mindful and focused each time we leave our driveway. We owe it to the little people strapped in behind us, and to every other driver on the road.
To learn more about slip-ups moms make behind the wheel, and simple ways to protect your family when you head out, read the feature about our exclusive survey in the January issue of American Baby, and watch our video below on the driving rules every mom should follow. The keys to a safer year are in your hand.
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Later Pregnancy, Lower Risk of a Cancer
The older a woman is when she gives birth, the lower her risk for endometrial cancer, a new study reports. The researchers found that women who had their last babies after age 40 had a 44 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer, compared with women who had their babies before age 25. (via NY Times)
Devices Don’t Work to Save Kids in Hot Cars
Special seats and other devices designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving babies and toddlers behind in cars don’t work, a team of experts said on Monday. They said parents shouldn’t rely on them to keep children safe. Their review of 18 commercial devices, including systems integrated into a car, shows none works well enough to rely on. (via NBC News)
Blood Donations Lowest in 15 Years, Red Cross Says
A perfect storm of events has driven blood donations to the lowest in 15 years, a shortfall so extreme that some patients may have to cancel elective surgery, medical officials say. The American Red Cross fell 50,000 units short of its needs in June and will likely fall short again in July, it said. (via NBC News)
Parents Can Increase Children’s Activity by Increasing Their Own
Parents concerned about their children’s slothful ways can do something about it, according to research at National Jewish Health. They can increase their own activity. When parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well. (via Science Daily)
New Ways to Fight-Off Youth Anxiety and Depression
Approximately 8 to 22 percent of children suffer from anxiety, often combined with other conditions such as depression. However, most existing therapies are not designed to treat coexisting psychological problems and are therefore not very successful in helping children with complex emotional issues. (via Science Daily)
Disney-Pixar fans, rejoice! The second phase of Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort opened this Monday, adding 480 family suites inspired by Lightning McQueen, Radiator Springs, and other features of their much-loved Cars franchise.
After passing Sheriff and Doc Hudson at the hotel’s entrance, kids can take in scenes like Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and Tow Mater Towing before settling into supercharged themed rooms with Cars-inspired artwork, carpets and furniture. The resort’s centerpiece is the Cozy Cone Motel, complete with orange cone-shaped cabanas surrounding the Cozy Cone Pool.
This phase of the resort comes on the heels of the Finding Nemo section, which opened in May. For kids and parents nostalgic for some of Disney’s classic films, two new areas based on The Lion King and The Little Mermaid will open in August and September.
Hi, GoodyBlog readers! Do you drive a 2009 model of one of the following cars? - Hyundai Entourage - Mazda 5 - Mazda CX9 …or a 2008 or 2009 model of one of these? - Honda CRV - Toyota RAV4 - Honda Odyssey
If so, Parents magazine would love to hear about it for an upcoming article! If you want to rave about your ride (or criticize, if that’s the case!), please email us with the car you drive for further details. Photo via.