I was wasting time on Facebook today for a couple minutes after M. went down for a nap. I noticed an old friend who had a baby last year had posted new pictures of him at 7 months old. One picture in the album made my jaw drop! Amidst all the cute shots showing off new outfits and playtime with Daddy was a picture riding in his car seat in the car. His convertible car seat was forward-facing and the caption read “He loves riding forward in his car seat!”. Before letting my negative opinion get away from me I double-checked his age and he is in fact only 7 months old.
The law states a forward-facing car seat should only be used for children who weigh more than 20 pounds and are at least 1 year old. That means your child should fulfill both of those conditions before you get a forward-facing seat instead of a rear-facing seat.
My benefit of doubt is that, perhaps she was misinformed and believed that since he had hit the weight requirement that he was ready for a seat change. This is just a hypothesis… I can’t help but think the best of any good mom’s intentions since I think she is a good and loving mom from what I see. The problem is that I don’t have enough of a relationship with her to question this I fear.
Regardless, I bring this here to say…if you ever found yourself wondering when to make the switch. Consider the visual facts from watching the video below.
Disclaimer: This is to state that I do not believe there is anything ethically wrong with turning your 20 pound, 12 month old baby around. I’m sure the standards by the state have been carefully scrutinized and designed for the health and well-being of our children.
I pride myself on being an eco-gal, a green living individual, a sage momma, call me what you will… I like to make it known (without boasting) that I was on board with sustainable, simple living before the fad broke out in recent years. Suddenly “being green” is COOL! While I am encouraged by many local and national missions to point our country as a whole towards more positive, earth-friendly living, I fear the fad outweighs the true change in lifestyle that it will take.
It’s not hard to find a “be green” or “recycle” or “love your mother” t-shirt these days. All the kids are wearing them. I felt compelled recently to ask a stranger wearing one (somewhere ranging in the 15-17 age range) what her shirt meant and she said she didn’t really care..she just liked the bird on the shirt and the font! For some, living green is nothing more (I fear) than a clothing fad, a way to relate to your “hippie” friends, a name brand to carry, a falsified lifestyle created to make you look set apart and different.
Now, I know there are PLENTY of people out there willing to both talk about and live out the values of a simple lifestyle. I know there are people that are taking the necessary steps towards sustainable living and doing it well and with conviction. But, I fear most are approaching it much like a religion of “give me some strict legalistic rules to follow and I will do them as best as I can and maybe I will create a few of my own along the way as well to make others feel guilty!”.
The way I see it, we need to instead approach this revolution from a faith-based motivation…we need to place faith in the facts given and hold ourselves accountable to the mistakes of our past by working towards change in the future. Just following rules (i.e. I will curbside recycle, I will change to florescent bulbs, I will unplug unused appliances, I will stop using pesticides on my lawn, I will cloth diaper my child, etc…) We need to have a good grip on the “big picture”.
I think it can best be broken down this way: CAUSE – EFFECT – CHANGE. Here is my example: CAUSE= plastic water bottles, EFFECT=become landfill that is causing space shortages, they take over 1000 years to decompose, not to mention the chemicals used to create the bottle leech off into the water/beverage I am drinking, CHANGE= start using a reusable alumnium water bottle and refuse to purchase beverages sold in plastic containers. When we know the cause and effect behind why we choose to make a change then we have something to be held accountable to rather than an abstract action to check off on a list with no purpose that is driven by no conviction. Wouldn’t it be nice, the next time someone asks you why you carry re-usable grocery bags you had an answer better than “they were cute!’?
This afternoon I FINALLY took my car in for a much needed oil change. I took my daughter to her grandmother’s house for some playtime which allowed me to take care of this tedious errand without worrying how I would entertain her in the most kid-unfriendly environment ever!
I brought along a book I have been working on reading, per my husbands suggestion. I ended up taking my car to this little service station up the street from our house that had a shorter wait than the large chain store in the heart of the city…the one with the comfy leather couches and free coffee. So there I was in a metal folding chair with my diaper bag (because who carries a purse anymore!) and my book waiting amongst the sodas, beer, and Rolos. Now, my precious little black VW Golf has been nicknamed by my mom “the hippie mobile” and perhaps it just might be. I have a few (3) bumper stickers on the back and in my opinion there are NOT enough. After my car was appointed its name it received a little added flair to confirm its origin and so I proudly display a peace sign necklace which dangles from the rear-view mirror. Anyway, my 3 bumper stickers read as this “Live simply so that others may simply live.”, “Give birth a chance, use a midwife.”, and “Be Green.”.
Now of the three I was suprised by which one received the most attention at the service station today. While waiting for my car I became deeply enthrawled in my book. I usually read in such small spurts because caring for a toddler doesn’t lend itself to concentrated times spent on ANY ONE thing. Out of the blue I heard a voice say “BE GREEN!” I looked around and it took me a second to realize the shop owner was not only talking to me but referencing one of my bumper stickers. “I’m sorry?” I said…more so for clarity as to why he felt the need to announce it to me. “Be Green. I like that!”. “Oh, you like my sticker!”, I said. “Yeah, but I really don’t think that whole thing is really gonna amount to much for atleast 5 years or something like that.” he theorized.
I could have easily just nodded and went on reading my book like I really wanted to but lately I have found myself missing opportunity after opportunity to say what I want to say and mean what I mean! So, instead I put my book down and went on to add “Well, the truth is that the research and information that is becoming more and more mainstream today has been out there for years and years. People like me have been living green for decades. What I am afraid of is that right now, its just a fad…its something to wear, its something to claim, its even something to stick on your car…but to actually live it out…you might be right, it might take years to see an impact and see it really being lived out in large ways.” He just shrugged and walked out. I wonder if he assumed I was another airhead cult follower like so many today. It is something that has truly frustrated me to no end. I have considered stopping people I see on the street wearing their “Green is the new black” shirts or other “green living” attire and ask them “How are you living green? What are you doing to positively impact the planet? Do you know what a carbon footprint is?” I am pretty sure I would be pretty unamused while not suprised by the results. The “green” fad has actually made me consider removing my “Go Green” bumper sticker because I don’t want to be mistaken as being yet another poser.