Our youngest, Jack-Jack, is two.
Everyone has heard of the “terrible twos” and I will attest that it is a real thing. If I’ve learned anything from having children, though, it’s that the terrible twos are nothing compared to the tumultuous threes!
(Did I mentioned that Jack-Jack is turning three in a few weeks?)
One of our neighbors affectionately refers to Jack-Jack as “wild man” and that is an accurate description.
He is strong-willed (a characteristic that I pray will someday benefit him).
Jack-Jack recently discovered how to unbuckle the harness on his seat belt. While I was driving, he kept pulling his arms free of the straps, would wave his arms in the air and sing, “I’M UNBUCKLED! I’M UNBUUUUUUCKLED!”
I tried everything I could think of to motivate him to stop. The reality that he could be seriously injured if not properly buckled is inconceivable to a toddler who believes he is invincible!
When I told him that Mommy could get in big trouble if the policeman saw him, he seemed unfazed.
As I was pulling out of our driveway last week, I saw his arms waving in the backseat and his taunting, little tune reached my ears, “I’M UNBUUUUUCKLED!”
I put the van into “park” and sat for a moment to consider how in the world I should handle the situation.
Then an idea came to me! Desperate times call for desperate measures! It was time to involve the police! I backed the van out and drove a few houses down to the home of a local police officer. His squad car was parked outside and he just so happened to be hanging Christmas lights outside.
Now, we love our law enforcement officers and we want our boys to have a healthy respect for the law and those that are in positions of authority. We don’t want our children to see policemen as “scary” or “mean.”
I informed Officer Dave of the situation and asked him if he could talk to Jack-Jack. Officer Dave let him sit in the squad car. Jack-Jack got to turn the lights and siren on. Then Officer Dave showed Jack-Jack his seat belt and told him how he wears it all the time.
He gave Jack-Jack a pin on Sheriff’s star and then buckled him back in his car seat. When asked, Jack-Jack told Officer Dave he could keep the seat belt on. I told him later that if he doesn’t, he’ll have to return his special star and tell Officer Dave he is sorry.
It would seem that his precious badge is just the motivation he needed because, several days later, Jack-Jack is no longer unbuckling himself. We’re praising his good choice!
Thanks, Officer Dave, for coming to our rescue and going above and beyond the call of duty for an ornery two year old!