Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Baby's "Big-Girl" Car Seat

Although my only child is an infant, I feel like I have a small window into the world of parents sending their kids off to their first day of school. They dab at their eyes with tissues, give tearful hugs, then burst into tears as they (or the school bus) drive(s) away. They exclaim, “It’s too soon!” What gave me this insight? Today, my daughter will be riding in a convertible car seat for the first time.

I can’t believe she already outgrew her infant car seat. It seems like only yesterday that we were putting her in the car seat for the first time, taking her home from the hospital. She used to look so tiny in it.

Part of the reason I don’t feel ready is because I thought she’d be in it a lot longer. I wasn’t expecting her to outgrow it before she was 6 months old.

I know I’m being silly, and that a car seat is just a thing. It doesn’t really matter what she rides in, as long as she’s safe. I don’t care, though. I want her to always ride in that little infant car seat. She’s getting too big!

Our local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office has an awesome program where they give families free car seats as soon as they need them. Since our daughter is approaching the weight limits of her infant car seat, they made an appointment to set us up with a new one. I thought it would just be a matter of me picking it up and bringing it home. I figured I could spend a few days “getting to know” the new car seat before actually installing it into our car.

I was wrong. I spoke with the lady from WIC today, and she cheerfully informed me that they help me take out our old infant car seat, properly install the new car seat, and that my daughter gets to ride home in it today. Isn’t that wonderful?

No, it’s not wonderful. Yes, it’s wonderful that they are so generous and helpful. Yes, it’s wonderful that the car seat will be installed properly. I just don’t feel ready for it yet.

At this rate, somebody be better to sedate me on the first day of kindergarten. College? Don’t even talk about it!

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