I really thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Nope, I did see a woman holding a baby in the front seat of a minivan while approaching the toll booth to go over the George Washington Bridge. There was tons of traffic. People switching lanes everywhere, horns beeping, hand gestures flying. In the middle of all this chaos, that little baby unprotected in the front seat of that minivan. In fact, everyone in the SUV along with me saw it too and had the same reaction I did. What was she thinking?
When you become a parent, you take on a major responsibility whether you want it or not, and whether you’re ready for it or not. You are now responsible for another life. Period. That means it’s your job to protect that little person and be there for them in every way that you can. In my opinion, protecting them is not putting them in the front seat of your minvan with no seatbelt and no protection.
We all know kids are supposed to ride in the backseat (or atleast most of us know that). The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends children stay rear facing in the back seat of the car until they’re two or until they’ve met the height or weight requirements of the car seat. Many states also have laws. Interestingly enough, I went to look up the laws in New Jersey, which is where we were when we witnessed this front seat ride that almost made me have a heart attack. Wouldn’t you know, New Jersey, like many states, requires kids up to age 8 or 80 pounds ride in the back, unless the car has no rear seat. Trust me there was plenty of rear seats in that minivan.
I would love to know what that woman was thinking. She was no spring chicken, so I would assume she was familiar with the law, or atleast with common sense. Was she the mom? Did she bring the baby in the front because he or she was crying, hungry, lonely, what? Couldn’t have she just gone in the back with the baby? Why didn’t the driver say something? I don’t know. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I said a little prayer for that baby. I hope that minivan got to its destination safely so that little baby wasn’t the victim of someone’s stupidity.