Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Tale of the Over-Achieving Carseat

Luckily for me, the University has an 0n-campus car-seat inspection/installation center that is open twice a week, ever week. It is run by the Campus Police - and is open to all Middlesex County residents and University employees/affiliates. I am sure they take others outside of these parameters too. It's great to have - I can stop over lunch and have Chris' seat inspected.

I have a 2004 Subaru Forester - my car-like SUV that has been great for hauling stuff around without being so huge, I can't drive it. I used to have Chris' car seat behind the driver's seat - easy access for me to him, and easier to get him in and out of the car. But, I had Chris' carseat re-installed in the center position over the winter because 1) I thought he would like the view better and 2) quite frankly, it is the safest position in the car. However, the change was not well received by Chris - actually, he rather dislikes it. And, it has become quite the challenge when trying to haul things like plants from the nursery, supplies from Lowes, etc. Hubby takes the seat out, "re-installs" it himself (and I use that term loosely), then Chris is riding unsafely. So, to make our lives easier, I had to take Chris' car seat over again today to have re-installed.

Our carseat is an over-achiever - it is the Britax Regent 5-point restraint carseat the holds up to 80 pounds. Since Chris is 47 pounds now at 3 years old - and was rather big at 2 years old when we bought the seat - we figured a carseat with a longer time with the 5-point restraint would be the best. We spent the $350+ dollars for this seat - and it is a champ:

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The only downside to this seat is that, when I go over to the carseat inspection station, the techs go running! Literally.

The main tech, who has installed Chris' old seat and this one several times always kids me when I get there. He asks me if I am trying to force him into taking heavy anxiety meds. Unfortunately, he was not there today, so I got to harass techs I have never seen before with the carseat.


I arrived at the installation center around 3 pm - left around 3:45 pm. I didn't have to wait in line or anything - it just took them that long to install it.

Poor guys.

It took two techs - one of which is a University police officer and head carseat installation instructor for the center - to finally install it correctly. One of them was sitting in the seat in order to put enough pressure on it to lock in place. They certainly worked up a sweat - but were very gracious about the struggle to get my carseat over-achiever installed so there was no wiggle or looseness.

I told them that they probably won't see me until I need another seat installed - and I don't mean Chris'. Wishful thinking, no?

I am not sure how long Chris will really need this seat - he's 3 years old, 47 pounds and 40 inches tall. I am sure he would be okay to be in a standard booster seat. But, ya know, he is all I have right now - and, maybe it is over-protective of me, but I want him in that seat. I know he is not going to pull the belt off him while driving, he will stay put (God forbid) if there was a crash. The seat goes up to 80 pounds - I am sure he will be too tall for it before he reaches that weight.

But, I just have a better peace of mind with him in that seat.

What the hell am I going to do when he's about to drive on his own???


ultimatejourney said...

LOL, poor installation guys.

I don't have any kids yet, but I wonder about the long-term effects IF will have on me, such as being even more worried about my kids than I otherwise would be.

I'm glad he's still at an age where you can keep him safe.

Rachel said...

My mom gave me 2 car seats. One is brand new and the other she used for her daycare kids. I am going to get them inspected next week. It is a way early, but this is when they will be at my work. Maybe we can learn to install it properly ourselves before the little one arrives.