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My kid is the type of kid who needs a “ninja turtle.”  No, not Leonardo; Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael.   I mean those neon things that you put at the end of your driveway.

As long as I have known my husband, he has called these “ninja turtles.” Actually, they are called visual warning signals or V.W.S. for short.  I have always believed that V.W.S. were solely purchased by over-protective parents who are likely to be near said V.W.S. wagging a finger at anyone driving over 10 m.p.h.  Then my son ran into the street in a moment that I was unloading one heavy box from my car and was nearly hit by a car.

I remember screaming in the highest pitch at the oncoming car about to crush my baby.   I was waving my arms as wildly and as frantically as I could to draw the drivers attention to my child.  The car just barely stopped.

I scooped up my baby and cried.  Then he did it again when we were playing in the yard.  We were running in the front yard from end to end when suddenly he made a sharp left turn for the road with a poorly timed car coming by.  Then he did it again when he outran my mother who needed a new knee.  I begrudgingly ordered my V.W.S. from Amazon within the hour.

My son is 20 months.  He has experienced almost every minor injury that kids get, but nothing catastrophic.  As much as he needs to “learn,” I dont’ think kids learn road way safety by taking a few blows from oncoming cars and brushing it off.  I am very tempted to just rope off my whole front yard and now I understand the usefulness of a gated home.

I used to be so embarrassed putting my little lime-green man out with a sign that says “slow please!” I blush when I see the cute little neighbors in college zooming by who probably think that I’m an overprotective mom.  (I probably am).  “Hey, at least I don’t have the full net …” she said as she clicked “Order Now.” 

Safety is such a tough lesson to teach.  Every mom tells me that kids will inevitably get hurt, but I can’t stand it.  Like many of you, I want to keep the safety net around at all times.  And that is hard.  For me, parenting is all about considering all of the ways that my son could get hurt and trying to eliminate those hazards without putting him into a literal and figurative bubble. (But, he loves bubbles so, maybe I can?)

Here are a few more options for your front yard:

  1. A ghost (why? who knows, but it’s white which is better than lime green)
  2. A bigger net
  3. A man with an easel so you can leave passive-aggressive messages for those neighbors who insist on speeding by.
  4. A simple sign
  5. Cones
  6. A pop-up cone
  7. An orange man
  8. A yellow man with a passive-aggressive sign
  9. A yard sign with a few options for text

I’ve looked high and low and there isn’t a sign that says “Drive Like You’ll Be Sued by the Parents of the Kids Who Live Here” or “My Mom Is A Litigator. That’s the Scariest Type of Attorney, and She’ll Sue the Shit Out of You If You Hit Me, So Slow Down.” Someone really should make that.

We are working on road safety with out 20-month-old. (“Look both ways before you run into the street, please!”)  But until he is 25 15 10 (?) I think we will put safety first, and put the ninja turtle at the end of the drive way even if lime green clashes with my front elevation.

XOXO, Mrs. Make It Rainka

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