I mean, of course I'm grateful that we have the technology to keep our children safe in our cars (aka speeding metal pods of doom). But if there's any technology that needs to be developed further to make it more convenient and less horrible, it's car seat technology. So, technology research guys/ladies, please stop researching ways to make it possible for people to check Twitter safely while driving and start looking into the car seat situation.
Everything was fine while we could still use the infant car seat. That thing was a dream. We didn't even have to take the baby out of it; she learned to sleep well in it, so we could just take her places and never have to wake her up. We could even put her down for naps in the thing and get her to sleep with just a little bit of rocking.
But I guess I should have known that the kid would grow way faster than I was ready for. Her little feet started sticking way out of the seat, which was pretty cute but I was always worried I'd break her toes against the side of the door. And the car seat got awfully heavy. It wasn't so easy to haul it into church or the grocery store anymore.
So finally my husband and I agreed that it was time to buy a convertible car seat.
Let me tell you something. Convertible car seats are absolute monsters. They are enormous. I mean, I guess the idea is that you don't have to get a new car seat every time the baby grows two inches, so that's good...but adults don't need seats that large. It hardly fits in our car. (To be fair, our car is just a little four-door sedan from the '90s. But still.)
When we put the baby in the car seat, she got swallowed up in it. She looked up at us with an expression that said, "Um, guys? You do realize I'm a baby human, right--not a baby Bigfoot?"
I just hope we don't have to drive anyone in the backseat of our car for the next two years, because I think the maximum amount of person we could fit next to the car seat would be a very thin 3rd-grade girl. (She might also be able to hold a pencil, but no guarantees.)
But even worse than the space issue is the sun problem. Our infant car seat had both a sun shade and a car seat canopy, two wonderful inventions that both promoted sleep and offered adequate sun protection. There's no such thing with the convertible car seat. You must--for the sake of safety--turn the car seat facing straight out the back window, exposing your child to the blinding sun in the late afternoon, and there's not much you can do to protect her little eyes. (Those sun shades you attach to the window are an absolute joke.)
No wonder half the people in America wear glasses! We're burning our children's little eyes out before they can even read!
Thankfully, my husband is an engineer, and he fashioned a makeshift sun shade for the baby using a blanket. (He also magically attached it so that the baby couldn't pull it down onto herself.) But heaven forbid I should ever have to drive her somewhere by herself. I guess I should start looking into baby sunglasses (but if I think she's not going to pull them off her face five seconds into the drive, I probably have another think coming).
If you've solved this mystery, please let me know. I'm just an innocent, naive new mom who is, once again, freaking out over a very trivial problem. You know how it goes.