You Thought it was Just Baby Shaking…

I read this whole thing in email. I don’t know how or why it was sent to me. I don’t have children. But, as I was reading it I had the thought… why don’t car manufacturers just have a setting which keeps the car from overheating inside? They have many other safety features for children/ parents. It would also save all those pets left in cars.

There are all sorts of stories that are almost identical to Brenda’s, all over the world. They are all incidents in which tired, busy or overwhelmed parents simply forgot to take their kid to a babysitter, or into the house after being out, and they were left to die in hot cars.

Each year in the US, about 37 babies and toddlers die when they are accidentally left strapped in car safety seats or become trapped in vehicles that rapidly heat up.
Since 1998, there have been at least 570 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles.

It has become my mission to speak the message of being a “conscious” parent. I now appear in articles, blogs and the like discussing top tips for mums to slow down and stop being “rushing women”.

Here are some of my top tips to prevent accidents like this:

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 000.
Be sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. If a child is missing, always check a pool first, then the car, including the trunk.
Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is in the seat, place the stuffed animal in the front seat with the driver. Or, place your purse or briefcase in the back seat so that you will have to look in the back to retrieve it, thereby seeing your child.
Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car. I see some stores has a sign on its entrance that reminds shoppers to be sure that they have all their children out of the car before they go in the store.
Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up to daycare

Waiting At the Bus Stop While Freezing

All those warm cars going by while I waited for the bus. I kept thinking how nice it would be to have a warm car. Why do they never ask if you’d like a ride? On those really frigid days when your eyes water and the water freezes onto your face, why do so many cars just drive on by. I was so cold on Friday that even a ride just to the next bus stop down the street would have been a help. Just a few minutes to defrost.

Scrolling Saturday: April 2005.

For Scrolling Saturday I have unearthed this old post:

Maps for Road Tripping April 29, 2005

I love road trips, the campier, the crazier and the longer – the better. To overly plan a road trip is to spoil it. You may have an ultimate destination but it’s the journey that really counts. Take time to get lost. Wander. Make frequent stops for no good reason. Coffee, knickknacks, tourist traps, farmers markets, flea markets, fresh honey, odd road signs, adventure and other things so essential to life yet so often overlooked for lack of ‘time’.

You may wonder why a road tripper ever needs a map. Let alone a collection of them. I do love them, they make the trip that much more fun. Mainly, you absolutely must have the backroad maps to wherever you may be wandering. Should you get hopelessly lost (lucky you!), as you’re laughing, sipping roadside coffee and wondering how you ended up so far to the left, a good road map will be your guide to possible alternative routes. Never take the map seriously though. There are always glitches. You’ll find them as you drive along and realize the map never had this road or that turn or that dead end approaching right in front of your car bumper. That is the odd thing about maps, they are imperfect but trying so hard to be correct. Maps are friendly and confused, so very likeable.

I think of maps as those drawings from the early explorers. Those men who trekked out to places completely unknown and tried to draw a guide to what they were seeing. Not just flora and fauna but rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys and everything else they stumbled upon. Ancient explorers were the earliest road trippers. Before cars, there were ships. Before ships there were horses. Before horses there were just people walking around wishing they knew how long it was to the next grocery store for snackage. No, just kidding, you knew there were no grocery stores back then, right?

The first maps were wonky. They didn’t have perspective and distances were not measured equally. Now we have science which has given us exacting measurements and the tools to create beautifully detailed maps. Cartography and related sciences are things modern road tripping types can be grateful for. Think of them next time you’re looking for the right house on the right street in the right town.

Now, go, take your itchy feet, let the wanderlust possess you. Take along a map, it’s like a good friend who will never laugh at your navigational skills.
Road Map Collectors Association
International Map Collector’s Society
History of Cartography

Snow Weekend in Barrie

I don’t know where we have room for more snow in Barrie this weekend. But we are getting more anyway. On the side of all the road the snowbanks are piled too high for cars to see over top when turning a corner, makes for dangerous driving. A car nearly cut it too close and nearly creamed the taxi as I was getting home last night. At this rate cars are going to all need their headlights on the roof so we can see each other over the snow.

Caught Up in the Snowglobe

Some days living in a controlled environment wouldn’t be all bad. Not having to make decisions. Not having to be responsible for anything. And yet… I couldn’t stand it. Not every day, every week, each month, year and forever. Just that it would be nice at times, when there are too many things to be responsible for and decisions that aren’t so easy to make, when there are too many things spinning out, far beyond our control.

The car thing is dragging me down. Like a sucking wound on my life. I feel trapped by it. I feel trapped in this house, except for the acceptable expense of going to work and back cause of course you can’t just live at work. Even though that would be simpler on some levels.

I like for things to be simple. I hate things like paperwork, seems so useless and full of really stupid complications. I’m sure car buying can’t just be as simple as paying for the car and getting insurance and the plates. I’m sure the government has managed to tack on endless aggravations. So, that keeps me from really just buying something myself and getting rid of all this frustration.

I can’t though, not enough cash and that is yet another complication. Today Graham came out here and said he doesn’t like any of the cars he has looked at, mostly he doesn’t like the people who are selling them. He said I could use the old Camry for the road test. So at least that is one thing. Still, I am just sick of the bus and taxi to and from work. The expense and the cold outside waiting for the bus. It would be so much simpler with a car.

So much more freedom too. I could drive to the grocery store. Get the salt for the sidewalk on the steps in front of the house. Get out to look at some more abandoned places and get more photos. I am so stuck here, in this snowglobe. I need to break out.

At Least the Bus is Warm

I should be hustling out there to spend the next half hour freezing at the bus stop. It never seems to come when I think it should. Not like the bus in Toronto either where you can count on another one being there soon if you miss the first one.

I was thinking at work last night that it is costing me almost $20 each day just to get to and from work. There are no buses to catch when I get out of work so I am catching taxis. Pretty expensive hobby this job has become. Gas for a car would cost less. I wish my brother could just pick a car and let me get started on driving to work again. He is the one buying it for me so I can pay him back for the loan. Might only take a few months as he seems to be looking at really cheapie cars. I hope not too cheap. Can’t tell with him though. He is caught between wanting to find something good for driving and wanting to find something light on the cost.

Anyway, can’t put off the bus for long. I’ve begun wearing two coats to work too. The bus waiting is cold but it is also cold all night at work. I’m getting sick from always being cold. I stopped turning the heat down here at the house just so I could be warm for some part of the day.