I think it was two Saturdays ago – my days were pretty badly screwed up with all the holidays – that Rocky woke up with The Evil in his eyes. The sort of evil that says “there’s a very fine line between two-year old and a sociopath.” The sort of evil that says “I hope you weren’t too attached to those picture frames.” The sort of evil that makes you very, very aware that it’s 6:30 am and your son won’t nap for at least 6 hours. He can do a lot of damage in 6 hours.
Leah and I had been trying to get our house organized and de-cluttered in the New Year. To do this, we made a list of every room detailing what needs to be done and had been checking off as much as possible before I had to go back to work. So, the hope was that we could let the kids play while we got some organizing done.
Ha, we’re so cute.
It was raining steadily and cold, so sending them outside would have been pretty cruel. We tried sending them upstairs. 15 minutes later Lucy descended the stairs in tears. We tried sending them to the basement art studio. 12 minutes later Lucy ascended the stairs in tears. We struggled to keep the scissors out of his hands for almost three hours that morning before we realized we were in trouble. Something had to be done. We convened a meeting of the heads of the household (both of us) at the dinner room table and discussed our options.
Pickles Playlot? I don’t know, I said. I’m worried he’ll hurt a kid.
Chicago History Museum? Ugh, tough to get to and expensive. Plus he might hurt an adult.
Then it occurred to me what I really wanted to do. I wanted to strap him into a chair, but that isn’t strictly legal. At least I don’t think it is. It’s understandable, but I don’t think it’s legal. Or is it?
“Hey kids,” we said. “Who wants to go for a drive?” We didn’t even know where we were going, we just knew Rocky would be strapped into his car seat and we could relax. We buckled him down – I mean, in – and out we went.
As we pulled out of the garage, I felt the stress leave my shoulders. I turned to Leah and said something to her. What did I say? Who knows. The point is, I didn’t have to shout it over three screaming kids.
So, the answer to the question “can you strap your kid to a chair and lock him in a metal box without hearing from Child Protective Services” is yes, assuming you’re hurtling down the highway at 60 miles per hour.