It isn’t quite time to play Cat’s Cradle just yet but we have reached a milestone. BB is now in a booster seat and LTD is using a Mifold slim booster seat. This of course means that both boys are out of traditional car seats and ready to take on the world. The whole migration has been a little bittersweet as it means that they are definitely not babies anymore or even toddlers. Hell to hear BB tell out he isn’t even in preschool anymore. And based on both their attitudes one would think I have two teenagers on my hands. Sadly, I tried very hard to find a good home for the car seat but after much research not much can be done with a 7 year old car seat even if it is in good shape. I thanked it for its years of dedicated service and then gave it a viking funeral.
In an earlier post I mentioned LTD’s growing fascination with buckles. Well now things have moved into addiction territory. If there were a Betty Ford for buckles we would have to see if our insurance covers 28 days for the little guy. There have been times when he has refused to get out of the high chair, stroller or car seat because he wanted to play with the buckles. Of course he has mastered clicking closed all the buckles in his grip radius but for obvious childproofing reasons he can’t open them without our help. What is my point? His buckle addiction wouldn’t be a problem if it was an alone activity but he not only needs us to unclick them he demands that we do so in the strongest possible terms. Like all LTD related things there is a bright side to his buckle fetish and that is when he shuts a buckle he says, ‘click’ in his little excited voice which is of course wicked cute.
In the lesson learned category we can now add giving LTD raisins while he is in the car seat. Before the ban was instituted he would take the box and in theory eat them one by one. However, in reality he would dump most of them out in such a manner that most of the raisins ended up between his legs. Thus crotch raisins were quickly born and just as quickly banned. There is something not great about watching your only child dig around for raisins south of the border and then eat them.
In closing I will say that the only thing grosser than LTD eating crotch raisins is being offered them to eat as well. Thankfully, since I am driving he can’t put them in my mouth as he does most other foods as one of his new favorite activities is putting his food in my ‘mowth’ as he calls it.
So after we hit the one year mark, The Mommy and I decided to keep LTD’s car seat rear facing. While the recommendation says after one year you can flip it to forward facing and our doctor signed off on it, we kept it rear facing after The Mommy did some research and saw some scary info regarding crashes. The good news was that the little guy didn’t even know it was possible to flip his car seat around to face front. So we let it ride so to speak. However, in December, right before our trip to visit the Grandparents, we pretty much had no choice but to finally turn the seat around about four months shy of our two-year goal. LTD’s legs were starting to curl up against the back seat and it was getting harder and harder to actually put him the seat. After a brief discussion about how our baby is growing up wicked fast we switch the car seat around to face front.
LTD’s first reaction to his new found view was one of confusion. He literally had no idea what was going on. The look on his face was priceless, but a little sad as there was no clear way of explaining to him that everything would be all right. Thankfully, once he got used to seeing the world from our point of view, he settled in and took in the sites of the road. The downside of the flip was that he could no longer use the backseat to rest his books and toys on and he no longer reads books in the car as so much as throws them. The front facing car seat is a lot easier to get him into and since we bought baby seat covers he hasn’t done too much damage with his kicking (it helps that he removes his shoes and socks mere seconds after the buckle clicks.) I’m happy we waited as long as we did to keep him safe, but I’m pleased I can see his face in the rearview mirror too.
I think Gary Numan said it best:
Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live
Car Seat week continues with a bit of stretch, the topic is cars and they do have seats, but both are tiny. As my readers know the only places open early in the morning are the library, Wal-Mart and the grocery store. While I don’t really go to Walmart all that much, it is occasionally good to check out the sales and kill time. There is only one problem with my wandering around Wal-Mart. I tend to end up in the toy aisle and for 97 cents I can get LTD either a Hot Wheels or Matchbox car that he can’t use until he is three. I justify this practice by only creating a car collection that even the gods would envy. I only get him Ferraris, Lamborghini’s and other high-end sport models. Of course, the pride of my collection is Thomas Sullivan Magnum’s car, the Ferrari 308 GTS (I know technically the car belongs to Robin Masters, so please no angry letters). I will admit that I have strayed from my stated mission by buying the occasional cool big Matchbox car like the British Double Decker bus and the dump truck with huge wheels. Unfortunately, I have had to slow down the pace of the collecting due to the fact that I have a little over two years to go before he can even open the first package and I already have enough to keep his busy for a few weeks of crashing and jumping. So now I only get the really, really cool ones like the 1960’s Adam West Batmobile.
Car seat week continues as I have been forced to figure out where to put LTD now that he is out of the infant carrier. As many long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know, one of the only places open after I drop off The Mommy at her car pool is the grocery store. I used to put the little guy’s carrier in the cart and wander around seeing what’s new at the store (answer, not much). It was clear that the time was right for a shopping car cover. We picked up the Secure-Me travel seat and it has worked pretty well. It took me a few tries to install it correctly but now I think I can use it the right way. It has two pieces one for the shopping cart handle and one for the seat part. Once I strap the little guy in tight we are good to shop with only the occasional listing to the side.
The Secure-Me can also be used with those wooden restaurant high chairs and we have done so on several occasions with mixed results. No seat on Earth is going to be able to get a baby to sit still if he doesn’t want to. The third use for the Travel Seat, after he is a little bit bigger, is with a regular chair. So far one of the only problems I have encountered with the Travel Seat is what to do if I don’t find a parking space at the grocery store next to a shopping cart because it is a slightly difficult to hold him while installing the seat in the cart, but I am getting better with practice.
In keeping with this weeks car seat theme let me tell you about something I have been forced to add to our routine. I give you the drive thru. Now that LTD is no longer in the infant carrier I can no longer just run into a store, I need to figure out where to put the little guy. The solution to some of my mid-day snacking needs would seem obvious, the drive thru window. However, most the places I want to go don’t really offer that option. I am left with fast food, which is basically off limits for health reasons, but I will confess a secret enjoyment of Wendy’s. Also on the banned list is Starbucks, a place I didn’t used to have a problem with, but the second I had a baby, I vowed to never spend any money there in protest of a 4 dollar cup of hot chocolate*. I will also admit that I have visited the previously banned Dunkin’ Donuts as the price is more in keeping with LTD’s college fund balance actually growing. The bank’s drive up ATM is now something I partake of, even if I have to drive so close to the thing that I come close to clipping my side mirror every time. I guess there are drive thru dry cleaners but 99% of the time I don’t have anything that needs to be dry cleaned. Oh, who are we kidding, I never have anything that needs to be dry-cleaned. Especially, since I stopped wearing suits when I changed LTD’s diaper.
*Please note: Dunkin’s white hot chocolate is extremely disgusting.
I mean he’s only a baby, but heavy is heavy. Last week marked the end of LTD’s time in the infant carrier. He didn’t hit the weight or height limits, he did however hit the ‘daddy’s arm hurts’ limit. The Britax Convertible Car Seat in Onyx finally got its day in the sun after eight months in the closet. I dig the fact that it is really easy to now get the little guy in and out of the car. I don’t dig the fact that there is nowhere to put him now, as we get ready to leave or arrive. We used to strap him into the infant carrier and put on our jackets and grab our keys, but now we have to leave him on the play mat hoping he doesn’t wig out. Occasionally, we stand him up in the Kokopax and let him chill while we gather our things. Let’s not forget the juggling act that now occurs in holding him and trying to pick up the library books to return, my peach Snapple iced tea and the diaper bag.
And then there is the common phenomenon known as’ sleeping baby car seat syndrome’. Obviously, when we used the infant carrier we could leave him in the thing to sleep forever, but now it is a crapshoot whether or not he will wake up when we take him out. Who are we kidding he always wakes up. We also get that head slump that happens to sleeping babies in the car seat. The good news is that with some toys at the ready, he seems to enjoy the big boy seat and that is all that matters because the screams of a baby echo wicked bad inside a car.