Son's seatbelt fiasco illustrates dangers of 'driving while under the influence of children'
Verges | Contributor
As I browsed through a collection of books at Barnes & Noble, one particular book caught my eye. The book was titled, "Driving While Under the Influence of Children" by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. The book was compiled of comic strips from the Baby Blues series.
One of the chapter titles that jumped out at me was I shouldn’t have to scream more than once. This reminded me of a car trip when my son was 10 years old.
After picking the boys up from school I stopped by my favorite takeout place to pick up an order. I ran inside to get my order, and when I returned to the car, my son was trapped in his seat belt. I was driving under the influence of children.
After saying more that once, “fasten your seat belt,” it finally clicked literally. This is one of those things I don’t feel needs to be said more than one time. Well, he went to the extreme and some how became tangled in the seatbelt. At least I knew he was secure, so I began driving toward home.
My son continued to twist and turn, he shifted his legs, and then he tucked his head underneath the shoulder strap. Still stuck. While stopped at a red light, I glanced in the back seat and saw a tortured look on my sons face.
There was a police station just around the corner from where we were. I parked the car and trotted to the door. Once inside the municipal building, I rang the bell on the ledge outside of the bullet proof window. There was no answer.
I went back to the car to tug on the seatbelt some more. It would not budge. My son began taking off layers of his clothing to see if he slip out of the belt. I refused to cut the seat belt. There had to be some magical way to free him, but I was not coming up with a solution.
By this time my son was sitting in his underwear, I drove to the fire station down the road from my house. They are used to rescuing people, I was sure they could free my child from the bonds of the seat belt. My son slipped back into his pants to save a little bit of his pride.
Inside the entrance of the fire station I rang the bell and a perplexed looking fireman asked, “Can I help you?”
“I hope so,” I said explaining my situation. Two firemen came out to my car and assessed the situation.
“How did you get in there like that buddy?” one of them asked.
My son just hunched his shoulders and looked liked the cat who swallowed the canary. One fireman lifted my son as the other one attempted to detangle the seat belt. It wasn’t working.
“Looks like we’re gonna have to cut the seat belt,” one of the men said. He took out a pocket knife and my son was free in no time.
Driving while under the influence of children can be costly.
As the MasterCard commercial would say -
The cost of gas for running from place to place: $3.49 per gallon.
The cost of replacing the cut seat belt: $280.
Seeing the sigh of relief on my sons face .priceless.
What has been your experience while driving under the influence of children?
Angela Verges is a writer and mother of two who can be seen driving under the influence of children at random times, daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.