Ever since my daughter was born, I've been sitting in the back seat with her if I'm not driving. It started when we were leaving the hospital, and almost two years later, it's still how we roll. I always kind of assumed this was the norm for moms of only one, but the other day I was talking to a friend, and she casually mentioned an upcoming road trip she was taking with her 5-month-old and husband, saying, "If he gets fussy, I can always sit with him in the back for a while."
Wait. If he gets fussy? Doesn't everyone always sit in the back with their little one?
To be honest, I enjoy sitting next to my daughter in the car, but I've realized recently that this practice may be slightly annoying to undo. My daughter now knows that if my husband and I are both getting in the car with her, I'm going to be seated right next to her car seat. We were driving a few blocks away to the store the other day, when I gleefully declared to my husband, "I'm going to sit in the front with you!" And, as I was opening the passenger door, my child was all, Helllllll no. You're going to sit right next to me, like you always do, and we're going to play the night-night game, where I say, "Night night" and you put your head on my lap and pretend you're sleeping. (Insert, OMG you're creating such a brat! comments here. Got it, guys, thanks.)
No one ever told me to sit in the back seat with my baby, and as far as I know, this isn't one of those divisive parenting topics, like whether cutting your baby's nails is ethical or not. It was just a knee-jerk reaction for me. I think a good part of the reason is because my daughter is still young and in a rear-facing seat, so it's difficult to see and interact with her when I'm in the front. My car also seems to be the only one in the entire universe that doesn't allow for one of those velcro mirrors, so we can never see what she's up to.
I'm aware that if my husband and I ever decide to have another child, my daughter's going to have no choice but to get used to me sitting in the front. Also, I'm not gonna lie, I get car sick sometimes. It probably won't wind up being a gigantic ordeal to make the switch -- just some whining, maybe a little crying. And, I don't know, even though once in a while it'd be nice to not have a conversation with my husband through the rear view mirror, I'm sure there'll come a day when I miss being relegated to the back. Nausea and all.
Do you sit in the back seat with your baby?
Image via Corbis