GRANDKIDS IN CAR SEATS – Living Retired #149
Who is the wise guy who made children’s car seats mandatory?
Baby boomers didn’t have car seats growing up– and we survived. There were no seat belts; no special harnesses. Parents just put the kids in the back seat of the car, lit a cigarette, and drove off.
Now don’t get me wrong. I understand car seats keep children safe and secure– while their parents drive above the speed limit and text LOL on their cell phone.
Jan and I aren’t ‘Car Seat Certified’ so when we visit our two granddaughters we don’t take them out in the car.
Instead, we spend the first half of the day laying on the floor reading Dora The Explorer books. Then we spend the other half of the day trying to get up off the floor. Exhausted, we come home and go to bed at 6:30!
Figuring out how to get your grandchildren into their car seats is like trying to use your television remote to record The Fireplace Channel– it’s impossible!!
The first step in placing your grandchildren into their car seats is to understand that each car seat is designed to fit a specific child. There are rear-facing car seats– known as RFCS, front-facing car seats– called FFCS, and booster seats– BS. Enough said.
Whether your grandchild goes in the rear-facing car seat, the front-facing car seat, or the booster car seat depends on their height and weight. To avoid confusion among grandparents– who just want to take their grandkids for a ride– the car seat manufacturers suggest you refer to a ‘fit chart.’ Allow 3 hours. And one splitting headache.
Wait. Did anyone think of simply asking your grandchildren which seat they sit in when their parents take them on a car ride to fall asleep?
Lifting your grandchildren into their car seats is a two person job. Your wife’s role is to say, “Dear, please don’t use those words around our grandchildren.” She also calls 9-1-1 when when you smack your head on the garage floor after your grandchild kicks you in your groin.
Once you successfully lift your grandchildren into their appropriate car seat– and had a ‘timeout’ with gummy bears and a juice box– the time has come to figure out how the damn three-pronged buckle works. Allow one hour. And an intervention by your wife!
Next it’s time to pull a series of convoluted over-the-shoulder harness straps together and tighten the overall harness. Allow one hour and an argument with your grandchildren who by this time have to go to the bathroom.
Some grandparents make the mistake of installing car seats in their own car. WHOA!
There is a Universal Anchorage System (UAS), the Seat Belt Only (SBO) and the Seat Belt + Locking Clip (SB+LC) installation systems. Allow 3 hours. And an argument with your wife, who can be counted on saying, “Go into the house while I figure this out!”
I’ve got an idea for a book that needs to be written for grandparents. It’s sure to be on The New York Times Best Seller List…
‘Car Seats For Dummies: A Step-By-Step Guide To Instruct Old People How To Put Young People Into Car Seats. Written in large font.’