Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Riding in Cars with Babies
Apparently, I have been dragging my son around in the car seat of death for the last several months. This was not done on purpose. Up until this past Sunday we were still using our infant car seat for our eleven month old. I didn't realize that this was a problem, as I assumed that his status as a lightweight meant that he could continue to ride in his little molded plastic shell for a couple more months, but I received a rude awakening when I casually mentioned to my Mommy and Me Teacher that I was still using the infant seat and she gave me a look of such utter and complete horror that I felt like the worst mother in the world. It turns out that even if your kid doesn't reach the weight limit for the infant seat, you're supposed to move him into the convertible car seat once he reaches a certain height. My beanpole son has probably exceeded the height requirement for the last three to four months, but I had no idea. Hey, it's not like I had time to actually read the manual or something, as that would entail having more than three minutes to myself.
Once your kid's legs are long enough to stick out the bottom of the seat, you're supposed to trade up. I've been driving around Los Angeles, completely oblivious to the fact that a small fender-bender could've shattered the Muffin Man's legs and pelvis. That's right, my friends, my inability to find the time to read the car seat manual could've resulted in certain injury or death for my son. Hey, I may be an overly-permissive, lackadaisical parent, but it has never been my intention to cause harm to my son. Ten minutes of internet research about the possible damage that can be caused by using a too-small car seat resulted in several nights of anxiety-related insomnia, a call to my therapist to discuss at length my resultant feelings about being a terrible Mother, and a $45.00 shipping charge to get the new car seat delivered the following day.
I'm happy to report that Noah's new car seat is properly installed and taking up more than half of my backseat. His feet are not sticking out of the bottom, it's seems much more cushy than his infant seat, and it's black, as opposed to rainbow colored, which is more my aesthetic. He seems very content riding in the new seat, as is evidenced by the amount of crumbs and torn paper that have already taken up residence in the seams of the seat. I'm just happy that I am no longer risking his life and limb every time I take him to his "Torah for Toddlers" class, and that my therapist has been willing to see me an extra time this week to discuss my lingering guilt.