I figured out why the Trig on her lap story (in the car at least twice!) annoyed me personally so much I had to write about it at the great orange satan. (Or satin as some people call it) It's just another case of if I manage this basic grown-up task, why can't s/he? And, hey, unlike Palin, I'm never going to paint myself as an UberMom** or use the boys to advance my political career....
I've been a mother for almost 18 years. And I can think of one time only that I didn't strap a boy in in--when we were driving across a parking lot. One time only. Even when my goddamn back went out and putting the toddler in the far car seat and putting that buckle over his head was agony (whoa, do I remember that) I made sure he was secure. When they screamed and struggled to get out of their seats while we were on the road (and toddlers always go through that stage at some point) I didn't give into their tantrums.
It was a simple choice. For the last 19 years, my 3 kids have been the most important thing in my life. My job to keep them safe comes first. If there was anything I could do to make ensure their safety, I'd do it, even at the cost of my eardrums. Not to mention I wanted to teach them to obey the law and that's an easy way to help them learn.
Listen, I'm not unique. This is basic parenting (for grown-up parents, anyway). I've talked to other mothers, swapping stories about listening to 2-year-olds scream for miles because they want out of their seats.
Now it turns out that Sarah Palin, The VP Fabulous Mother Figure, disregards the law with her babies, or at least with Trig--and more than once. Some people might think it's just is another sign that she's a risk-taker, someone willing to embrace life to the fullest and not bother with stupid little laws.
If she wants to do that with her own life and body, I say feel free. She should be allowed to be a fool and pay the consequences and I can even see how that's an attractive trait. But with her kids? Especially when she uses those kids as props to point out she's a mom first and foremost? Fuck that.
Palin's disregard for her kids' safety in small yet vital ways (starting before Trig's birth) annoys the hell out of me. And probably also annoys Britney who got loads of crap for doing the same thing . Family private matters aside (and yeah, sure, we all get to decide how we raise our kids--even people who trot out those kids at every opportunity. Her family should be private, even if she makes them public) how about this: the fact that she blithely disregards the law, calls it petty, probably should worry everyone in the country.
And yo? Anyone with a half a brain knows there are real and important reasons to use a car seat, especially young babies with those fragile necks (shaken baby syndrome, anyone?).
Not using a seat shows a typically teenage disregard for common sense, a basic "I'm above the law" attitude and an inability to think ahead to possible consequences. Ummm. Yeah. Just the sort of person we want running the country ---again.
Update: Here's the article that got me ranting.
and here's the throw-away passage that really got me going. . .
Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride. Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action.
Another update: I got a nice note from someone who pointed out that life in Alaska is more informal. That this might be a cultural difference. I say unless they've managed to suspend Newton's third Law of For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction in Alaska, it's a bullshit excuse. There may be fewer cars on the road, but until there are none--and the moose and other widelife learn to avoid all roads, no. Sorry. It's still BASIC PARENTING EVERYWHERE. And it's also THE LAW in ALASKA
**I bet she chases her kids off the computer faster than I do. I'm kinda lazy that way.