Maybe I’m only saying this because I spent over five hours wrestling with car seats today, but that doesn’t make it less true. I spent FIVE HOURS wrestling with car seats in one day. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
I figured out how to fit three seats across my backseat after months of research, shopping and plotting. I installed them halfway through my last pregnancy just to make sure they’d work and then left all three in the car because there was no way I ever wanted to do that again.
But baby Mary is outgrowing her infant seat and Colum is more than ready for a booster. So all I needed to do was turn Colum’s old seat rear-facing and put the extra-narrow booster that finally went on sale in place of the baby bucket seat. Easy peasy.
Two hours, a bag of garbage and a seat full of crumbs later, the fancy-pants new booster didn’t fit. It wasn’t even close. Colum was late for his t-ball game and I was standing in the driveway amidst $900 worth of child safety seats that couldn’t keep my kids safe. My husband wound up driving Colum in Irene’s seat while I walked with the girls.
Then, since the car wasn’t doing the kids and I a whole lot of good, he took the car for the rest of the afternoon. I then walked all three kids from the baseball diamonds to my parents house, but told the husband to please bring all the car seats there because I had a new plan.
Over an hour later I’d managed to cram the booster between the two car seats and even installed the rear-facing seat without the manual. Woot! Things were looking up … until someone actually tried to sit in the front seat. Damn, that rear-facing position takes up a lot of space.
We drove home like that anyway, but as soon as the kids hit their pillows I needed to be back out there. This time I was going to turn Irene’s seat rear-facing for Mary, move Irene to Colum’s seat and Colum to the booster. We’ll just put the booster in the middle, no, try that side, no, try the other side. Okay, perfect. Wait. What’s that? You want to be able to close the door? All the way? Fine. I’ll try again.
And I did. I tried again and again until I finally came up with a configuration that works. It’s a squeeze, but all the seats are safely and securely installed and they are NEVER coming out.
Also. The car seat safety police will be happy because baby Mary will be rear-facing until Colum no longer needs a booster. There is no way I’m ever moving those seats again.
What are your worst car seat stories? I know you have some.