Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sometimes It's Just Overwhelming

I don't know why, but some days I can handle it and others not so much. Today was a 'not so much' day.

Being a mother comes with its fair share of chaos, stress, and responsibility, and most days I'm okay. However, today was the day we decided to tackle the tasks of purchasing both a new car seat and babyproofing paraphernalia. We decided to do the one-stop shop at *shudder* Babies R Us. I used to enjoy shopping at Babies R Us. While pregnant, it was fun to wander the aisles anticipating the arrival of Linus and all the fun stuff he would need. I see these soon-to-be moms in the store. The ones in a fog of pregnancy. I try not to ruin it for them by letting them know that they'll soon dread this store.

Babies R Us has become for me what Lowes is for Adrian. The place where I am forced to spend my weekends staring at shelves upon shelves of decisions. Decisions I feel ill-equipped to make (even when I have completed hours of research).

As an example, take the car seat purchase. I had read my Consumer Reports findings, NHTSA Ease of Use ratings, and even parent reviews. I was ready. I was purchasing the Evenflo Triumph car seat. Safety-wise, it was on par with the more expensive Britax and only slightly harder to install. We knew that with our tiny car, we needed to make sure it would fit before purchasing so we were going to do a test run at Babies R Us.

It sounds like I knew what I was doing. I felt ready. Imagine my surprise when Babies R Us has not one, but three Evenflo Triumph seats. Each one priced differently; one for $139.99, one for $159.99, and one for $179.99 - what? My husband, when asked what the difference might be, responds with "One is the dead baby, one is the ICU baby, and one is the live baby". Thanks, hun. That's helpful.

After scanning the labels, poking the padding, and prodding the internal workings, I could only figure that the price difference was in the fabric choice. The $179.99 seat had a quilted covering, the $159.99 seat was a pretty aqua stripe, and el cheapo was black and tan.

Moving on, we grab one seat, trade in a driver's license, and head out to the car to see if this monstrosity will fit in our little Saturn Ion coupe.

Here we go...

Unload current infant seat. Toss infant seat to other side of car. Push front seat all the way forward. Begin to break a sweat (Adrian, not me). Wrestle with latch system. Curse a few times (again, Adrian, not me). Wrestle with latch system some more. Climb inside of car. Bump head. Invent some new curses (Adrian). Offer under-appreciated, unsolicited advice (me, this time). Begin to break a sweat (yep, me). Manage to force seat into position. Realize that seat has to recline in rear-facing position and that it can't be adjusted while strapped in. Unstrap seat and begin again. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum. What fun!

Finally after a lot of sweating, we manage to get the seat installed. Now, test run putting baby in. Everything is going well until we realize the child straps have tangled into a mess in the internal workings of the seat. Previous customers testing the display model have managed to construct this Gordian knot. We manage to untangle and strap a now frustrated Linus in just long enough to see that it will work.

We return to the store sopping wet with sweat, where the clerk helpfully chirps, "You sure were gone a long time." We debate whether to try out a Britax. Exhausted and frustrated, I can't remember which of the 10+ Britax seats Consumer Reports rated best. Weary of the prior trial, we postpone car seat buying and venture over to babyproofing. (I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, there was an entire aisle devoted to baby gates...only baby gates!)

Collecting some of the necessary (?) implements to transform our house from death trap to baby safe haven, baffling to non-enigmatologists. We head to checkout. Realizing we forgot a tub liner, we dash to the back, and return with...a car seat.

I guess, we just finally threw in the towel. We needed the car seat and dwelling on it for another week was not going to change anything. We grabbed the Triumph and left the store.

Aside from the little breakdown I had on the way home, everyone seems to have come out okay...

Now I know why there is a holiday devoted to mothers (and one to fathers as well). Happy Mother's Day to all those struggling with indecision, chaos, and car seats.


Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh gosh. I HEAR YOU! And Happy Mother's Day!


Anonymous said...

and one day he will want to be in the drivers seat not a car seat!

Chelsea + Jonathan said...

Happy Mother's Day, Abby!

It's okay to have days like those. I hope today is great for you!

Nichols Family said...


Welcome to Motherhood, right? I know what you mean about feeling in a pregnant fog and not wanting to spoil it for any other new moms-to-be...they'll figure it out soon enough! We all know the obstacles are worth the rewards, but so trying in the process. Happy Mother's Day beautiful woman, I admire the kind of mother you are!! Thank you for your kind words to me, I feel the same about you.

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