Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DID I almost just hit a BABY with my SUV????

Yep, you read the title right.


Keep reading...

Here's my story,

I was driving around a long winding country road to my parents house this weekend, gabbing on the phone, when all of the sudden my 5 year old yells, "MOM, there's a baby in the road!"

The country road to my parents house has very few homes, very very few people (Let alone children) on it.   On occasion there are a few deer that pop out and cause me to have to pump the brakes..BUT  98.5% of the time ... it's free of obstacles and things that I would need to be uber cautious about unlike my pedestrian packed neighborhood.  

Since I am out in BFE .. I drive without caution and slightly above the speed limit on this road.   SO.. the thought of any being standing in the middle of a country road would be something of a Shock to me.. let alone a baby!!!

Being a mom of three, most of my driving is facing backwards and with one hand reaching on the backseat floor for misalliance toys or sippy cups that the baby drops.  She usually needs me to pick them up immediately or she will repeat "Mama, I need my baba.. OR Mama, Need Baby, Mama, Need Baby!" louder and louder ... making it very hard to concentrate on driving.  

So... needless to say... I am an accident waiting to happen.  I would say I fall in the majority of Moms On wheels due to the consistency of what I have seen and heard of regarding the Typical MOM way of driving consisting of the following:

1.  Knee Driving - Hands free to get backseat toys, open drink boxes etc...
2. Makes most of her phone calls in the car.. because the movie is playing to preoccupy my little passengers
3.  Usually has 3-4 sippy cups or drink boxes in the cupholders-half opened and spilling with every turn
4.  diaper bags, changing outfits and hockey helmets stacked in the front passengers seat to almost the height of a passenger - 
5.  Catching toys thrown at me as i am driving.. which there has been a few times where they roll under the brake pedal (I stopped that nonsense the first time around)
6.  Cracks the window of the car just in case I can't hear the roar of a firetruck or ambulance due to the similar sounds that the Children's video is playing at volume level 40 in the car.
7.   Always facing backwards ... and reprimanding at the same time while operating a 2,000 lb vehicle.

There are some days where I wished that I had a window (similar to a limo Privacy window) that I could roll up and tune out all the nonsense in the backseat and just focus on driving.  I'd let them battle it out and I would have complete and total silence in the front seat.  

See the most amazing scene from 'The Secret to My Success"...  to understand how wonderful it could be!

 Ok so back to the story..

As I looked up to see what my son was talking about when he yelled, "MOM there's a baby in the road."... I could barely make out a 2 foot red headed figure walking towards the front right wheel of my SUV in the middle of the country road.  I was in shock and of course barely could think to put my car in park or pull over to the side of the road... but rather jump out of my SUV and race to the little being standing there wondering where she was and who I was.

If it hadn't have been for my son pointing out that there was a baby in the road - I was within split seconds from slamming into this precious little being.    (Having a hard time swallowing that one.. as I am writing this)

SO... as I picked her up and raced to the side of the road... a young boy came running around the front of a house... yelling that's my sister.  I was in shock.  Where was the mom?  Did she not know she was outside?  Was she running around looking for her in a panic?   I  "Nicely" but with a shiver in my voice... asked, "Where is your mommy at?"  He replied in his 6 year old voice.."Inside vacuuming."

Standing there in shock... I thought.. "OMG... seriously???"

Just then... the mom raced outside shaking ... saying "Oh My God... Oh My God.... I couldn't find her."  I told her .. "This could have been devastating for both of us.  My son pointed out that there was a baby in the road and I stopped just in time."  I felt nauseated as I said that to her.

As she was talking and trying to explain that she was finishing up vacuuming from lunch... and that she realized she was gone ... and was scouring the house looking for her.....I have to be honest... I was in complete shock wasn't really listening to her reasoning... BUT.. realizing that someone had saved me from My WHOLE WORLD turning upside.  It could have happened in a matter of just a few seconds.

 How could I have lived with myself ... knowing that I was completely distracted... and not completely and totally paying attention while driving with my little ones as well as being selfishly unaffected and unaware of what is along the side of the road.   My kids, my life, my husband and everything I would have known to be perfect and pure would have gone right out the window ... knowing that I hit a beautiful little being.  

As I was explaining what just had happened to my husband on the phone... you could sense that his stomach was in knots just listening to the story.

I was reading about Distracted Driving online and I will tell you it is alarming to hear about the deaths and fatalities that happen when MOMs get distracted while driving.  Many times it's not the mom who gets harmed its the children or a child along the side of the road.  Here is a wonderful link I found talking about Distracted Driving among Moms.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.com

I have to address the mom of the 19 month baby that I almost hit.  This can happen to any parent.  How often have you vacuumed after the lunch table or pulled laundry out of the dryer while your little one is in the play room?  BE HONEST... everyday????

I know I have.  I always think... oh, she is playing with toys... or with her brothers .   Have you ever thought.. about the possible risks that can happen when you take your eyes off of your toddler?  

This toddler figured out how to turn the knob on the handle and let herself outside. 

My advice, high locks and lock them each and every day.  

Here is a great article regarding keeping your child safe when you are not able to keep one eye on them at all times.

I found that there are great door alarms that can be triggered by any toddler and will give you a heads up if he/she tries to escape.  

One that I found should be used inside the home or on gates especially if you have a pool.

Range from $49.00 on up

  This was a wake up call for me to realize that things can happen!  My life and hers were sparred unfortunately many have not had that same luck.  I count my blessings that my son spoke up and am grateful to him for that.

I would love to hear from moms on their tricks on how they keep the distractions to a minimum especially when it comes to traveling with your child.

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