When Rebecca Tafaro Boyer’s husband sent her a photo of their sleeping son strapped into his car seat, the no-nonsense mum urged her partner to make a life-saving adjustment.
While women are often taken to task over their criticism of men’s parenting – and the phrase “maternal gatekeeping” invoked to protect dad’s feelings – this is an example of why open dialogue between parents on the way we look after our kids is a very good thing.
Rebecca says she knew husband David would probably groan when he read her message, but he also realised it was important – and made the necessary adjustments. Pointing out what might (to some) seem like a small detail made a potentially life-saving difference to three-month-old baby William.
“Because I know my husband, I’m sure that he laughed at me and rolled his eyes before tightening the car seat and fixing the chest clip,” Rebecca posted on Facebook. “At 2:30 my phone rang, my husband’s panicked voice came through the line: ‘Honey, we had a car wreck. We are fine, but the car is going to be totalled.'”
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“He didn’t even wake up”
Rebecca says that – through no fault of David’s – the car slammed into another vehicle at a quite considerable speed.
“The boys were less than three miles from our house when a woman pulled into oncoming traffic to try and make a quick left turn. David just didn’t have enough time to stop — it could have happened to anyone. He slammed on the brakes at nearly 50 miles an hour before colliding with the front passenger side door of her SUV.”
“My precious little bundle of joy was so well restrained in his car seat THAT HE DIDN’T EVEN WAKE UP. Even with the impact of the two cars, William only received a minor jolt — so insignificant that he was able to continue on with his nap, and then spend the next two hours flirting with nurses in the Le Bonheur ED.”
It’s the perfect illustration of why correctly fitting and correctly secured car seat straps are vital AND a brilliant example of why we shouldn’t write off mums’ “nagging” as micro-managing.
“I am so thankful that my husband took the extra one minute that was necessary to put William in his car seat safely,” Rebecca wrote on Facebook. “I can’t even begin to imagine how different the outcome could have been. I truly believe that the reason my family is at home sitting on the couch with a pair of crutches instead of down at the hospital is because of my annoying nagging mom voice.”
“For those of you who have messaged me asking what kind of seat protected my little William, we had the Britax BSafe 35,” she added.
Ace teamwork, David and Rebecca!