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SAFETY VIOLATION

September 3, 2006

Deedle Dumpling is destined to become a Citizen on Patrol, and a good but authoritative COP at that. She seems to know and follow the rules, and is not hesitant to point out the error of her parent’s ways.

After strapping her into her booster seat today I hopped in the driver’s seat and started the ignition. “Put your seatbelt on, Daddy, or it’s a safety violation,” instructed my loving daughter, of whom I was very proud for looking out for her Daddy’s best interest.

“I will sweetie. How did you know it’s a safety violation?” I asked.

“Lou & Lou and You: Safety Patrol from Playhouse Disney.”

Thanks again, Disney. Knowing this was a good tidbit of knowledge for a preschooler, still I wondered what else Disney had brainwashed into my impressionable daughter. I half expected my sincere, innocent girl to tell me I had to go & buy the latest Disney DVD of Brother Bear 2 or she would turn me in to the authorities for child abuse.

So we continued our journey and as I approached a stop sign my little backseat driver informed me, “S.T.O.P. Stop Daddy. You gotta stop here or it’s a safety violation,” Actually I think it’s a moving violation if I don’t actually STOP at the stop sign, but I didn’t have the heart to correct her, not when she’s destined to be a hot COP someday keeping our streets safe, and could one day pull me over on charges of rolling through a stop sign.

“Thank you, dear,” says I. I smiled in the mirror back at my grinning girl and pulled out my cell phone to call Divagirl. I punched send and lifted the little receiver to my ear.

“That’s a safety violation, you know,” came a stern voice from the backseat. I peeked in the mirror of my car and couldn’t believe my eyes. There sat my near-5-yr old with arms crossed and a raised eyebrow like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’d been caught. I had forgotten my little accessory earpiece one should use while driving to free up both hands. And yet here was I, a bitter complainer about seeing people talk on phones while driving doing the very pet peeve I loathe.

“Lou & Lou told you that?” I asked.

“Yes, Daddy. Put the phone down and no one will get hurt. We can both forget this incident ever happened. I trust you will be prepared in the future.”

I flipped the phone closed & dropped it like a hot potato. Didn’t want an “incident” in the car to ruin a perfectly good day. Nor did I want my oldest believing I didn’t follow Lou & Lou’s safety rules. If you don’t have trust in a family what have ya got? “That sounds like a plan, Deedle. Let’s go have an ice cream!”

“That’s fine, Daddy. Just don’t eat while you’re driving. That’s a safety violation, too.”

Curious about these Lou & Lou characters I looked ‘em up on the ol’ ‘puter. Indeed I found good printable safety tips offered by two squat-looking, badge-toting children of either sex, whose names I assumed were short for Louise and Louis. I found some other interesting driving tips that I thought my daughter should be aware of. Particularly the one about NEVER MAKE SO MUCH NOISE THAT YOU DISTRACT THE DRIVER. Hmmm. That’s one I’ll be pointing out a lot. Another one: PAY FULL ATTENTION WHILE DRIVING. DO NOT EAT, READ, PUT ON MAKE-UP OR SHAVE (yes, these are actual tips from our old pal, Disney) WHILE DRIVING A CAR. I like that one, too. I think the former and the later go hand in hand, wouldn’t you?

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One comment

  1. This is a video about a little girl whose life was shattered in a car accident because the car model she was riding in had weak front seats and her carseat was strapped in behind one of the front seats.
    I know it’s not common to strap a child’s carseat in the rear center, but this shows how important it is to do just that, especially if your car has weak front seat-backs. Please pass this video around to anyone who has children ride with them. Maybe we can prevent something like this from happening to another family.

    http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/media-center/AlyssasStory-final2.html

    Oh p.s.- My 5 yr. old gives out cell-phone violations too!



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