The Inability of Children to Hold Onto Toys in a Car

As you may know, we recently went on a trip. In the car. It wasn’t very far but we were in the car for a good four hours. This detail is actually irrelevant because the following happens EVERY time we are in the car. It is just that it happened 721 times during the trip. 

We are in the car. Driving. Actually Crappy Papa is driving because he usually does and this is one of the reasons that I married him. (Seriously, willingness to drive was a requirement on my “has marriage potential” list when I was dating. I hate driving. Except bumper cars. Those are slightly fun because the whole point is to be bad at it.)

What was I talking about?

The car. So we are in the car. Before they got buckled in, Crappy Boy and Crappy Baby carefully selected toys (from the piles on the floor of the car) to hold and play with.

dropping toys2

All is well. We drive two blocks. 

And then:

dropping toys3

Crappy Boy drops his toy. He ALWAYS drops his toy. 

I twist my body between the front seats to try to reach it:

dropping toys4And I can’t.

He tells me it is behind my seat so I reach back on the other side of my chair, groping around blindly. And I still can’t reach it. 

dropping toys5

I tell him he’ll have to wait until we stop.

We stop. I find it and give it back to him.

dropping toys6

I warn him that I’m not going to pick it up again. It was the last time I’ll get it. Just hold ONTO it! If he drops it again he’ll have to wait until we get to our destination to get it. 

All is well. We drive two more blocks. 

dropping toys2

And then:

dropping toys1

Sigh. Crappy Baby this time.

Why are children completely unable to hold onto a toy in the car seat? They are sitting! Reclined! The toy is in their lap! Why is it so hard to hold onto?

Are they trying to get me to play mama dog fetch? Probably. 

So like the loyal retriever that I am, I return Crappy Baby’s toy one last time.

And tell them both that it is over. Mama retriever is no longer playing fetch.

All is well. We drive two more blocks. 

dropping toys2

It worked! I’m a smart dog after all! Maybe collie level even. Check it out, I’m like the Lassie of parents.  

And then:

dropping toys7

Nope. They really, truly are unable to hold onto something while in a car seat.

But not to worry, I’ve figured it all out.

In addition to being a source of hallucinations, car seats impair hand function. It makes them too weak to grasp onto things for long periods of time. (Most likely because they are being bitten in the butt by an imaginary monster and their circulation is cut off or something. I don’t know. I haven’t done the scientific research yet.)   


2 HOURS LATER UPDATE: See what happens when I think I can get away with no disclaimer? Rear facing, rear facing, rear facing! I’ve always drawn both kids front facing, even when I’ve drawn about the past, when they were infants! I’ve even drawn them with no buckles or straps at times! I must be a horrible mother! Actually, the truth is, I’m just a horrible drawer. I can’t show both of their faces unless they face the same way.

Regardless, no, he is not rear facing anymore so go ahead and freak out. We switched him recently when he hit the weight limit on his convertible car seat. (He is just shy of 3 already. Wow, time flies.) If this makes you unhappy you are welcome to purchase a car seat for us but it has to fit in our tiny, tiny car. Therefore, you are also welcome to purchase a larger car for us. Otherwise you’ll just have to deal with it. Like I do. Without judging other parents’ choices. Novel thought, eh? (This message isn’t for those of you who simply mentioned rear facing, you guys are lovely. It is for the few people who wrote that I don’t care about my child because he isn’t rear facing anymore. That was lame. You owe me a car.)

This entry was posted in crappy pictures, outings, parenting, toys, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

373 Responses to The Inability of Children to Hold Onto Toys in a Car

  1. Teresa says:

    Oh man, do I hate that about car rides! I keep saying I will stop letting him have toys in the car because of this, but I never stick to it.

  2. Beverly says:

    Truth! We recently finished a 5,600-mile road trip with 6 children, and while reading this post, it occurred to me that we have passed these days of which you speak, but I well remember them! Take heart…soon Crappy Boy will be big enough to do the retrieving for Crappy Baby! THAT is a good day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • amber says:

      You give me hope! I never thought about that!

      • Murphy says:

        Yes! As soon as the older boy is in a booster seat, he can slide down and get stuff. This will thrill him for awhile (“Look! Mobility!”), and then get old, after which he will refuse to help at first, so he can make the younger one cry a little bit. (Maybe that’s just my kid.)

        • Pamela says:

          No, he can’t– that is HUGELY unsafe. Unless you’re at a stop somewhere. My boy has a dishtub by his seat that has toys in it. If he drops one, he can get another. Till we stop somewhere. No toy or fight or tantrum is more important than my boy’s safety.

          • Multip says:

            My kids would totally drop the dishtub.

          • Michelle Patry says:

            Can’t is the incorrect word. Shouldn’t is more appropriate, as in my parents (and thousands of others) shouldn’t have let me ride around in the back of a truck bed, or the back window, or on peoples laps or 100 other places, and since it was so ‘hugely unsafe’ I shouldn’t have survived. I’m fairly certain the odds of getting into a major collision at the exact 1 second interval my child bends over to get a toy is probably the same as getting the ebola virus. Therefor though maybe I shouldn’t allow her too I will. You really shouldn’t use absolutes so loosely. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Christine says:

            Well, you must have perfectly behaved children that never drop toys or cry or fight or anything. I would actually say that the driver distraction from screaming/fighting children is more of a danger than the few seconds it would take for a child to slide down and grab a toy.

          • Nicole says:

            Well Pamela, it is also unsafe to have a dishtub of toys in the car as well, in the case of a car accident the toys will go flying at a ridiculously fast speed and can crack skulls, so you are just as unsafe as the others. No judgement is supposed to be the theme, this is a fun blog, not a one on rules, just enjoy and get over yourself…

        • nikki says:

          Ugh I have an older boy in a booster and two girls in front facing car seats, and the girls manage to drop things in between the carseat and the door, no retrieval until I open the door and it rolls away, or just to the middle area under the car that I can’t reach without crawling around like an idiot. And my older boy always pretends he can’t find it or can’t reach it, until everyone in the car is screaming at him to get the damn toy!.. Gotta love family outings

        • Kimberly says:

          For the person who said: “a huge collision at the exact second”, well some friends of ours were driving and the father unbuckled his seat (he was in the passenger seat) to reach back and get his child a toy and that was the exact second they got into a collision and he passed away. Everyone else in the car (all buckled) survived.

          • Danielle says:

            Okay, while it is feasible that fate could bring an auto collision at that exact moment of the peak of vulnerability, Michelle’s comment, “Iโ€™m fairly certain the odds of getting into a major collision at the exact 1 second interval my child bends over to get a toy is probably the same as getting the ebola virus.” speaks to the likelihood of such an outstanding combination of simultaneous events. NOT whether it is possible in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

            If you really like to draw general principles from random, wacked out events we could say we all must be ever watchful for flying black bears as we drive. One fell on the vehicle of an unfortunate Canadian couple last year and killed both.

            You absolutely cannot live your life as though any unfortunate thing that could possibly happen in some random version of events WILL happen or will PROBABLY happen or anything ridiculous like that.

          • Karen says:

            Amen to Danielle! Just because it could happen doesn’t mean it absolutely will. I’m going to worry most about what’s most likely to happen.

  3. christine says:

    hahaa, my kids do this ALL the time. and last weekend, my toddler threw his toy AND his sippy out the window. oops…

    • amber says:

      I’ve always expected that to happen, but not yet (knock on wood) although I was once behind a car when a sippy flew out the window. I had to laugh.

      • Rebecca says:

        How about the toy that launches over the front seat onto the dash? Yep. That’s a fun one.

      • Julie says:

        My son throws his sippy cup at my head in the car…and then laughs! No, he is not evil…just a toddler. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Rachel says:

          Haha. I’ve had that random experience. Oh I got red with anger. But I know he just doesn’t realize how dangerous it can be so I cant stay red for long. Like a second might be a stretch. At last he warns me before he is going to throw it (what goes on in that thi g on top of his shoulders)?

      • Geri Johnson says:

        Do you live in the Dallas area? That may have been my grandson’s sippy cup. When we borrow our grandson for the day we also borrow his mommy’s car because it’s easier than transferring him, his car seat & all his crap to our car. Plus their car already smells like sour milk. Anyway my husband was driving and pushed the button that allowed my grandson to roll down his own window. Apparently my grandson has some kind of radar that lets him know when this happens because he pounces on the opportunity to roll down his window and throw stuff out. (We know that now but we didn’t know that then.) My husband rolled up the window & locked it. My grandson said he wanted his sippy cup. I thought he dropped it so I started groping around for it but couldn’t reach it. I asked him where it was & he said he threw it out the window. I didn’t believe him but when we got to our destination & looked for it it really wasn’t in the car. Now we don’t give him toys or his sippy cup in the car because he likes to throw them usually at the driver. And he thinks it’s funny. It’s not funny unless I’m not the one driving. Then it is a little funny.

    • Kimberly says:

      This is funny! When I was young my baby sister threw her brand new dress shoes out the window. I watched it and I didn’t say anything to my mom. We get miles down the road, my baby sister says something about her shoes. I finally tell my mom, who is LIVID!! We never found the shoes.

      • Multip says:

        Why is it that no matter how close the destination, my toddler ALWAYS takes off her shoes? Then throws them (usually in different directions and/or at her sisters) and THEN she wants to put them back on BY HERSELF?

        • Multip says:

          …and this is why, no matter how hot it is, I never open her window more than 4 inches. They may outgrow them in two weeks, but kids’ shoes are as expensive as grown-up shoes!

          • Cassandra says:

            Hit up your local Salvation Army or 2nd Hand store for baby/toddler shoes. All of ours have been from there and all of them are like new! And you pay like $5 tops!

      • Kari says:

        Too true! My husband also threw his sisters “My Little Pony” out the window, after he convinced her it could fly. She screamed all the way home, and his father would not turn around. I just laugh when I think about it, because those two are still a nightmare to roadtrip with, and they are both adults!

        • Lisa says:

          LOL! My MIL tells the story of my husband holding his sister’s barbie dolls out of the car window as ransom.

  4. Childless Harpy says:

    Have you tried tying a string from the toy to the car seat? Maybe then if it fell, it could be more easily retrieved… although this might promote more “accidental” dropping of the toy.

    • Multip says:

      Yeah, like maybe using flexi-cuffs? Because let me tell you, those cute little toy leashes are more like catapaults. With velcro.

    • I don’t let my kids tie anything to a toy. They will instantly turn it into a spinning lasso of death. The only thing more fun than throwing a toy at your sibling is hitting them, then pulling it back by the string and hitting them again. We keep all unused seat belts in our 15 passenger van buckled to avoid this very temptation. Ever seen a kid take a metal buckle to the mouth? Not pretty.

  5. Amy says:

    You need those straps for the toys designed to hold them on to strollers. Then attach them to the car seat straps!

    • Stephanie says:


    • neal says:

      I’ve got to get a bunch of these. Maybe the clips that some people use with Pacifiers? I’ll take like 10 clips and attach different toys to my daughter’s collar – it can be her version of “flair.”

    • Marianne says:

      I used those plastic chain link things and had a bunch of toys attached to it and then attached the chain to the car seat. Was very handy when driving b/c it was easy to feel for the chain and through it on to their laps. This worked very well when they were facing rear.

  6. meganleiann says:

    Yeah…and then you don’t get the toys any more and the Crappy Boy starts playing with Crappy baby’s car seat and then Crappy baby gets mad because it’s HIS car seat and then Crappy Baby hits Crappy Boy and you yell at them BOTH to stop and then you put on “fun” music and they both sing at the top of their lungs until the song is over and then they start arguing over which song is next and then you say “It’s time for Mommy’s music” and then they say “Are we there yet?” and then you say “No, just play with your toys,” and then they say, “But I can’t reach my toys!” and then you twist down to get a toy.
    Or is it just me?

    • amber says:

      Yeah, that is pretty much the next 10 miles. And then it repeats!

      • meganleiann says:

        Sheesh. Now I’m all mad at my kids and they’re both happily napping in their rooms.

        • LB says:

          Hahha. When they wake up they won’t know what they did to piss you off.

          My husband once (while still my boyfriend) was mad at me and mean and I couldn’t figure out why. At the end of the day I got to the bottom of things and discovered that he had had a dream that I had cheated on him and that was why he had been mad at me all day.
          I was mad in return…it was JUST a dream.

      • Multip says:

        I envy you getting out of the driveway…

    • Jean says:

      How about the “He’s looking out my window” part! That always added fun to our car trip.

      • Alex says:

        LOL, that was our thing when I was little: 3 girls in the back seat, each in her own seat, but the person in the middle doesn’t have a window *whine*! We did this for so many years. I feel bad for my parents now ๐Ÿ˜›

      • CatJB says:

        Yep, my two love to graffiti spot.

        “look out your OWN window for graffiti! Muuuuum, he’s looking out MY window at MY graffiti!”

        Darn graffiti artists causing me grief, lol

      • Meaghan says:

        I once complained to my mom that my brother was “breathing on my side of the car.”

        Yeah, we were *fun* to take on roadtrips…

    • Amanda says:

      I can tune my son out in the car – like I really CANNOT hear him unless he hits the distress register – and it drives my husband CRAZY. I think he’s jealous.

      I called my dad recently –

      Me: Remember how upset I used to get when you tuned me out in the car?
      Dad: Yeah…
      Me: I totally get it now. We are so cool.
      Dad (laughing): It drove your mother crazy.

  7. Kate says:

    did you really mean to leave us hanging or was there supposed to be some sublime wisdom after the line “but don’t worry, I’ve figured it all out.”????

  8. Sarah Richardson says:

    You totally need to get leashes that attach to the toys and then to them or their seats. I have not done it yet- but I read about it on some blog…it is GENIUS.

    Then, they can retrieve the toy themselves! (Which probably means they will not drop it once…haha)

  9. Meg says:

    I have given myself the worst cricks in the neck retrieving dropped toys. It’s weird how just straining as hard as you can in a twisted position around a seat can do damage to your ligaments … no, wait, that’s not at all surprising.

    • Denise says:

      I have wrenched my back doing the exact thing. Now that they are 7 and 9 dropping stuff is less of an issue (although not gone), but now I get a lot of “Mom, watch this, Can you do this?, Bet you can’t bend your finger back like this!” Etc. At least now I can tell them to hold that thought until we get to where we are going because I’m not willing to hurt my neck to see a finger trick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Once they get past about age 5 it becomes, “I dropped my pencil!” because instead of toys all they want to do is draw/color/write. And pencils are worse than toys because they roll so quickly.

        • jbee says:

          And when they’re a little older, it’s “I dropped my stylus” from the DS. And lemme tell you, those things are hard to find on the floor. So I bought one of those huge off-brand sets of 10 in rainbow colors. And of course once I did, nobody dropped a stylus for like 6 months. When they finally did and saw the new styli (?), they were mad that I was holding out on them!

  10. Alicia says:

    lol. My husband’s son once threw ALL the cassette tapes out the window as they were driving. This was pre-carseats I believe. Our girls constantly drop their toys. But for long drives we bought portable DVD players to put on the back of our headrests. And we have bags for toys to go into, not that they put them back in or anything, but it’s helpful.

  11. beth42062 says:

    I missed those days with my own (mostly) grown up children — until I started nannying for two little ones again! It all came back quickly and I have the same reactions to them as I did to my own children! But, I, too, failed to carry out the threats of “this is the last time I’m picking it up”!!

    • Manjari says:

      I love that you admit to that because it seems like most parents whose kids are grown (fully or mostly) have selective memories, so they figure their job now is to tell you how perfectly they did it and how that contrasts to how you’re currently doing it (wrong)!

      • Jennifer J says:

        I raised six of them, and I don’t really remember any of that stuff. It did help that when we had #6, we bought a Chevy AstroVan, which was big enough for me to walk around while it was moving. It cut down on all kinds of contention, because they knew I could get to them in seconds. It also meant that the girls were in the middle seat, and the boys in the back, so there were older ones and younger ones in both places, and I could threaten the older ones about taking care of things. But I really don’t remember when the first two were little, which was 30 years ago. Thank goodness.

  12. Seriously they ALWAYS drop it – maybe on purpose? Perhaps they secretly meet to devise ways in which to play games with mom in the car ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thought, maybe take a bunched up towel or blanket and place it on top of the piles behind the front seats so that it makes it more of a flat surface. That way when they drop it, it will be easier to find? I need to invent something like this stat!

  13. ariel says:

    My little girl always drops her blanket and cries, “mama! Blantet! Blantet!” And then my 4 year old says, “Hanna dropoed her blanket again..” LOL

  14. Tacy says:

    Loved this! The B.C me (Before Children) used to swear that I would never be one of “those” parents who stick a television in the back of their car for the kids to watch. Six months of playing loyal toy receiver turned me around. I’m proud to say that on our trips nowadays, I face fully forward the whole time….and try to ignore the kiddos while they fight in the back about whose turn it is to pick out a movie. :/

  15. Jem says:

    So true! lol

    It used to happen to me until I started putting a bag of toys in the front seat with me. I hand her one toy at a time and hope I dont run out until we get to our destination.

    • Jen says:

      That’s what I do too! However we just went on a 6 hour road trip – i don’t think there is a big enough bag of toys anywhere for that!!

      • Lindsay says:

        I recollect at potty breaks, everything comes back up front with me and she gets things one at a time. But then sometimes it gets tossed in 1 second because it wasn’t the “right” toy.

  16. Mel says:

    This is why I’m glad my 2 1/2 year old is still rear facing, the toys don’t fall on the floor, they just fall in his lap! Occasionally he does purposely drop a toy off to the side, but those are fairly easy to reach ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anna says:

      Exactly! Toys stay on their laps, and they are way safer to boot!

    • Hannah says:

      No, my 10 month old still drops her toys and she’s rear-facing. It doesn’t stay on her lap. I keep a few toys on the seat in arms reach of me, but she usually manages to stuff them beside her carseat next to the door in the exact spot that no one who is not an octopus could ever reach. Rear-facing makes very little difference in the toy-throwing department. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. sara says:

    This is why I maintain a supply of toys in the front seat and dole them out one at a time. When we stop, I reload my bag and we start all over.

    • Gina says:

      This is a wonderful idea – not sure why I never thought of it! I am usually the driver myself. The boys will drop their toys and while I am at a stop light I am feeling around in the back seat on the floor for a toy that is ALWAYS just out of reach while my 3 yr old says “Over Momma…over here…no there….”.

    • Randi says:

      I do the same thing Sara! I keep a basket on the passenger seat filled with the essentials I may have forgotten and can’t live without (diapers, wipes, etc), then stuff in sippy cups, snacks, and extra toys. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • neal says:

      We do this with books, too. She “reads” one, tosses it behind her into the trunk, reads another one, tosses it. Tried to get her to place them nicely beside her on the seat, but no dice.

  18. Sandy says:

    I HATE trying to twist around to get stuff-I always wrench my back or my neck or give myself a cramp & I still don’t reach it! Worse was when my 11 month old dropped her bottle & it was seriously unreachable. I had to listen to “Whhhhaaaaa” for like 15 min while my 4 year old informed me 3x how her sister dropped her bottle! :p

  19. Liz says:

    Get a grabber!! Seriously, I have just recently figured this out. I got myself a cheapy grabber(like this but a ‘toy’ version which I keep in the front (to prevent the grabber being dropped!), then when one of them drops something, I hand them the grabber and they can get their own toy. After fighting over which of them gets to use the grabber of course, but it’s still an improvement.
    It’s revolutionised car journeys for us.

    • April says:

      this is totally what I do! It actually started as a fluke, my 4 YO brought it to the car to play. But then he was able to pick up his own toys! AND it was a new game! PERFECT!

      • Andrea says:

        I was going to say the SAME thing! My husband rolls his eyes when I pack the grabber but it saves me from wrenching my back and the kids from screaming.

    • neal says:

      YES! A grabber! I wants it!

    • Manjari says:


    • deeda says:

      I bought at grabber at TRU on a whim and it’s been the best thing EVER. Just the other day I used it to retrieve a wooden hanger than fell behind my dryer. So handy and just what I was going to suggest!

  20. Nicole says:

    This is so frustratingly true! By the time my 3rd came along, I’d begun using those pacifier holders to connect toys to the baby, and those locking rings to create chains to hold toys for the toddlers. By the time they figured out how to undo the links, I decided they could deal with the wait until we were able to pick up the toy. Even with this strategy, we still heard the cries for the missing toy – usually just buried under the bottoms, no idea how that happened without them knowing it!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    So true! We are driving 12 hours for vacation in a few months and are not taking my Subaru Forrester specifically because whenever you have to unbuckle the passnger seat belt to attend to whatever need the child has (dropped toy, lost snack, inexplicably unable to open something they can always open when no in carseat) the things beeps non-stop. So the action of being mommy retriever is accompanied by an annoying sound, like a Pavlov dog response. For our sanity we are taking another car.

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      That is hilarious that you mention the non-stop beeping with a Subaru! WE HATE THAT FEATURE! We even asked the dealership if there was any possible way to disable it. The dealer (no kids) said it is a safety feature to make sure you have your seat belt on why would you hear it for that a long period of time? I said, since you have no children imagine a 2 year old throwing a fit because he dropped his crap, when you say no (because your first thought is safety and I shouldn’t unbuckle myself to get it and then you are teaching your kid that your will get it if he drops it) that goes in to a full out tantrum, then you finally unbuckle and that god awful beeping is coupled with your husband saying, “just get it for him”, kid is screaming at the top of his lungs and you are killing your back trying to find the dam toy! It will totally lead someone into insanity! I HATE THE SUBARU BEEPING FEATURE!!! But I love everything else about it! LOL

      • Brianna says:

        LocAl junkyards are easy to find and will sell seat belt clips to you for very cheap. Obviously, that is not the most responsible thing to do, but it does stop the horrible beeping for whatever reason you need. I bought two for $15, and the guy acted like he was ripping me off. He had no idea how valuable they are to me! Just make sure it is the same kind of clip by taking a picture of yours with your phone or bringing a tracing on paper or something.

  22. Sara says:

    We do this perpetually with my 14-month-old’s sippy cup. I have a strap for the stroller but only just realized last week that it would probably work with the car seat as well and it is en route to me from amazon as we speak…

  23. Robin says:

    LOVE your head tilted back in exasperation when Crappy baby drops his! Too funny!!

    • Jessica says:

      Even funnier than that – did you notice, throughout the whole cartoon, that the dad’s expression does not change at all even one little tiny bit? Just that small smile of cluelessness LOL

  24. Dana says:

    Ive been unconsciously concocting an invention to prevent this (my forebrain hasn’t caught up yet)! Something that will also work in the stroller and carrier- I’m one step away from stringing long dangerous ribbons around everything

  25. Pam says:

    I HATE toys in the car. My 7, almost 4 and 10 month old boys can never hold on to ANYTHING. And they won’t hush until they get it back. I’m talking, “I dropped my toy, I dropped my toy, I dropped my toy, I dropped my toy, I dropped my toy…” and it’s never ending until you give it back. Sigh…

  26. Pami says:

    It doesn’t matter if I’m driving or my husband is driving, MOMMY has to pick up the toy. My 3yo daughter completely freaks out if Daddy tries to pick it up for her because Mommy has to watch the road. It is the End. Of. The. World!

    • Manjari says:

      Yeah, how dare Daddy even try to interact with her, right?

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      My child is the opposite, if daddy is around, I mean nothing. From potty, getting in or out of the car seat, anything, it is, “no, it daddy’s turn” – it is actually quite annoying – we are working on this. Sigh….

  27. Katherine says:

    We are about to take a big trip and our plan is for one parent to sit with our toddler in the back while the other drives. We don’t always do this but it’s such a long trip and I don’t want to deal with that issue or other things like that.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    What I want to know: Did you give in and get the toys for them again, or did you hold firm and tell them, “no”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • amber says:

      Nope, because then they would have called my bluff. Sometimes the last time really has to be the last time. (It didn’t work though – they continue to drop them just as much so what do I know?)

  29. Beth says:

    OMG! This is every single trip for us. I’ve even – gulp – gotten out of my seat while my husband was driving to climb over the middle to reach the bottle, car, dinosaur, etc., just to stop hearing them whine about it.

    What did we do before DVD players in cars? Earplugs? Loud music?

    I don’t remember having a case of the drops when I was a kid, though I do remember wearing no seat belt in the front seat and looking through the rusted hole in the bottom of my mom’s chevelle. I think vehicles should come with hole built in the bottom so they hold on to their toys a little better. Otherwise, it’s “whoops, well, we lost another one. Oh well.”

  30. Emily says:

    this is one reason I am REALLY hesitant to turn the carseat around. When she’s rearfacing, her toys don’t drop. They collect at her feet and the seat back in front of her. Unless she gets upset and throws them, but that only happens on long car rides.

  31. This is why I’m thankful for extended rear-facing. I rear face my kids until at least 3 so toys normally only fall into their lap and not on the floor. My 5 year is harnessed still and can’t reach dropped toys but she’s old enough to know she has to wait until she can get herself.

    • LB says:

      The rear-facing hasn’t stopped my 8 month old. He drops his toys to the side. ๐Ÿ™

    • Jess says:

      My 16 month old is still rear facing and yet she still manages to drop them off the sides and behind her and then it is almost impossible for me to reach.

  32. StephB says:

    I’m about to take a plane trip by myself with my 2 kids, same ages as yours, and I just spent an entire evening taping strings onto EVERYTHING — toys, markers, coloring books — and attaching them all to a carabiner to strap onto the seatbelts so that nothing falls on the floor and rolls to the back of the plane during takeoff & landing when I can’t do anything about anything. The creation looks like a deranged spider but my fingers are crossed, because I have lived your roadtrip too many times. Thanks, as always, for reminding me I’m not the only one!

  33. Aileen says:

    Just a thought… have you ever tried using one of those straps/tethers they make to attach a bottle or sippy cup to the side of a stroller so the kid can’t chuck it out and loose it? (Like this one, Only certain toys might be able to be fastened into the velco strap, but it might be worth finding a few toys to designate as “car toys” for that reason ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I love your blog, btw… I’ve been following you for over a year. I believe the first post I read was the one titled “What it is like to (NOT) sleep at night”… I’ve been sharing your posts with friends on FB ever since!

  34. Emily says:

    We keep soft toys in the car for rides. For a couple of months, my (now) 16-month-old would purposely toss them over the side of her seat and then all I would hear is “Uh-oh. Uh-oh! UH-OH UH-OH UH-OH!” Um, I don’t think you know what uh-oh actually means, kid. I started referring to them as her “guys” and we talk about them when we get in the car. She HAS to have them as soon as she gets in (before being buckled), but she doesn’t chuck them over the side anymore – she just holds them. However, once we park, I hear “Bye guys!” as I’m walking around the car and the “guys” go flying. I guess once we’re done riding they are dead to her.

    • Christina F. says:

      Lol! Literally, except my daughter and dogs are asleep next to me, so not too loud. It’s so cute that she says “Bye guys”. I think I might teach my daughter that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Heather says:

    Must be a kid thing. My kids do that all the time and expect me to get it while I am driving! I tell them we need to wait until we are stopped and the moment we are stopped, they ask for it again. It is inevitably out of my reach.

  36. LB says:

    We just returned from our holiday (and first road trip since the baby)…a 7 hour trip and our 8 month old has already developed extreme hallucinations of the car seat monster and how to “drop” his toys…except he is still small and in a rear facing car seat….
    ….as in…
    he doesn’t even have a big space in front of him to drop the toys sitting in the back seat, facing the seat, and he finds the gap to the side- that deep plastic pocket in the door, and drops his toys there. So I (sitting in the center of the back seat) have to reach over my baby in his rear facing car seat and all the way down into the pocket of the door for his toys.

    And sometimes I am smart and use a tether. But I am not always smart. Rarely in fact.

  37. Rebecca Hoop says:

    Your post is appropriately timed for me to read. I’ve just started noticing that my 5-month-old is now occasionally tossing her toy out of the car seat. Let the fun begin!

  38. Kelly Hall says:

    OMG! You exactly described a trip in my car! My DD is 7 and she still can’t hold onto stuff in the seat! DS is four and he actually does a little better than her!

  39. Karen says:

    This is why I will keep my daughter rear facing until she outgrows the limits of her seat. It is so much harder to accidentally drop toys in that position! It was a sad day when my older child turned forward facing. There were dropped toys AND he knew what I was eating. I vowed to keep the next one rear facing as long as possible.

    • Emma says:

      “…There were dropped toys AND he knew what I was eating…”
      LOL!! The inability to scoff down candy while driving is WAY worse than a dropped toy, in my opinion!!

  40. Sabrina says:

    I’ve seriously been wanting to invent a netting of some kind that covers the floor wells- then when kids drop something, they can just tug a bit on the net, and retrieve the lost item. That, or just hire someone to sit in the back with them!

  41. A Mom says:

    I think Crappy Baby is supposed to be rear facing? Why is he forward already?

    • amber says:

      Hey, I covered this topic in the last car seat post I did! I always draw him forward facing because if I drew him rear facing (even when he was, which no, he isn’t anymore) you wouldn’t be able to see both kids at the same time. It is an angles problem. I’m just not that skilled of an artist.

      Also, I think that his “baby” name is misleading these days. Hmmmm

      • Ceri says:

        Yea! I had to admit I was like she doesn’t rear face crappy baby still?? I was surprised, because it seems like you would be the type of mom who would be alll about that. I rear faced my son some time between 2.5 and 3. I would have gone longer but he was saying his penis hurt… and I couldn’t do that to him…. how old is crappy baby anyway? I mean, he will always be the baby right??? ๐Ÿ™‚
        Unless you add another baby…….

        • amber says:

          He is just shy of 3 now!!! (Yikes.) But yes, he’ll always be the baby. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Anony says:

            Even at three he should be in a carseat if you follow the current recommendations or care about the safety of your child.

          • Manjari says:

            @Anony, the current recommendations are to forward-face at 2 years old. And I’m fairly sure she cares about the safety of her child. You owe her a car.

          • Ceri says:

            Amber, I hope you and others did not think I was judging you. Personally I am all about rear facing. But I know not everyone is. it’s funny that for some reason, until someone else pointed it out, it never crossed my mind. (and I am all about the rear facing…) It’s a personal choice, as is parenting in general, and I hope that no one who reads my comment thinks I was judging. It makes tons of sense that you would draw him forward facing, I mean TV shows put babys that way too. I would never. want. to. make someone feel like they were a bad parent for the choices that they make. And I sure hope the first time you commented to my comment you didn’t think I was judging you. You are a awesome mom! Probably better than me. My son watches TV, eats candy and stays up waayyy to late most nights… Thank you for all your crappy pictures, I relate to SOO much of your life! Maybe Crappy Baby can be Jr Crappy, Crappy Brother? ๐Ÿ™‚

          • SC says:

            Gheesh, I must be the worst parent in the world according to these critical people – I turned both my kids forward facing once they turned ONE! Still within the guidelines of the car seat manufacturer, I’ll have you know.

          • Heather says:

            @Manjari, the recommendation is to rearface until a minimum age of two (or as long as the car seat will hold them), not to forward face them at two. Big difference.

            We extend rearface, but if crappy baby is almost 3 then he is old enough to be forward facing. Rearfacing may be safer, but forward facing is still safe, and I would never say that Amber didn’t care about the safety of her children because of that.

      • Robyn says:

        How about Crappy Toddler or Crappy Pre Schooler?

        • amber says:

          I thought about that, but with the blink of an eye even those will be out of date. Crappy Boy #2? That doesn’t really sound right. I think he might be stuck with baby, poor thing.

          Bummer I didn’t think about long term names when I started, never thought this would BE a long term thing.

          • neal says:

            Or…”crappier boy”? Or maybe, “Little Crappy” and “Big Crappy”? Oh, I love poop jokes, but I’ll refrain.

          • Amanda says:

            LMAO @ Crappy #2. My kids would go nuts for that. Oh, and also, I am going to hell because I did not extend rear face my kids (or however you would say that).

          • April says:

            Crappy Dude, Little Crappy, Crappy Brother, Younger Crappy, Crappy Squirt (ew! lol), Crappy Kid, etc.

    • K says:

      Amber, he really should be rear facing and I know you mean to be a good parent so you should switch him.

      • Hallie W says:

        Because I’m just so sure you do EVERYTHING exactly as you should. Don’t criticize people’s parenting. It’s not your place. It’s no one’s place. I’m sure you haven’t been a picture perfect parent. God knows I haven’t been. We as parents do what think think is best for OUR children. That’s all be can do.

      • J says:

        Also, your kids don’t seem to have pants on. They also don’t have noses. Or fingers. Don’t you CARE??!

        Jeez, I used to wonder why you added so many ‘disclaimers’ to the end of your cartoons. It’s unfortunate you have to back up everything, lest anyone think you a parent who doesn’t care about the safety of their kids. What an awful thing to insinuate!
        Some people can be humourless about one of the most trying yet humourous jobs out there!

        The majority of your readers aren’t here to put you through the wringer. We appreciate the (free) laughs!

        • J says:

          Also, I should commend you that your disclaimers are still snarky and hilarious.

          • Jenny d says:

            I think people get their panties in a bunch over the carseat thing because your pictures are so life-like and true to form. It confuses them.

      • Monica says:

        You have GOT to be kidding me. He’s almost three for crying out loud!!! You are completely and utterly ridiculous, and your judgmental attitude is going to come back and bite you in the butt some day, trust me on that one. Better learn to reign that in.

      • Jennifer J says:

        K, Please tell us you are joking.

      • Jennifer Scogin says:

        OMG! People like you truly get on my nerves! Don’t get me started on my thoughts on the car seat seat rear facing so your kids legs are all bent up and they don’t get the air (which is bad if you live in Texas and your car does not have vents in the back) but regardless, to each family their own, whatever ends up working for your family is what is right for you, don’t judge people until you get the stick out of your own eye. What the hell does it matter if she draws him forward facing without pants, you still get the point of the story which in normal families this happens!

      • Cbeats says:

        Hahaha you’re joking right? Maybe the law is different in Canada than the US, because here rear and forward facing is based on weight and height not age. When my little guy was 2 he was 3’3″ and 40lb, if we tried to rear face him his little legs would have been smooshed and in the event of an accident the carseat would have failed because it is not designed to hold that amount of weight in that position… So in your world does that make me a bad parent?

        • Shonda says:

          I come to this website because, for a full time working single mother of the world’s most awesome kid, this website makes the hard times just that much easier for me. This post was taken so far in to left field all the stress relife from the actual post was ruined by hateful comments. Keep doing what you’re doing. Your children will be the better for it. It’s no one’s place to judge. None of us are perfect. (And just as a sidenote, my daughter is only 18 months, as of the 7th of July. She has been forward facing since she was 13 months old. She is off the charts for height and weight and she can’t fit in a rear facing seat without crushing her legs. USA care seat safety is based of national averages for the 2 yr marker but it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child can fit in the child seat safely. If the reach the maximum height and weight then they need to be faced forward. It’s acutally safer for them to be forward facing once they reach a certain weight. Age has nothing to do with it. It is a marker. An average. My daughter is going to be in the WMBA she is so big for her age. My nephew on the other hand is 13 and guess what, sits in a booster seat he is so tiny. Age is irrelavent and Crappy Momma, I don’t know you and it’s likely that I never will in my lifetime, but you truly give me hope and for that I thank you. You are my minisupport group, whether you intended your posts to have that affect on others or not. I think you are doing a fine job. : )

          • Shonda says:

            And wow I made a lot of spelling and grammar errors in that ramble… just wow! ha ha.

    • Stop the Drama, You're NOT HIS MAMA! says:

      Dearest “Not Crappy Baby’s Mama” (no, that’s not your name, but it’s what you (the reader) are),

      Amber, as a parent, can make decisions for her child. SHE is CrappyBaby’s mama, not you. I know that this news flash is probably disappointing to you. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be his mama. That said, no one appreciates having their parenting style called into question. You are entitled to an opinion, however please refrain from hurling insults when that opinion differs from your own.

      Thank you.

      Not Your Mama, but someones<3

  42. jill says:

    LOL this is so true it is scary!!! I thought is was just me!

  43. Pamela says:

    That not only happens in the car but also in the plane… Do you think the monster that bite their but follow them to their plane sit ?

  44. Amanda N. says:

    haha Yes! Perhaps a basket of toys placed between them on the seat would help? Then you’re not fetching and they have replacements? Or they’d just dump the whole thing on the floor…who knows!

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      Yeah, we have a thing with all sorts of exciting things beside his seat…He still want the dumb cheap plastic ring that he got off a cupcake at a birthday party from like a year ago.

  45. You are all so nice. If my kids drop a toy they don’t see it again until we stop stop ๐Ÿ˜›

  46. Casey says:

    In the picture where Crappy Baby says “uh-oh, Again!” I died laughing at the mom’s face. Classic! My face looks like that on every car ride with my child. Ever. Too funny!

  47. Kellista says:

    I’ve honestly never had the “dropping” of a toy as a problem in the car. My nearly 3 year old is still rear-facing though. Have you considered turning the kids back around. If she literally drops it rear-facing the gravity leaves it in her lap or at her feet so she can get it back. Rear-facing is much safer too for kids. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Now her problem is she will toss things over the side when she’s done playing and then be bored and want something else. That’s when I decide its time to entertain ourselves with songs. hehe.

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      Uhhh, that is just pure torture to turn this kid back around after they have seen the promise land of being able to see everything in the world, being able to watch a movie (if your car has them in the headrest of the front seats), having their legs free from being all bent up. No thank you, I would rather have the peace an quiet that a movie brings with just the occasional dropped toy, and my son having full access to the AC vents.

  48. Casey says:

    This is funny!!! I too twist around and try to reach a toy then need a chiropractor to put my body back in place.
    We went on a trip….we were stuck in traffic going like 2 miles an hour. It was a nice day so hubby had windows down while we were on the expressway going 2 mph.
    Well, my 7 yr old and 2 yr old were playing with “guys” and my 2 yr old chucked his right out the window, which then resulted in my 7 yr old bursting into tears. Hubby had to stop the car and retrieve said “guy”. I would have loved to be the car behind us watching this all take place. Its funny now, but then it was not.

  49. Gina Smith says:

    We drove to Disney World, Fl from Columbus Ohio. My kids 6(girl) 8 (boy) were enthroned in the backseat of our new car. Dodge Caliber). They dropped their DS bags, games, snuggles,jackets, drinks, snack, lost their flip flops 1000 times (mixed into the wasteland of the back seat). Every fuel stop and restroom stop, I called for trash call, and cleaned the frat room floor known as the backseat of my car. I will say it went well in that small of a car. We are used to long trips in our Jeep Grand Cherrokee. But sadly, the Jeep is a thirsty expensive wench, so she stayed at home for the house and animal sitter. I thought it would be easier to retrieve the lost items, but nope, lower bucket seats in Caliber, and 16 hour drive still made it difficult. We mandated the one time pick up rule years ago, they know its not gonna happen. No, the will loosen their belts and slide down or forward to reach from the boosters. I cannot wait til they are out of those!

  50. Ceri says:

    My son knows he has to hold on to his toys, I don’t pick them up. They drop, they are gone. What I hate is the sun glasses. OMG the sun is in his eyes and the WORLD IS ENDING. I have like 5 fricking pairs and they are all in the back seat un reach able. Or he drops them after he has taken them off. And what is it with the inability to drop an empty capri sun pouch?? Like. he. must. hand. it. to. me. It’s like WTF?? You can drop everything else in the world but you can’t set garbage on the seat while I am driving????

    • Casey says:

      HAHAHA!!! So funny about the capri sun. My son hands me everything from his empty cup to a gum wrapper “here Mom, here Mom, here Mom” until I take it. But drops his sunglasses constantly! LOL.

    • Christine says:

      My kids always want to hand me their used tissues when we are in the car. Other crap gets dumped on the floor, but God forbid they hold on to the tissue till we get out of the car!

  51. A. says:

    My worst is the soother. It’s against the law (in Canada) to text and drive. It should be against the law to try and put a soother in a toddler’s mouth while driving 110 km/hr down a highway. ๐Ÿ˜› I know you can buy those soother clips. They just always get so nasty from my little one chewing on them instead of on the soother.

    • Claire H says:

      We did a very long (13 hrs) car trip when my youngest was about 18m. She still used a dummy/soother at times, and a very long car trip was definitely one of those times. So I thought I was being very clever and bought one of those clip on dummy holder/strap thingys that we had used so successfully when she was a baby. I happily settled her into her car seat, clipped the strap to her seatbelt and popped the dummy in her mouth thinking I was so resourceful to have thought of it. She looked at me, looked at the clip, and quietly took the dummy out of her mouth, undid the clip, and dropped the whole lot on the car floor :S .

      And don’t even start me on the number of times I have nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to retrieve dropped toys in the car!

  52. Kristianna says:

    Am I the only mom who just says, “My job is to drive right now, and that’s all I’m doing?” I don’t help them with dropped things. Mean? Maybe. I don’t want to be that mom who is swerving all over.

    • Ceri says:

      No, I ignore too…. I tell him, I am driving now, I can’t. I do all I can to prepare but it never fails, there is still something that is needed. I will do it at a stop light with the car in park and ebrake on though. I have gotten REALLY good at that.

    • Emma says:

      Am I the only mum who doesn’t give my kids toys to play with in the car in the first place?

      • Mama Thairish says:

        Nope, you’re not the only one. I don’t, and she has learned to entertain herself or chat with me (or sleep), even on frequent 2 hr trips to her grandparents house. She gets a sippy cup of water but if she drops it we say, “Oh well, bye bye, drink!” And practice saying and doing “Wait.” (She’s almost 2)

        I think we accidentally did CIO for car trips when she was a baby and we were stuck on the freeway. Since then, very few complaints. It might get worse when we hit the terrible two’s, though! :0

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      If it is just me driving I don’t get it, I tell him (he is 2.5) that mommy is driving and if I get his “whatever” then we will die!” However, if hubby is driving and I am in the passengers seat, he insists I get the “whatever” that has dropped, my son knows that daddy will do whatever he wants if he cries so instead of listening to the kid screaming and getting in an argument with my hubby I choose my battles and get the stupid thing. But yes, when hubs is not around I am a hard ass and my son knows it which is why if daddy is around I mean nothing to him – lol.

    • One Fit Mom says:

      I like this idea! Kids learn quickly – if their toys aren’t being picked up; they’ll stop dropping them.

  53. db says:

    I am laughing so hard at this! I just went through this two weeks ago on a road trip with my 2 and 4 yr old. I twisted so many times in my seat i think i pulled something in my neck! You try to only pick it up once but after 10 mins of whining and crying i cave if i am the passenger. If its just me driving with no toy retriever then its every man for himself and i turn my mommy music up! Thanks for the laugh! I thoughly enjoy your posts!

  54. Desiree says:

    This is my life as a school bus driver.

  55. Patti says:

    Best thing I’ve found for keeping the toys in the seat/kids hand; keeping them facing back as long as possible! Littlest kid is still facing back as she approaches age 3, and the only time she drops her toys, is when she holds them over the sides and lets go on purpose. The big one is in a booster so she can sometimes reach down and grab stuff she’s dropped, and when she’s in a charitable mood, her sisters stuff if it’s in the middle of them. I foresee her making at least another 6 months rear facing, going by her growth patterns; then I lose that cushion of toy keepingness….

  56. sarah says:

    captain america’s missile was launched from the back seat to the front, hit the window, fell to the dash and slipped in between the dash and the window. it is now stuck inside the plastic moldings that make up the dashboard. this happened 4 months ago. my 6 yo mentioned to his daddy that he is still waiting for him to take the car apart to get the missile…last week.

  57. ariel says:

    You forgot to dress crappy baby that day lolol

  58. Beth says:

    Bwahahahaha!!! This is the best one yet. It is so true and happens to me all the time! I am definitely sharing this story. ๐Ÿ˜€

  59. Tiffany says:

    And yet another reason to keep them rear-facing ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t seem to have this problem.

  60. Heather says:

    Did you know that the current recommendation is to keep kids rear facing until they are two? Then you wouldn’t have the toy dropping problem. Just sayin’.

    • Liz says:

      If she cared about her baby she would not have him forward facing like that. It makes me sick that parents think they can switch them forward facing too early.

      • nikita says:

        Geeze. Judge much?
        1. Crappy Baby is almost 3.
        2. It is a freaking drawing not a safety diagram
        3. @Liz , why do you have to be a bitch?

        • Steph says:

          Thank you Nikita! Can’t believe all these negative/bitchy comments to poor Amber about the car seat pictures!

        • Christine says:

          I LOL’d at #2

        • Lapin says:

          LOL! I love this. It is amazing that so many come out of the woodwork to cast their judgement on an MS Paint rendering of a car trip. And, if the kid is past the upper limits of the seat, it is SAFER for him to be forward facing. Gee whiz, people should mind their own damned business.

        • Molly says:

          Pot calling the kettle black, Nikita. So cute of you to stoop to name calling.

      • Anon says:

        I’m sure Amber cares a lot about her child, and made a decsision based on circumstances and what was best for her child. Can’t believe people can be so rude to others and their personal lives.

      • Percilla says:

        If you read ALL of the comments you will see that “crappy baby” is almost 3 years old so he surpasses the recommended age for rear facing. Turning her child forward facing before the age of 2 wouldn’t make her a bad mom either-or anyone for that matter. I am an extended rear facing mom but I know lots of moms and dads who switched their kids once they reached the age and weight limit and I do NOT judge them for it.

      • neal says:

        I don’t know, she COULD be doing it this way:

        So, all things considered, not too bad.

      • Amanda says:

        Guys, crappy baby is nearly 3. Don’t comment in a derogatory manner if you don’t follow the blog enough to know. Judgmental much?

      • Cindy says:

        You do realize that this is a drawing and not a photograph, right?

        • Ellen says:

          We have our children facing forward from 6 months ! We must be a bad country , lol !!!!

          • Scarlett Bracey says:

            We turned ours around on his first birthday because that’s how old the law said he had to be. His poor knees were practically up to his chin by then! We couldn’t bear to keep making him sit that way. I’m sure it would be safer if we all sat rear facing with over the shoulder buckles until high school, but practicality has to set in at some point.

        • Lindsey says:

          HA! YES!!!

      • Jeanine says:

        …. Crappy “baby” is almost 3. if you want to talk trash on someone…its best to have all your facts straight before making yourself look like a fool.

      • grumpycat says:

        Wow. I forward faced my son by the time he was 1yo, because he was too big to keep rear facing. I would have loved to have him rear facing for longer, but he’s tall, and he had passed the weight limit.

        Would I be a worse mother if I faced him forward before puberty, or if I folded him into a tiny space with his knees up to his chin, and contravened all the safety standards about maximum size for rear facing?

        I’ll add that worry to the list of other parental failings that keep me awake at night…

      • SC says:

        Feel sick about this – I turned both mine to forward facing when they turned ONE!

        Find something better to do than being so critical.

    • Lindsay says:

      Bwoop bwoop. Sanctimommy alert.

      This is a lighthearted blog folks. We all do what we feel is safest and the best choice for our kids so let’s not tell others what they should be doing unless you want us all to tell you what you should be doing. My child is front facing since he was the ok weight to do so and as a parent it’s my right to make that decision.

      Oh and I also only breastfed for a month.

      And I give my child McDonalds sometimes.

      Sometimes I let them drive the car down our alley on my lap.

      And on the weekends they watch more than.. wait for it… TWO HOURS OF TV!

      So leave Amber alone and just say how bad of a parent I am.

      • Christine says:

        OMG you are SO the worst parent ever! LMAO. I’ve done at least half of what you mentioned in addition to other stuff that would probably land me in the “bad parent” category by some of these judgmental cows (I stole that phrase from another comment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, I find it amazing that there are people out there that can’t see the story for what it is, A STORY. The pictures just add humor and aren’t designed to be a fully accurate representation of the situation. In fact, I didn’t even notice or care that she depicted him forward facing when maybe he shouldn’t be. It’s not real, people!

      • J says:

        One of the things I love about this blog is that Amber is so HUMAN. She loves her kids and stuff happens, and she laughs about it and tells it in a hilarious way. That’s what helps you survive… and appreciate it all!

        A blog by a 100% perfect parent would not be fun to read, nor would it be popular. Not to worry, though, because such a being doesn’t exist.

      • Amy says:

        Go girl!

    • sara says:

      you might have figured this out now but crappy baby is almost 3… fine for forward facing.

  61. Rachel Emrath says:

    DVD Player! My solution to car trips. Militant about TV watching any other time, on car trips all bets are off. If I thought pixie sticks would help I’d be all over it!

  62. Fenny says:

    Works every time.

    Including the time my brother managed to superglue his finger to the roof of the car. I still bring that up from time to time, especially when his kids are about.

  63. Kate says:

    When the kids were little, I wasn’t willing to risk favorite toys on road trips, so I went to the dollar store & loaded up on cheap crap (I mean, toys). Every x number of miles or minutes I’d hand back some new item to keep them distracted. They knew if it fell on the floor or out the window they still wouldn’t get a new one until the specified time. And if it did go out the window or otherwise die one of the many toy deaths kids can invent, I didn’t care.

  64. Kate says:

    Ugh. The same thing happened to me TODAY in the car about 5 times, and we only drove a couple of miles. There has to some super smart entrepeneur out there to solve this problem for us…


  65. Emily says:

    At about 6 months of age, my son was in the habit of dropping his toy when his biggest sister sat next to him, but none of the other ones. (She is the only one who is tall enough to lean over and reach the floor without taking off her seatbelt.)

    I pointed out that he has her trained at The Gravity Game, something that we do not play in the house. She then retrained him to learn that she will not pick up his toys.

    Now, at 11 months, he holds onto his toys in the car, even when we go for 2+ hours.

    If you _ever_ cave in, then they have no impetus to learn how to hold on. They are very good at tracking your record…

  66. Anony says:

    You really should switch him to rear facing, it is much safer and if you care about your children you would do this.

  67. Kristen says:

    But wait, you forgot the part where you tell them this is the last time you’ll pick it up, they drop it again anyway, and obviously have forgotten that you told them a nanosecond ago that you weren’t picking it up again and they then proceed to cry and wail at ear blistering volume until you finally cave in and pick the GD thing up again. And possibly throw it a little.

  68. Angela says:

    I love that crappy baby is shirtless in the drawing too. I think it’s adorable in your posts where they’re at home, but in the car it’s all too funny. I have to admit that my boys have had to ride home from the park shirtless on more than one occasion when I didn’t have a change of clothes for them in the van (how on earth could I not have a change of clothes?!) Somehow they always end up covered in dirt or sweat or soaking wet from their drinks.

  69. Tia says:

    This is my life exactly!

  70. Liz says:

    Lol!! I have a 3 strikes it’s gone rule with dropped toys. Especially if they’re dropped in less than 10 seconds after handing the toy back.
    By the way–it’s not restricted to car seats. Airplane seats, too. ::facepalm::

  71. Denise says:

    LMFAO at your disclaimer at the bottom! I’ve missed the disclaimers but sorry that the crazy people have come back forcing you to write them again.

  72. Vanessa S. says:

    I can completely relate! It’s so frustrating! My son is 3 and my daughter is 5 months, so when he drops something, it is usually timed with my daughter having teething pain, so then both of them are crying :/ That’s when I put on Bob Marley and hope for the best ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kim says:

      I honest to goodness thought Bob Marley was a children’s singer until I was in college. It was what my mom put on to calm my 3 brothers and I down when we were little.
      I felt SO dumb when I realized what the heck he was singing…and it’s not exactly for kiddos. haha.

  73. rachel says:

    this exact same thing happens all the time to us and I constantly injure myself tring to reach the darn things!

  74. Elizabeth says:

    Oh I hate car trips because of toy dropping. I even bought this soft tray table car seat attachment so he could put his toys on and he manages to take that off and drop it too!

  75. rachel says:

    and yick, I hate all the stupid comments about how you should have him rear facing if you cared. why do people take things so seriously? lighten up, this is a humor blog!

    • Celena says:

      I totally agree with Rachel. When reading a humor blog, please leave your judgmental self at the door and enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  76. Dusty Mills says:

    To the moms talking bad about this woman… may someone/something poo on you! My kids do the same thing only they have their 9 yr old brother to fetch them for them, hahahahaha

  77. Erin says:

    It really surprises me how many rude comments on here about crappy baby not rear facing also. I don’t know why, maybe because I’ve been reading your blog since like post 2…. But I figured he was of forward facing age every time. This isn’t the first time you’ve mentioned his age is it? Anywho, extended rear facing is a choice, if she doesn’t deem it necessary, and you don’t like it, poke yourself in the eye if you get the urge to say something! Amber, you seem like a wonderful, caring, and intelligent mother! And I love your blog!

    • Aln says:

      Well said!

      • Erin says:

        Sad part is, after I said that, all I can picture are women sitting at their computer poking themselves in the eye, yelling ahhhhh so much drama to be started!! Got a laugh!

  78. Kel says:

    Luckily my 15mo isn’t too attached to particular toys at this point. I have a whole basket of them within my reach, and when she drops one I hand her a new one. Refill basket at destination. Probably your kids are too old for that though ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Aln says:

    I bought the safe travel trays from One Step Aheaand LOVE them! We have crossed the country several times now and the trays have helped keep me sane. They strap behind the carseat our booster but have clips for easy removal. The side pockets hold everything from toys to cups and then some. The lip around the edge HELPS prevent toys from falling (nothing is child-drop-proof) and it gives a surface to play or eat on. Yeah, I know, I sound
    like the ad, but seriously my kids have logged about 10,000 miles in the car with me in the past 3 years and those trays have saved my sanity!!
    Oh, and before I get bashed for torturing my children with all that car time;please note we are a military family so those were either moves or trips to see Grandma and not a ruthless neglectful mom keeping kids in carseats for days.

    • Mama Thairish says:

      Thank you and your husband for your service! <3

      Think I'll have to look into that product, it sounds interesting!

  80. Kel says:

    Also, to rephrase the comment some jerks were trying to make earlier, “Way to go for rear facing your kid so long! Nearly three years is awesome, and so much longer than most American kids get. It’s obvious you care deeply about your children to make such a counter cultural decision, and you followed current recommendations by rear facing him to the limits of his seat. You rock!”

    I think they phrased it backwards.

  81. Becky says:

    This is why I hand my children just one crayon at a time. If they return that one they get to pick which colour they want next. If they drop their crayon I will give them another but they have to take pot luck on colour. I pick up dropped items when I stop as I got sick of cramping up in the car trying to retrieve a car/drink/crayon/doll.

    I also must be the crappiest parent ever. My kids changed to forward facing very early compared to some of the comments on here. It was within the legal size/age for my state, but it would seem I should have known better.

  82. Heather says:

    They sell these things they call stroller straps, but they work great for car seats too. The are a thin strap with snaps on each end, and one in the middle. You snap one end around/through the toy, and the other around the car seat. Then, dropping the toy becomes a game of “go fish” and you’re not doing the fishing. Works great if you make sure that the toy choices are limited to things that you can strap on, or for strapping on an extra toy and letting it hang so when they drop the first, there’s a second ready to go.

  83. Angela says:

    I don’t have kids but my mother told me that as I child I used to throw stuff off my high chair and car seat for her to get. For some reason that was a bigger game for me than my actual toy! She then tied a string to the said toy and said chair so she didn’t have to actually bend over to pick it up and I still got to throw things down. Both of us were happy. Don’t worry, it wasn’t actually long enough to wrap around my neck just so you know.

  84. Corrie K says:

    Girl. Can I just say I big fat sparkly pink heart you, in a totally non-creepy, straight, way? And even though I am fairly hard-core car seat safety, I totally didn’t notice. Living in Korea is weakening my… hard-core-ness.

    Also, I’ve never had the sippy cup or anything else being chucked out the window, but I imagine my day is coming.

    My kids now fight over whose machine they just saw, or whose “Mater” they just saw, or whose fire truck they just saw, or whose cows they just saw. For miles (ahem, kilometers) they will argue.

  85. Nikki says:

    Love the “2 Hour Update” LOL I was going to mention rear-facing (but I don’t want to buy you a new car) only b/c if my youngest (22m and RFing) drops his toy he just kicks it which is equally amusing. Aw, boys!

  86. Hallie W says:

    “That was lame. You owe me a car.”

    Love it!!! I have a HUMONGOUS 3 yr old. He outgrew the rear facing weight limit a LONG time ago. Yes, I wanted him to be rear facing. No, I could not afford it. So. Front facing he was… It’s one thing to mention “Hey your kid really should be rear facing still” and another completely to say “You are a horrible human being monster mother for endangering your child in the car.” You know what??? I also let my children run around with scissors…

    • Keri says:

      Hallie, I have a huge kiddo too (was 11# 9oz at birth, and just stayed off the growth charts as he got bigger) and while he is now 7 (and is over 5 feet tall), at 3 he was taller than most kindergartners. He would never have been able to be placed in a rear-facing seat! (I let my kid run around with scissors, too! Shhhh!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Elaine says:

      I’m with you on that! MY oldest daughter had to turn front facing about 19 months because she outgrew the height and weight limits. She turns 4 next month, and she has about 1/2 inch/2 pounds til she doesn’t fit her seat with the 5 point harness ๐Ÿ™ My youngest daughter though is completely opposite and is tiny so she still RF’s at 2.5 years! I see her able to do so until at least 3.5 years. and i have seats with high limits. while i believe ERF is best, every child and seat is different! And not everyone can afford the seats with the highest limits.

  87. Pati says:

    I call it “throwing the toy overboard” and I’ve gotten into the habit of piling a bunch of toys both on him and in the middle seat so that I can grab another one while driving and give it to him. Yes I know this is a little dangerous while driving but it beats having a screaming baby in the back seat!
    I did notice the forward facing kiddos, glad I read your update! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  88. I don’t usually read through all your comments, but I just had to this time after seeing your disclaimer. Wow! I can’t believe how rude some moms can be to other moms. We all have a tough job ladies. Be nice to each other, be supportive, and try not to be such a judgmental cow!

  89. Emily says:

    At the risk of being a rear-facing goob… this IS why I like rear-facing. My 4 year old has recently asked to be rear-facing again because I don’t play fetch, and she hates dropping her stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ So it’s a benefit in her eyes as well.

    I don’t fetch. Not once. Not twice. You hold onto it or it waits until we are getting out, tough nuggets.

  90. betseeee says:

    Since you mention that it’s a tiny car, this might be effective if you are sure no one will use it to whack his brother on the head. My kids each have one, and it makes retrieving the fallen item an adventure for them. Unless they drop the Galaxy Grabber on the floor and then drop another toy….

  91. Robonanny says:

    Just out of curiosity, what do they recommend where you live? Keep kids rear-facing till they’re 3? How????

    My son was so big by the time he was 2, I had to move him to the next size up carseat even though he “officially” wasn’t due till he was 4 years old. (For the record, he’s exceptionally tall and broad of shoulder. He’s not some baby Buddha)… Finding a carseat for 18kgs/40lbs+ which still had a five point harness was enough of a challenge, never mind chucking “Must still be rear-facing” into the mix.

    I’m astonished you managed to keep him rear-facing as long as you did!

    • Michelle says:

      Yes – I had the same issue. My son was so huge that rear facing was an issue and we barely surpassed 1 year before we switched him! His legs didn’t fit and he was getting so uncomfortable being rear-facing.

  92. Samantha says:

    Try tying a piece of string to part of the carseat, leaving a loop at the other end of the string. Then wrap a piece of masking tape around the desired toy, put the tape through the loop and seal it back on itself. Done. It’s easier to do than to explain, promise.

  93. Christine says:

    Wow, really? In reading the (always funny) posts, who checks to see if you are properly strapping your children in their car seats? It’s a DRAWING for goodness sake! And I’m sure that I must be a terrible mother because I changed my children to forward-facing way before age 3 (but for you judging moms it was after age 1 and they were over 20 lbs). My kids are 8 and 10 now and seem to have suffered no damage from being forward facing all this time. These “perfect” moms need to step off the soapbox for a while.

  94. Wendy says:

    Amber – you are amazing and ALWAYS make me laugh (no exception to this post). Usually your fans are amazing and also make me laugh but a few on this one just made me angry. I live in Australia. In Australia the rules are that babies need to be rear facing until they are 6 months or 8 kg, can support their own head on their wobbly necks. Some people turn their kids the day they turn 6 months because they think their kids are ‘bored’ in the car when they cant see what’s going on. I left my son until he was 8 months but as he was such a boombah there was physically no more room for him to be rear facing so I turned him. I would have preferred to leave it a while longer but in Australia there are NO approved car seats that rear face up to 2 or 3 years (unless you have a midget child). America sounds like it’s a bit safer keeping kids RF until 2 – but at nearly 3 I seriously dont know why people get that upset about it??? We also holiday in Thailand where you see a family of 6 on a moped and they all seem fine too!!!
    Keep up the good work making us laugh, and I really hope that the forward facing haters never move to Australia – they just wouldnt cope with hating EVERYONE!!!

    • karen says:

      i’m also an aussie and i was going to make a similar comment. what is going on with these people? they would hate it here! but what i’m really wondering is how could you possibly fit a rear facing seat big enough for a 3 year old into a car, especially if you had multiple children sitting in the back?
      btw, love your work amber ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kate says:

      Me too!

      I was going to do some research about this extended rear facing thing because being in Australia I’d never heard of it… I thought I was doing well because my 9 month old is still rear facing, unlike most of my friends babies of around the same age…

      I don’t understand how a kid could fit facing backwards for so long? Wouldn’t it be incredibly cramped & uncomfortable?

      Excuse my ignorance, genuinely fascinated…

      • Elaine says:

        IT’s actually really comfortable for them ๐Ÿ™‚ My oldest daughter had to be turned about 19 months bc she’s so big but my youngest dd is completely opposite, being tiny, so at 2.5 years old she loves it. She can see her big brother in the back and can see her sister practically face to face. ๐Ÿ™‚

  95. Keri says:

    Well, I just have to say that I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and I’ve noticed that Crappy Baby is only wearing a diaper. You must be a horrible mother because you don’t dress him properly and just be so abusive. Also, neither children seem to be wearing shoes in these pictures. *GASP* How dare you? AND Crappy Baby does not seem to have nipples. Are you so uncaring as a mother that you have never gotten this medical abnormality checked out? ALL my children have nipples, so I must be a MUCH better mother than you are. And I say this only with concern in my voice, but you might want to get you and your husband’s elbows checked out, as these pictures seem to indicate that you don’t have any.
    /end sarcasm/

    • amber says:

      LOL, funny you mentioned nipples, I just realized this last week. Seriously. I’ve been drawing him for over a year now and always (okay sometimes I forget) draw a belly button but I forgot nipples!

    • jbee says:

      LOL, I was about to make a similar post, but I’ll just tack onto yours….

      And what’s with the crappy drawings? Don’t you know that being depicted in this manner can cause your kids all kinds of mental anguish? If you REALLY cared about your kids, you would go to art school, learn photoshop, and draw them entirely anatomically correct, with each detail in place. Won’t someone PLEASE think of the CHILDREN?? *sob*


    • Marisa says:

      Yes, and to these points, I would like to add that you are terrible parents to be driving around in a car that deosn’t have doors! In fact, the whole side is open! If you cared about your Crappy Family, you’d have a car that had doors!

  96. Dee says:

    I get motion sickness and retrieving toys makes it worse.

  97. Grace says:

    I keep a pair of kitchen tongs in the car with me – makes it much easier to reach dropped items while en route (only, of course, when seated in the passenger seat)… On longer road trips, there is no need to wait until the next rest stop. Very handy!

  98. Hannah says:

    Story of my life except my catch phrase is “I am not a puppy, I will not fetch for you.” and then they learned to deal with it but I still get the upset “Moooooooooom, I dropped my favorite toy ever!” Ha. Too bad kid.

    In another note- these women and their self proclaimed Mom of the year awards eh? Don’t stress on it. Their kids have likely pooped and thrown up on them at some point too.

  99. SarahJoy says:

    We also have to put his stroller in the back seat as it doesn’t fit in our trunk. My DS (8 mo old) dropped his toy over the side of his seat. So as my husband is driving down the highway, my arm is maneuvered through the wheels, netting and framing of the stroller in the back seat up to my shoulder. This was a first and a last for me! It took me two days to get all the kinks worked out! Love your blog!

  100. Barbara says:

    I love your comments at the end. Way to stick up for yourself. I honestly didn’t even notice the car seat facing the wrong way as I was paying attention to the story. I guess I figured I was readiness a blog and not at a politically correct art gallery. Love your writing. Keep it up. It’s nice to read something from someone so real and right. Thanks for the laugh.

  101. Monica says:

    Golly, all those folks who want my 2.5 year old to sit in a rear-facing car seat can come clean up when he–without fail–pukes from car sickness. Since he’s been forward-facing, no puke. Huzzah! (Love your site, btw ๐Ÿ™‚

    • KM says:

      We had the car sickness issue too. That plus a crappy air conditioner meant the rear-facing toddler ended each trip sweaty and often vomit-covered. I don’t see how it constitutes good parenting to let that continue a minute longer than legally required (if even that long). Of course my parents just let us bounce around the back seat like popcorn (back in the good ol’ lead-paint-infested days of yore).

  102. S says:

    Atilla (now 19mo) has been forward-facing ever since he outgrew his capsule (just after 12mo).

    And, he only gets distraction toys occassionally. Normally he sits in his forward-facing carseat (imported from Germany, approved by the local Consumer organisation), muttering to himself and listening to the classical radio playing in the car.

    No long road trips yet. I daresay I’ll be honour-bound to sit in the back with him for games of Fetch.

  103. Gen says:

    Your “Two Hours Later” part made me laugh just as much as the story itself. Thank you for being a real mom, dealing with real issues, and making me laugh at it all the time!

  104. MissyP says:

    EVERY car ride I say “I hate toys in the car!” for this very reason. I hate driving too, but on long trips I can’t wait for my turn so that I don’t have to deal with the dropped toys, food, dvd player that isn’t loud enough, poop leaking out of the diaper.. etc.

  105. Kristin says:

    I followed thru on the – you drop it you lose it – threat. The baby was already screaming so why not have surround sound. How did I ever stay between the lines while simultaneously slamming my head in to the dash?

    So then I switch to food thinking the higher value would somehow keep it in her hands longer. Loves apples and not too juicy, so perfect right? Of course that day was the one she decided she only wanted to eat the seeds (which btw – really???). So there is still chunks of apple that I’m finding.

    So ya, now I have a tv and only have to hear the baby cry. Eventually he will be old enough to turn around so his brain can rot while I drive too.

  106. Mindy says:

    This made me laugh so hard. So, so true! You really don’t want a larger car because then you will have even less of a chance of reaching those freaking toys. We were just recently talking about how the one upside of our tiny car is that we can reach almost everywhere in the back seat, *almost*.

  107. DMom says:

    Since I couldn’t remember what these are called, though we’re fans of the things, I got a good laugh out of my search criteria for this. Anyway, have you considered something like this?

    I use them in the stroller (making sure I can always see exactly what our toddler is doing), and in the car.

  108. Stefanie says:

    I have travelled 14 hours one way with my boys for the last eleven years and hate the toy issue. This summer I got smart and loaded my iPad, iPod, iPhone, and kindle fire with all the free apps I could find that we’re educational and fun. We had plenty of electronics and movies in the DVD player and it was the. Best. Trip. EVER. No toys to pick up. No crayons to worry about. No fighting over toys. No twisted back, neck, shoulder, ribcage for mom. They don’t get to play with these gadgets everyday so it was miraculously quiet as they explored their new realms!

  109. MEB says:

    Get them a grabber robot claw (like this one: They can use it to pick up the toys themselves….and to whap their sibling.

  110. Christina says:

    I didn’t even notice that the baby was front facing. LOL. I have a 45 minute commute to work and for two years my son’s daycare was in the same town. I would take an old shoe box full of toys plus about ten books. They stayed in the truck so they could only be played with about 1.5 hours out of every day and be ‘special’ toys. Yeah right. Sometimes we’d barely be out of town (about 10 minutes) and he’d have gone through all of them and be totally bored. Then I spent about 30 minutes singing because he didn’t like the radio. (This was when he was about 1 1/2). He’s three now and will usually wait for the toy, but taking off the shoes…gggggrrrrr! That’s a whole different issue.

  111. Rebecca says:

    My son NEVER cares about dropped toys. He is too busy removing his shoes and throwing them at people. And by people, I mean me.

  112. Tanya Smith says:

    At what age and weight does America allow kids to be forward facing?? We switch ours around when they either hit the 8kg mark, able to support their heads fully. So mine were all forward facing (in 5 point harness) by around 9 months. (Australia)
    Amber, I can totally sympathise. My boy who is about the same age as Crappy Baby has a car. It is his most precious possession in the world. He sleeps with this car. He baths with the car. It goes everywhere with him. And I seriously think I am going to tie a string on that damn car so my back doesnt get a rigorous workout every time we go on long trips!!

  113. imamann says:

    while we have the toy dilemma with my three year old (who is forward facing because i suck at life), the whole car ride became much funner with a second infant (who i have rear facing for all those who are worried). little has had tons of medically stuff and has oxygen. big is very concerned/loving/crazy over the top about little’s medical stuff. so if by some crazy chance, little pulls her oxygen off (like she does around 6 million times a day) big screams (literally), ‘mama her oxygen is off, her oxygen is off!!! pull over! pull over!!’ it’s super exciting, every. time. especially since we make the hour and a half drive for doctors appointments on average once a week…..we go on vacation soon. looking forward to having my husband to endure the screaming warnings with me!!
    p.s. she is fine to have her oxygen off for thirty minutes or so until we can get to an exit, or get to where we are going. ๐Ÿ™‚

  114. jillsmo says:

    I turned my oldest around before he even turned 1. He’s 10 now and has autism. COINCIDENCE??????

    • Amanda says:

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! I totally just died. (My daughter has autism as well! Gotta laugh!)

  115. Chris Carter says:

    I love reading all the support for you Amber! Your blog is all about being genuine and funny, while reflecting on the craziness of motherhood. Anyone who writes a negative comment, (in my opinion) really should be ignored. This blog has no room for negative energy. It’s just too fun! I say, lets all just not even respond to anyone who leaves a comment not worthy of this blog! It smells up the whole scene, and we already have enough stink in the diapers! Fresh air only here!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  116. Noey says:

    I’m much more concerned about the fact that none of you have noses than a nipple-less nearly 3 year old being front facing. HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY BREATHE??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  117. nerissa says:

    If you cared about you children you would draw them both rear facing forever. Jeeze. I can’t believe some people draw 3 year olds forward facing.

  118. rachel says:

    i have always wished for the ability to suspend gravity while in the car. gravity is the ONE major buzzkill for roadtrips with kids. toys, markers, food, stuffed animals, blankets, you name it, it winds up on the floor. i think that there’s some strange force at work that we don’t know about yet, that causes the pull of gravity to be extra strong inside moving vehicles with children.

  119. Jan says:

    I don’t have as much a problem with the toys anymore, since my 7 or 5 year olds can reclaim them for the three year old, but I sure hate it when the little one chucks her shoes at me when I tell her that we’re not going to grandma’s house OR stopping for ice cream. Mean mom of the year award right here.

  120. Sannah says:

    So hilarious as always Amber!! And amazing there seem to be so many people out there who mistake cartoons for real life. You are obviously a wonderful mum – and I am constantly amazed at the way you manage to hone in on the mundane bits of a parent’s life that are just so true (!) – And you manage to make it so funny.

  121. Kara says:

    Before we leave, when the kids aren’t looking, I put a spare set of “emergency, oh god I’m desperate for them to have something to occupy them” toys. I usually whip them out at the next red light/stop sign/moment where life gives you five seconds to save your sanity and let my girls know that once those toys hit the floorboard, they have to resign themselves to looking at farm animals/treese/buildings/people. Works like a charm.

  122. I thought dropping doys was bad enough – when my 3yo is mad he throws his shoes – a couple of times it has been a near miss of the driver’s head. I’m not sure why we let kids have any projectiles in a moving vehicle. One day there might be a law that everyone riding in a car with a toddler needs to wear a helmet… you know just because the few who have thrown objects in cars at the driver’s heads will ruin it for everyone.
    Rear facing, forward facing, geez, we all went without seatbelts when we were this age, let alone carseats and we managed to survive.
    I so love your crappy picture stories. Any chance you’re going to be at BlogHer?

  123. Gillian says:

    Forgive me for going back in time, back to my own childhood. Going out in the car as a family was a rare treat. Once a year we went to the seaside in the old Morris 8. When the chock broke my Dad got the car to start by pulling a piece of string! It was a small car with no seat belts and only room for 2 in the back. We 3 children had to share the space…Of course the arguments started about WHO HAD THE MOST SITTING SPACE. I was usually in the middle sitting which meant I had to sit near the edge of the seat and it was highly uncomfortable as there was insufficient room for 3 children to sit next to each other on the back seat. When the arguing got too much for parental patience a large hand was swung into the back of the car, usually landing on me. Even when my own children were small there were no seat belts in the cars. If they dropped something they just picked it up. We played a lot of verbal games such as the never failing to amuse ‘I SPY.” When I see the size and comfort of the cars today they seem like parental heaven to me.
    Safety is paramount. Toy bags on the back of the front seats, CD’s to sing along to, even screens for films!! make traveling fun. My own daughter kept her 3 young children 7,4 and 15 months old amused for more than an hour in an unexpected traffic jam having collected them from school, with only a Christmas CD to sing along to. Her ability to stimulate the children to use their imagination and and turn what could have become something traumatic (no food or drink on board and nearly meal time) is praise worthy. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and the drawings. Quite unique and they tell their own story. keep them coming!

  124. Gill le Feuvre says:

    Forgive me for going back in time, back to my own childhood. Going out in the car as a family was a rare treat. Once a year we went to the seaside in the old Morris 8. When the chock broke my Dad got the car to start by pulling a piece of string! It was a small car with no seat belts and only room for 2 in the back. We 3 children had to share the spaceโ€ฆOf course the arguments started about WHO HAD THE MOST SITTING SPACE. I was usually in the middle sitting which meant I had to sit near the edge of the seat and it was highly uncomfortable as there was insufficient room for 3 children to sit next to each other on the back seat. When the arguing got too much for parental patience a large hand was swung into the back of the car, usually landing on me. Even when my own children were small there were no seat belts in the cars. If they dropped something they just picked it up. We played a lot of verbal games such as the never failing to amuse โ€˜I SPY.โ€ When I see the size and comfort of the cars today they seem like parental heaven to me.
    Safety is paramount. Toy bags on the back of the front seats, CDโ€™s to sing along to, even screens for films!! make traveling fun. My own daughter kept her 3 young children 7,4 and 15 months old amused for more than an hour in an unexpected traffic jam having collected them from school, with only a Christmas CD to sing along to. Her ability to stimulate the children to use their imagination and and turn what could have become something traumatic (no food or drink on board and nearly meal time) is praise worthy. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and the drawings. Quite unique and they tell their own story. Keep them coming!

  125. Linda says:

    v confused by all this rear facing nonsense. In the UK we’re only guided to keep them rear facing until they reach 10 months old or 20lbs, whichever comes first. Where do their legs go – my 18 month old would have her knees in her eyeballs if she was still rear facing.

  126. Meredith says:

    So funny…so true…laughed so hard I cried!!

  127. Sarah O says:

    We keep a bin between the two of them that is filled with toys. This catches toys, gives them a place to put toys they are trading back and forth, and gives them an ongoing supply of new toys. Plus, if I’m driving with my husband (I am a military spouse, so I make a lot of trips solo), one of us can easily reach the toy bin to give the kids a new toy if they are depleted enough the baby can’t reach them anymore. If my kids complain about a specific toy being dropped, they get a lecture on road safety.

  128. Jocelyn says:

    This is hilarious. Just had a 3 hour drive to the beach and my rear facing 15 month old was dropping things left and right, no pun intented!!! Even at times things in front of her were too far… She totally makes it a game… GRRR.

    And how can you not rear face your almost 3 yr old. Didn’t you know that you too should be rear facing!!!? Geez, what a bad mom. hehehe

  129. Tara says:

    This is probably horrible, but I tell me sons that my arm might break if I try to get what they drop (water bottle, shoes, toys and the like) and they’ll just have to wait. They only whine about it for about 3 blocks or so nad then lose interest. I’m sure I’m the meanest Mama in the world, but I’m ok with that!

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      That is much nicer than what I tell my son (when I am driving by myself)… “Mommy is driving and if I get your “crap”, er, toy, we will all DIE!”. To which he responds (he is 2.5), “ooooohhhh, we die???” – he has no idea what that really means, but I say it with such authority he thinks it is pretty bad, I guess. Now sometimes he says, “why?” (as all toddlers this age do) and I say, “why do YOU think we will die?” He says, “because we hit da udder cars?”, YEP (I think he is brilliant), then it is followed by, “mommy! can we hit da cars, dat so fun! honk, honk, CRASH!” – eh, so he isn’t brilliant, just a boy…

  130. Halala Mama says:

    When people judge you about the rear facing car seat, feel free to tell them you “know” a person who turned her kid around at 18 months because 1.) he was at the weight limit already and needed a bigger seat and 2.) he was already something like 6 feet tall and she was tired of folding him up like an accordion to get him positioned in a rear facing seat. All they will see is “18 months” and promptly leave you alone forever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  131. Julie says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat. As soon as we got a minivan, all the toy dropping STOPPED. All I had to say was, “how am I supposed to get your toy way back there in the back seat (or side, or between seats WAY back there)?!”. Also, no windows to throw things out. So, if anyone is going to buy you a nice, safer, bigger vehicle to fit your monstrosity of a car seat in, suggest it be a minivan!

  132. Laura L says:

    These are the times I wish I was the driver! We can’t make it through on in-town trip most times without this happening!

    Oh, and for the record – I’m pretty sure we turned our kids around at 18 months because a) that was the guideline a few years ago for kid 1, so I figured it was good enough for kid 2 last year and b) rear facing seats are a pain in the butt! My youngest is 2 1/2 and man am I glad he isn’t still rear-facing. I figure that most of us didn’t even have car seats when we were young, so no matter what – my kid is already better off by being in a seat at all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  133. Maggie F says:

    WHew! Didn’t want to read all the comments (judgy comments give me hives) but here is a thought- find one of those grabber things that older folks use. Teach Crappy Boy to use it. Or keep it in front for yourself. Tether it to CB’s seat so that he can’t drop THAT. Not foolproof, but might help.

  134. Shelley West says:

    Someone should invent toy/sippy cup tethers that attach to the car seats….

  135. Qoumidan says:

    The rear facing stuff is confusing me. The point where you can turn them around is 20lbs and 1yr. Why would he be in rear facing til nearly 3? Like the disclaimer, this is not a judgment, I’m just confused. I’m wondering if that is a state law thing…

    • Jennifer Scogin says:

      Last I read, it was a “RECOMMENDATION” not the law…just like it is recommended you not eat too much, but who follows that? LOL

    • Di Linh Reichman says:

      Qoumidan: Recommendations have recently changed based on new information that children switched to forward facing too soon have higher rates of injury during car crashes. Toddlers have larger heads proportionately to their bodies and as a result are more likely to suffer from broken necks during a collision when forward facing. There are some crash videos that demonstrate this as well as true stories posted on YouTube. The recommendation is now 2 years or when the child reaches the max for rear-facing which on many carseats is between 35-45 lbs.

      • Fenny says:

        Rear facing car seats are incredibly rare in the UK. We must just hate the next generation, but they all seem to survive into teenagerdom.

        • Tars says:

          I was just thinking how these people would react if they came to the uk and saw all the under ones rear facing!!

          Please keep up the awesome blog Amber!!

  136. Jennifer R says:

    My kids are the SAME way!!! It drives me insane. First it’s a cute “uh-oh” then it’s pure insanity…”ELMO!!!! ELMO GONE GONE!!!” followed by huge screams and tears as if someone were stabbing Elmo! Car rides are fun!
    As far as the car seat thing…my son was HUGE…he outgrew his infant seat at 6 months…by 11 months his legs just couldn’t handle being rear facing…they were just too big! So we switched him forward facing. (before any one judges me, his pedi was fine with it and he is 6 now and still in a 5 point harness!) We didn’t switch my daughter until she was 15 months. Our pediatrician said it was fine. Her legs were getting a little too big and she was no longer happy riding in her seat. Plus now she can see the DVD player. BONUS! The main fight now is “it’s MY TURN to pick a movie!” Apparently Abby Cadabby and Elmo isn’t as cool for a 6 year old as it is for a 1.5 year old! LOL!
    I’m going to invent some type of netting that goes from our children’s lap to the back of the front seat…that way when a toy is dropped, it will just roll back to them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fenny says:

      Couldn’t you get one of those pet blanket hammocky things that attaches to the back seat head rests and the front seat head rests. Even if you have to make holes in it for where the car seats are attached, it has to be better than picking stuff up off the floor. As the kids legs get longer, you can let it out at one side or the other to curve under their feet.

  137. Jenny says:

    we have five kids (by the way, they were all forward facing at 1 year) and it is the same story. i have finally just stopped giving them toys because they do no good anyway. haha

  138. Elunamakata says:

    Good lord, someone better come shiv me, because all three of my children were turned around at the age of 1! I must be horrible. I let them eat lunchables and drink capri sun juice too. I mean surely because I parented MY kids who came from MY hoo-hoo, I’m a evil person right?

    I suppose when I was widowed and we survived on wendy’s chicken nuggets while I was depressed for nearly a year means I should have child services called too right? since I fed those babies fast food every night! OMG!

    I don’t even have babies any more, the youngest just turned 8 this year, and I still read this blog, because its fun and people can relate. If you can’t relate to the humor of life, you may want to see about getting the stick removed, or, you know, not read a blog that you don’t have to read.

    <3 this stuff!

    • Kate says:

      Well done getting your kids through such a tough time Elunamakata… You should be proud that in such trying circumstances you managed to feed them at all, because many people would have just given up ๐Ÿ™‚

      So many good mamas out there… Judgey Judgers just go away…

  139. The absolute WORST toys to bring in the car are LEGOs. Because then when they fall, they break in pieces! So even if you can reach down and grab something, the chances of you recovering every piece to his “cargo transporter stealth bi-plane” are slim to none and the result is more whining – “Mo-om, I’m still missing a piece.” I tried to ban LEGOs from the car but inevitably they sneak back in like Gremlins.

  140. Jessica says:

    Oh, I love your blog. The things I learn. All this time I have just been letting the kids scream in the backseat while I pretend my arms aren’t long enough to reach anything. Eventually they fall asleep or start picking at each other. In either case, my job is done.

    P.S. I didn’t even know rear facing that old was a thing. Must have changed somewhere between my 2 and 3rd kid.

  141. Love the post! Love the update! And, if I had an extra (biggerโ€”or any for that matter) car, I’d give it to you!

  142. Ashley says:

    Also shoes!! We don’t even get out of the garage before my 2 year old has her shoes off. Why?? I don’t have to keep picking them up like toys, but I do have to put them back on whenever we get to our destination. Oh, and the only reliable way we solved the toy dropping on long trips (with our four kids) was to start doing long trips as overnight drives. You don’t have to pack snacks or toys or entertainment of any kind because they just sleep ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus then your car doesn’t look like you are trying to smuggle an entire junkyard over state lines when you finally arrive.

  143. crystal says:

    Oh my that whole situation is played out in our truck on every trip too. When I hear of laws banning cell phone use or eating while driving, I laugh because there is. I bigger distraction to drive than little kids in the back seat. If they want us to be focused and safe, they need to put a partition between the front and back seats like they have in cop cars. Why has no one thought of this but me?

  144. My son loves bugs. His preschool teacher allowed him to take a bug container home (made from those plastic baby food boxes) complete with the bugs he’d caught that day. 10 min. into our drive and he’d managed to open the container and drop it, setting loose vicious bugs like rollie pollies and earwigs. Good times…

  145. Marianne says:

    This would all be avoided if you have a portable DVD player in the back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  146. Grace says:

    Thank you so much for your disclaimer! I don’t even own a flipping car, but I have to have a carseat for the times we have to go in one. So I have the cheapest, most versatile one that I could find, which means my son has been front-facing on the few occasions he’s in a car since he was about a year old. Enough with the (American-centric) guilt-tripping, people!

  147. Leeshi says:

    So I have been reading your blog all morning. For like, 3 hours. I don’t even have kids and I love it. Granted I have four siblings all under the age of 7, so maybe that’s why I think so much of it is hilarious.

    Thanks for the hilarity <3

  148. Amy says:

    I just recently had to tell a neighbor “tell you what? You don’t tell me how to raise my son, and I won’t tell you how to raise yours”. When she told me I should still have my boy rear facing. Some People are just a bit uptight out there……
    Love the disclaimer!

  149. lisacng says:

    This is so true, but I’ve taught my son to “hold tight” and if he drops it, I really don’t get it, especially if it’s only a 15 min ride home from daycare. Though on longer trips, I will an effort like you. And I switched our son forward facing a few months after he turned 1. So you are excellent to wait that long.

  150. I have become SO good at reaching behind me to get every toy dropped! I am like a pretzel! And there are way too many critical messages on this thread! Aren’t we here to get a laugh or two, not to be critical of other parents’ choices?!?

  151. Beth M. says:

    This is what my last FIVE days were like. We just got home from our annual trek to visit the inlaws. It’s 24+ hours of driving time. Each way. I spent most of it picking up dropped toys and passing out snacks. Also a good bit hunched over the baby’s car-seat to nurse so we wouldn’t have to stop every 30 minutes. This morning I had to clean out the car, which meant finding all those dropped-out-of-reach toys. And the dropped crackers, juice boxes, straws (they couldn’t possibly leave the straw in the juice box, could they?), crayons, etc. It’s so good to be home!

    • michelle goree says:

      whoa whoa whoa do you really drive 24 hours each way to visit your in laws? holy cow you love your in laws way more than me! i’m seriously impressed and complain about flying for 6 hours. i should shut up.

  152. Jocelyn Stover says:

    i feel ur pain!! my baby can totally hold his own bottle or keep a binky in his mouth–UNTIL WE GET IN THE CAR! then all bets are off, and he screams in increasingly louder and longer intervals until my husband unbuckles his seat belt and leans over his seat to fish around for the binky/bottle….this happened on 5 minute outings and long car trips until we finally learned our lesson, and we beat him at his own game–now one of us rides in the back seat with him! HAHAHA! take THAT baby!

  153. Sharene Zemanek says:

    Wow… I can’t believe how many jumped to judge. Actually, sadly, I can believe it, we moms seem to love to beat each other up or one up each other in regards to parenting choices.

    I LOVE your pictures & stories…always wind up killing myself laughing! Thanks for sharing!

  154. Crystal says:

    Wow. I must be a terrible mother because I switched my boys to front facing the second their 1st birthday hit. And I loved it!! People need to get over themselves!!!

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  156. jade says:

    I’d like to complain about the one-dimensionality of the food you are apparently giving your children. Don’t you know that three-dimensional food is much more nutritious? Seriously? People complain about the accurate illustration of car seats in a cartoon which has the disclaimer of ‘crappy’ ?? They need to take a breath.
    Thank you, as always, for making me laugh so hard I spluttered tea all over my keyboard.

  157. Jennifer says:

    I love the disclaimer. When I saw the pictures I was laughing out loud. They are PICTURES people. I wonder how many of the 300+ people that responded had panic attacks reading this. This was really funny and so very true.

    I have a mini-van and made the terrible mistake of letting them play with legos. You know how much it hurts when you step on a lego in the middle of the night right? Yeah, well in the car it sucks even worse because you can’t stand up straight and you have no where to fall but down. I swear I could have won $10k on America’s Funniest Home Videos. Stupid legos.

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  159. carol says:

    omg its a bit of fun we all do what we can for our kids but lets face it sometimes they p**s us off.

  160. Jessi says:

    I got the vibratey cat thing that pulls down and clips on to the carseat. My squish loves it (for about 4 minutes then needs something else) but he’s also 5 mos old so it’s pretty easy to distract him.. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  162. playmobil says:

    I was impressed with how your kid expressed their talent and ability in drawing. I just love to see this creation.

  163. Melly says:

    Why is it the one thing that stood out in this post is that there is actually a bunch of sad sad moronic people out there who have nothing better to do than to actually start a FB page on the evils of not rear-facing??? Bugger me, I am obviously not making the most of my spare time like these people are!! bahaha I tie my kids to the bonnet of the car. That’s ok right???

  164. angel b says:

    Very funny! I especially enjoyed how you got the crazy moms to obsess over your parenting decisions, and the fight where someone got called a bitch. This made my day!

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  166. lori says:

    The second my kids turned one I turned them forward facing. We are all happier that way. And I dont think I am a terrible mom for it either. I love your blog by the way… hilarious!

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  169. Cathy says:

    I’m thinking about investing in one of those car seat trays. It won’t solve the problem if my son is throwing shit all over the car but hopefully he’ll be less likely to drop it. It will also be nice having less cherrios on the floor…maybe.

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  179. Yezzie Virostek says:

    Ha ha, this is totally my son in the car. He is almost two and now forward facing. He is such a tall boy and big. Anyway, he always drops his cars which happens to be the only thing he carries. I make sure he has one in each hand and another two or three in his lap and on longer trips, i also keep about 4 or 5 in the passenger seat next to me so that when he has dropped them all, i can just pass him a new one without even turning around because the “you will have to wait till we stop” mantra, doesnt work for us, he cries and screams until he gets them.

  180. SummerRay says:

    Our daughter was turned at 12 months because every-time she got in the car, even if it was only down the street she would though up, she was miserable. So we turned her to forward facing (this was the recommendation at the time) at 1 year, and she has only though up once since then and that was the other day, and we turned her 2 years ago. When she was 18 months they changed the recommendation to 2 years, but we never flipper her back it wasn’t worth the misery she would have to go though. My point is, you don’t know what that mom put into her decision you really shouldn’t judge.

  181. Helena says:

    These ladies definitely sound like trolls.
    Their story is the same each time : rear facing reduces toy dropping ( a total lie, my 18mo old is rear facing and doesn’t keep her toys any better than my forward facing three year old)

    Some of them did a better job of making their comments sound real, but most of them are so obviously bombarding the post with an agenda…

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