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seatbelts, carseats, chaos . . . peace at last

Posted Oct 30 2008 6:19pm

Managing two kids in and out of carseats for the last two years has been one of those tough but necessary activities. Multiply that by the back and forth in the car several times a day and you have instant headaches.

But my day has finally come. I never thought I’d get to the point where my kids could open the car door themselves, climb in to the carseats, and strap themselves in. We did it today

Flashback on the past 2 years:
The early days . . . Anna was in her infant seat crying most of the time. Alex used to cry because Anna was crying. I would put Alex in the car, back it out of the garage, then run in the house to get Anna’s bucket seat (since the garage was too small for loading everyone in together.) Reverse on the way back in.

As Anna got older but still faced the back, she would cry since she couldn’t see me. Alex would get irritated that she was crying and then throw things at her. That would piss her off more. I would still always load Alex in first on the way in and last on the way out since she sat nice and neat (not quiet) in her infant seat.

The day that Anna moved up to the big girl carseat, I had a meltdown. I would load her in first to make sure she was secure while Alex spring boarded off of my nice leather Volvo seats. At this point she was about 9 months and he was 2 years old. Neither one had a concept of traffic so as long as we were going from stroller to car or car to stroller we were doing OK. Sometimes, poor Anna was halfway strapped in, hanging out of the car while I sprinted to get him as he wandered to the end of the driveway. This was when we stopped running errands together as a threesome.

When Anna’s car seat turned around and they both could read books, getting in was a lot easier. Alex, by then, could climb in himself and spent a good deal of time trying to get the buckle fastened. This gave me time to get her in without the fear that he might make a run for it. The trips themselves were bad as they fought over books and toys in the back of the car. Sometimes shoes would fly past by face into the windshield if I ignored their pleas for books on the floor.

About the time Alex turned 3, he was able to fully get into the car and fasten the belt himself so I only had Anna to contend with. She fought and pleaded, arched her back and did everything in her power to make sure she didn’t have to seat in the carseat. I fought back with a vengeance and made her sit! But, I only had the one now to deal with.

Most recently, the game had become musical car seats. Both kids would climb in and switch carseats, switch again and then switch again. Once we started backing out, they would cry that they wanted to be in the other seat. This game got old quickly and I finally just told them that Alex was too big to ride in Anna’s seat. That seemed to fix the problem.

>Yesterday was the milestone. Both my kids went to their side of the car, opened the door, climbed in, shut the door, got in their carseats and buckled themselves in before I even managed to get all my gear in the door.

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