For years now, I have insisted Fleur hold my hand in parking lots. In recent probes for independence, she questioned why I needed to hold her hand. I explained that while she is a big girl, I pointed to a Toyota Highlander next to us and asked if she could see the steering wheel? No. I pointed to another large SUV a bit further and asked the same. No. If you cannot see them, then they cannot see you. Because I am bigger, they can see me and if you are holding my hand, you are close enough their avoiding hurting me means they will avoid you too.
A recent study…
Results suggest that children are eight times more likely to die when struck by a SUV compared to those struck by a passenger car.
There are a lot more SUVs and trucks on the road than when I was her age. The average vehicle is much bigger. So, I want her to hold my hand a bit longer.
In exchange, I give her a bit more freedom in the store. I let her walk with me instead of riding in the cart. I’m hyper aware of where she is, the people around us, and judging who might appear sketchy. And, lots of the time she gets tired and wants me to carry her, so I can drop the hyper awareness.
The other day, Fleur gave me her doll so she could better play on the playground. Any doll that fits, I tend to either put in a pocket or the hammer loop.
The latter usually gets a quizzical look from other parents.
Look, my job as a solo parent is to ensure the child playing on equipment rated for children older than her both does it herself and doesn’t end up in the ER. She gets to feel independent. I get to feel needed. Holding a doll in my hands and catching a child interfere with each other.
“Fisher-Price and the CPSC knew about deaths linked to this product for years and could have taken steps to avoid this unnecessary tragedy,” Consumer Reports President Marta Tellado said in the statement. “It took dogged investigation and the voices of doctors, victims’ families, and advocates across the country to make this recall a reality.”