Monday, 23 August 2010


We were accelerating up the Kingsland Road and the salesman was just going into the finer points of the dashboard.

'BELT UP!' I shouted.
'Sorry,' said the salesman, looking a bit miffed, 'I thought you asked about the cruise control....'

' PUT YOUR SEAT-BELT ONNNNN!' I roared, squealing to an emgergency stop.

'But I have!' he protested, getting a bit red in the neck.

' No, not you! Her!' I pointed to the back where my little one was grinning proudly and climbing out of her brand new 'big girl's' seat. No one told me that children find car seat belts easy to undo: she could never unclip the one in her baby seat.

'Oh, my kids do that all the time, ' said the salesman, 'you just have to teach them not to.'

'Great, well, thanks for the warning.'

Frankly I was a bit cheesed off with the salesman as I'd had to go and buy a new seat for the test drive as the old baby seat in my old car is far too complicated for me to even consider moving. 'Why doesn't the garage provide car seats?' I'd asked sniffily.

'In case there's an accident and you sue us,' he'd said.

Right, fair enough. So I'd nipped up the road to Halfords and bought a brand new Graco booster seat. Then the salesman had watched me wrestle the seat into the car and get red-faced fiddling out how the damn seat- belt threaded through it.

'Sorry, can't help,' he'd said, folding his arms and watching me do it totally wrongly, ' but you're nearly there.'

What with my eyes mainly on the back seat during the test drive I didn't have a lot of time to concentrate on the Fiesta, but it seemed gratifyingly nippy, good at emergency stops and quite easy to squirm around and clobber -er, restrain- children on the loose. On the downside (well,for me) the dashboard looks like a large, mobile phone fascia.

Driving home I decided I was going to become a Dragon's Den millionairess by making a child-proof seat-belt clip. Sadly the plan squealed to a halt when an internet search threw up Angel Guard Buckle Guard. But do they work? And are they wise? Further surfing turned up the fact that the AA don't advise any childproof gadgets in case children become stuck after an accident. This makes me wonder why the baby seat wasn't easier to undo.

Anyone any tips on how to keep my three year old from her new trick? She's about to have to be transported between nursery and childminder by a friend so it's not just me who will be trying to keep her safe.

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