The Day My Daughter Drove the Car

Yep… last week… my 8 month old stood on the drivers’ seat, held onto the steering wheel, and navigated us through the neighborhood.  Honestly, I think the most fascinating part to her was the bumps on the steering wheel cover and trying to see what they tasted like.

If you didn’t already guess… we were in Guatemala.  (I’d also like to add… for the heart health of my mother… that we were going 2 miles an hour on a completely deserted road…)

Spending so much of my daughter’s first year of life outside the United States has also meant that she has not be required to sit in a car seat.  Infant safety looks a little different globally. 

In fact, when we returned from Argentina, it took some time adjusting back to the standards here at home.  We were horribly lazy about strapping her into the seat. 

Then, one recent day, I took her on a brief outing, and I made the conscious effort to thread arms and legs and lock nylon into place.  Proud of myself, we pulled out the parking lot. 

I changed the station on the radio and heard her whimper.  I checked the rear view mirror to make sure she was just complaining when I realized I was looking at what appeared to be the bottom of the car seat.

Apparently, while I belted Gabriella into the car seat, I forgot to secure the car seat to the actual car! 

She was basically rolling around in the backseat strapped to a plastic chair.  And the “Parent of the Year” award goes to….

Thankfully, the girl never cried and a quick pull-over got her back into position safely. 

­­­­­I figure I’m doing okay because once I saw a mom breastfeeding her baby while riding on the back of a motorcycle.  Baby safety is all relative…

What variations on “safety” have you witnessed across cultures?  Am I the only parent whose child has rolled around the backseat?    


  1. you're not the only one! my sister did the same thing! i looked in the rear view mirror and there he was, carseat completely sideways in the back!

  2. I happens to the best of us! Good to hear I'm not alone. :)


I love to hear from you! Like, seriously. It makes my day. Please feel free to respond, question, or add your perspective. Of course, please keep your words respectful. Thanks for reading and joining in the conversation!

A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.