For the past 6 months (or more), Quincey has developed a bad habit. She slips her arms out of the top straps of her carseat. On our vacation last month, I must have told her every 3 minutes to put her arms back in her straps.
Today however, when I asked her to put her arms back in she flat out told me "No."
"Hmm," I thought. "Now, what??"
I told her if she didn't put her arms in, I was going to find a policeman and have him tell her to put her arms in. She said, "no."
So, I drove to our local police station. I said, "okay, we're here. This is where the policemen work."
Quincey: O-tay! O-tay! I put my ahrms in!!!
Just at that moments, a policeman emerged from the building. I made a split second decision that I didn't want to have this battle anymore. I got out of the car and went and asked him if he would do me a huge favor and talk to my defiant 3 year old who doesn't believe her mother that it is dangerous to not wear your seatbelt properly.
He came over to the car and introduced himself as Policeman Russ. When Quincey only continued to stare at her hands in her lap, he asked her what her name was. No answer. Emma finally said it. He talked to Quincey for about five minutes. She never did look up from staring into her lap at her hands. Anyhow, he talked to her way longer than I had expected. I expected a quick, "hey, it's not safe to not wear your seatbelt. You could get hurt." So, he told her if he sees us driving around, he wants her to be in her seatbelt. Then, he said, "You know, my little boy died in a car accident because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt. It makes me sad that I don't get to see him anymore. You don't want your mom to be sad because she doesn't get to see you anymore. Promise me you'll wear your seatbelt."
UHHhhh! I felt soo badly. I really didn't know what else to say, except "Thank you" as he walked away - without looking at me. I hope for him, he wasn't the wrong person to have approached that day. I hope it helped him to talk about it. It helped us. Even if it is just 2 reminders...
1. Life is so fragile -appreciate each moment (even the ones that have you wanting to rip out yours (or someone else's) hair)!!
2. Be slow to get irritated at someone, you never know exactly what someone else is going through - so give others a break and the benefit of the doubt!!
THANK YOU POLICEMAN RUSS!!
Update: 4 days later, she is wearing her seatbelt much better. However, she is still mortified. I wanted the experience to stay with her. So, I called my mom and started to hand the phone to Quincey as I said, "tell Gramma about Policeman Russ." She glared at me, shook her head, folded her arms and said, "No want to talk about Pweetman!"
Hmm. I may have taken it too far. Since then I have talking up policemen every chance I get! :)