How Many Degrees Does it Take to Install a Carseat??

September 14, 2007 at 4:35 am 1 comment

So, this question is near and dear to my heart:  how many degrees does it take to install a child’s car seat?  The reason I have such history with this question is simple.  Years ago, or shall I say eons ago, my oldest sister was entrusting her two younger sisters (me being one of them) to take her son on a field trip.  We picked him and his car seat up, and embarked on the “oh so fun task of installing an kids car seat” into one of our cars.  I will never forget the frustration.  The pulling, the pushing, and the sweating — simply trying to install a child’s car seat.  I remember swearing.  I remember laughing.  I also remember making up jokes, like “how can you tell an Aunt from a Mom?”  But one of the most humiliating, and humorous, moments was watching my nephew laugh at us.  He found the whole thing totally humorous!

I also remember my sister saying to me, “how is it that 2 Masters-degreed women cannot figure this out . . . I mean, how many degrees does it take to install one of these things?!?”  And so on, and so forth . . . until we gave in, rang the doorbell, and asked my oldest sister how to install it.  She did it in 2 seconds flat.  It was embarrassing, but it was also humorous.

So, that brings me to another memory, one when I had become a mother myself.  I was suddenly immersed into the “some assembly required” category.  Here are just a few of the things my husband and I had to put together:  the stroller, the crib (yes, we called my brother-in-law in a panic), the high chair, the exersaucer, the bouncy seat, the Baby Bjorn (this took weeks to master), and, one my husband and I will never forget — the pack n’ play!

When I was only a few weeks post partum, I decided that I wanted the pack n’ play set up in the living room for the baby.  My husband was at work.  I attempted to set it up, and immediately began stressing and sweating and swearing.  I simply could NOT figure the damn thing out!!!  So, I did what any post-partum-woman-on-the-edge would do — I called my husband at work and started yelling and crying and swearing and freaking out into the phone — all because I couldn’t figure out how to set up a stupid portable crib, that, let’s face it, I really didn’t need at that moment!  He tried to calm me down, but I continued to freak out.  I think I hung up and figured it out eventually, but I don’t exactly remember.  I just know that ever since then, I am very patient with people who struggle with pack n’ plays…

Today, however, I fall into a different category:  the experienced mom;  mom to 4 kids; mom who knows what’s going on;  mom who should have it all together by now.  Yeah, right.  Well,  here’s the skinny on how clueless I really am…

My 7 month old is too big for his infant carseat.  My 4 year old is too big for his 5 point harness car seat.  I had it all figured out.  I would pass the expensive and really safe Britax car seat from my 4 year old to my 7 month old, and then I would only have to buy a booster seat.  Not so expensive.  Sweet!  So, I bought a booster seat for under $100.  I took my 4 year old and my 7 month old out to the parking lot of Babies R’ Us to do the switcharoo, and I was feeling swell about it, too.  I had 45 minutes to “spare” before I had to pick up my 8 year old.

Uninstalling the fancy Britax and reinstalling it as a rear-facing seat for my baby was about a 10-15 minute endeavor.  But that was okay, seeing as booster seats are easy as pie.  I mean, there are no latch systems, no balance issues, no tethering, etc.   They simply “sit” on the seat.  And I had at least 30 minutes to do it.  So, I unpack the car seat.  I attach the head rest to the back rest.  Then, I go to connect them to the base . . . no can do.  I try at least 25 different ways, angles, etc.  I’m pushing, I’m pulling, I’m yelling at my 4 year old to stay near the car and not run into the parking lot.  My 7 month old, safely secured in his new hand-me-down, rear-facing Britax seat, is screaming his head off.  (He’s hungry by now…)  I read the instruction manual (while baby is crying), but it makes it sound so simple.  I’m starting to sweat . . . and swear.  People are looking at me.  But, I might add, no one is offering to help me.

Being the smart woman that I am, I whip out my cell phone thinking, “I’ll just call Babies R’ Us and ask them to send someone out to the parking lot to help me.”  Well, I called 6 times, all to no avail.  I kept getting that computer answering service . . . You know, the one where you have to listen to the menu, push five million buttons, and still not get a human on the phone (another subject for blogging).  By now, I’m yelling into the phone (at the computerized answering system) and sweating and swearing!   I finally hit my limit of ridiculousness and panic.  I pack the kids into car, drive up to the entrance of Babies R’ Us, double park right in front of the doors, leave my kids in the car, and march in.  I interrupt the woman at the customer service desk and tell her that I need help.  (I’m not rude, but I’m well aware of the fact that I appear like a freak…)  She calls for help.  No one comes.  I’m shaking with anxiety.  I see an employee and say, “can you please help me?”  in a freakish kind of way.

So, the dude follows me to my car, listens to me rant about the carseat, picks it up and puts it together in 2 seconds flat.  Done.  I’m an idiot.  But, at least I’m a humble idiot.  I sing his praises and thank him profusely and apologize for being a freak.  At this point, I suddenly calm down and become aware of the people that are staring at me.  I don’t know if they feel sorry for me or are simply judging me . . . but, in the grand scheme of life, who really cares what a bunch of strangers at the local Babies R’ Us think of me?!

I mean, seriously, folks, how many degrees does it take to install a car seat?????? 


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. thediaperdiaries  |  September 19, 2007 at 3:55 am

    Man, I really wish I could have seen that.


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