In a single moment the memory memory comes ringing out loud and clear.
"Don't forget the carseat is in my car," she had reminded me as I dropped her off at the airport.
Indeed I did not forget. Well not completely. For it is as you're walking with a 10-month old and a 4-year old, just about to reach the "wrong" car that the "now what was I forgetting" thought comes back loud and clear.
So it is that on day one of being a solo parent while the wife is away we end up leaving daycare with two girls and not the right car-seats. Of course with that one last thing that came up at work it's too close to closing time to take the kids back in and return home to get the seat.
I could walk home and get it crosses the mind briefly but the two-mile walk is longer than can be accomplished and still pick up the other kiddo.
Ah the other kiddo well at least there's an extra booster seat. It might not be the rear-facing bastion of side-impact security that one plans to put their infant in. Then you think "hmm it's probably not even legal." Even under Idaho's relatively lax child seat laws.
This is when the prime directive of parenting kicks in. Sure the "other" prime directive talks about things like not interfering in the development of other civilizations. This is the parent's prime directive which shares more in common with the "first do no harm" ideals of the Hippocratic Corpus. However the parent's prime directive extends this with the idea practicality, invention and the need to solve the situation at hand trump all the planning and good intentions.
Sure while seat-belting one's infant into said booster seat there are all kinds of internal dialogues. The four-old will tell everyone they meet for days about how "Daddy put the baby in the wrong seat because he forgot the right one."
Even the little voice in the back of one's head reminds you of all those "oh I'd never put my child in a car without proper car seats" thoughts you've had since knowing you were expecting a child.
At this moment all those things go out the window. One instead snaps a picture, proud of having solved the problem at hand without doing permanent harm.