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Baby on Board! Grrr. October 24, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family.
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I really don’t like Baby on Board signs. A relic from the ‘80s, some new parents still seem to need to advertise that their vehicle contains a precious bundle, and imply that the rest of us need to drive with extra care because of it. Don’t think that I’m some childless person who just doesn’t like kids. I have a kid. I love kids. And, in fact, I do have a baby on board—or at least I do when he’s in the car. Whether everyone else must yield to those of us who’ve decided to reproduce, is a fairly old debate though, but my estimation is no, especially when we should all be driving in a way that is safe and considerate.

Why I’m on my soapbox about this is because yesterday, on my way to Gymboree, I noticed that the one person with a Baby on Board sign along my route was the one person driving like an idiot. Sure, it was raining, sure there was traffic congestion, but don’t drive so far below the speed limit that you’re actually causing a traffic hazard. (Luckily, this other motorist was not also headed for my son’s Gymboree class.)

As a parent, I know that we get distracted by what’s going on in our back seats when there are kids in the car. When you have a new baby (mine is now a toddler actually) you find yourself looking in the double rear-view mirror to monitor your precious bundle-of-joy as you drive, which can also be a recipe for stupid and erratic driving. (Been there, done that. And I’m sure that my periodic mirror-checking led me to do things that I normally wouldn’t have since my eyes were on my kid and not on the road.)

So, since Baby on Board signs persist announcing to the other drivers that a distracted parent is behind the wheel, there should be other similar signs for the rest of us so that we too can let the world know why we aren’t driving as well as we should be.

I offer these as potential suggestions:

Crying Child (Who-Hates-The-Car seat) on Board
Whining, Cantankerous Toddler on Board
Chatty 4-year-old on Board
Fighting Siblings on Board
Argumentative Pre-Teenager on Board
Sullen Teenager on Board
Back-seat Driving In-Law on Board

None of these signs exist. But for the sake of equity, they should. That way, we can all share with the others on the road why they should be more careful around us when we’re driven to distraction.

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