Friday, August 04, 2006


I realize now that I have a near-pathological fear of car accidents. This is understandable, considering I have been in three of them in my life, two where I was driving, neither of which were of my own doing. Two of them were while I was pregnant. Trust me, if I could live in a city where I never had to step foot in a car again, I would be perfectly happy.

That said, it might then be better received when I announce the latest manifestation of my sickness: Buying Car Seats We Cannot Afford. Not just any ole car seats, either. We (or as my husband would rather) I have gone and bought two seats from Britax. Our six-month-old O, and our two-year-old Bean are set for the safest car seat this side of the Atlantic.

Then I began to do more research. I learned that in Sweden, children are not only in rear-facing seats until age two by law, many stay until age three or even five. Yikes! This is the country that brought us Volvos and Saabs, and it has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the world. I knew I was onto something....and unfortunately that it wasn't going to come cheap.

Let me put that another already HADN'T come cheap, since I just spent hundreds of dollars on the two above-mentioned seats. We bought the Regent and the Decathalon models, and they arrived promptly. I then dutifully read the manuals and installed both of them in a process that took over two hours, ending in me standing triumphant, sunburned, with pools of sweat at my feet (literally---it is still quite humid here). Why did it take so long? I had to configure the seats over and over again until they were in the safest possible position in the car...with five kids to seat, it is surprising that I am not still out there.

Ready for the kicker? After reading all that talk about rear-facing for kids who are older toddlers, I then went and did again. On the credit card. The Interest Rates! The payments! Egads!

A few days from now, we will be the proud owners of a third car seat, one that can be set rear-facing for our two-year-old. Four-year-old Dream will move into the harnessed booster, and O will stay where she is.

I just need to figure out how to sensibily defend this to my dear husband, who is sleeping upstairs, blissfully unaware that I just put us in the hole another $200, all in the name of Safety.

I suppose I can rationalize it by telling him it is cheaper than moving to Sweden.


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