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01/06/2010

From Car Seat to Booster Seat

Carseat Silly. Just silly. That is what I told myself as I stood in the bathroom and cried for ten minutes. The last of the toilet paper was used up from blowing my nose and wiping tears off my face all over a car seat. My husband called from Babies R Us where he and our daughter picked out her new upgrade - a booster. He put my daughter on the phone and she excitedly exclaimed that the seat had cup holders and pink flowers. My immediate thoughts were: “It doesn’t even latch into the car! She is held there by just the seatbelt!” Her old convertable seat was getting small and the belts barely buckled when she wore a coat, but I didn’t want an upgrade. That upgrade meant my daughter was growing up, and I was not emotionally ready to deal with it.

When I first saw the booster seat I pretended buckling it was too hard. Hiking up my coat, leaning over, fighting with the belt, and sighing loudly were all for dramatic purposes. Perhaps if I wrestled with the belt for five more minutes my husband would say we could put the old seat back in. The old seat that held our baby girl for over three years safely in the car, the old seat I loved washing and caring for because it cared for our baby. He could tell my dramatic display was because I was having a hard time accepting the booster, a symbol of change and letting go.

That old seat held one of my fondest memories getting ready for baby: car seat installation.  The fire station offered times for installation help, and the sweetest girl taught me how to get the seat in and out of the car. She patiently answered all of the neurotic questions and helped with the decision of where it should go, behind the driver or passenger. Yes, I was nine months pregnant and feeling it, but something about actually putting the seat in the car made the arrival of baby seem more concrete.

Now my daughter is three and half and I wonder where the time has gone. My mom told me to enjoy each day with my children because they grow up quickly. So cliché, but now I understand it. And, truly, I have found myself using that cliché and meaning it with all of my heart. My daughter is still so young and I am already feeling nostalgic for her tiny baby days. I have a feeling that ages 5, 13, 16, and 18 are going to be brutal.

Motherhood, even though I am still fairly new at it, has taught me many lessons: lessons that can only be learned by experience. One of the most pronounced for me is that I need to be okay with change. Change happens rapidly in my house living with a three and a one year old. Little milestones are reached each day. I need to be okay with those changes and with letting go - letting my kids grow up without a mom using all the toilet paper on tears. Maybe with the boy I’ll smile instead of cry when he gets his upgrade.

This an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

If you would like to read more from Kristin, please note her alter ego: cBus Mom. She can be found on twitter or check out her cBus Mom blog.

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