Saturday, November 21, 2009

Car Seats: Made By Graco...Engineered By Satan

Thursday night, after a colossal parenting misstep on my part, Elyse dumped half an Icee in her lap on the way home from Wal Mart. When I bought the Icee, I knew that it was a mistake, but Aaron was getting one and I couldn't deny my sweet baby girl of the frosty-blue goodness. I knew that a decision so reckless would come back to bite me in the buttocks and boy did it ever.

Once we got home and I got her out of the car seat, I began to access the damage. At first glance it didn't seem too terrible. I've seen worse messes. But after closer inspection, once I got the car seat out of the van, I realized that “this was no boating accident.” It was a full-on shark attack of the seat fabric and the protective padding underneath. Of course, that is after I struggled to undo the LATCH system that, while it keeps my precious cargo safe and secure in her seat, is an absolute nightmare to remove. Not just a regular I'm running from Bill Clinton, and my legs are made of Jell-O, and we're going up a flight of stairs kind of nightmare, but more like the epic if I could just find Bill Clinton and slay him with the bronze dagger, I could finally go back to my tribe where I will be queen of the cookie people and will live happily ever after in the castle made of fudge nightmare.

So I got the thing out of the car and into the house and found that all of the crumbs that had gathered under the padding mixed with the Icee and created a gelatinous paste. There was no doubt that the entire thing; padding, belts, buckles, everything, had to be removed from the car seat and thrown into the wash. Not exactly number one on my list of things that I really, really wanted to do at 7ish PM, but if I had let that crap sit until morning, not even Bill Mays' most powerful infomercial miracle would undo the evil that was the Icee/crumb mush.

Now, taking a car seat apart is a walk in the part compared to the "when was your last rectal exam" horror that is attempting to put it all back together again. In order to get it all right the first time you need a PhD. in Rocket Science and a strong background in Engineering. Since I have neither, and a Houdini I am not, I didn't put it together right the first time...A blunder that I only realized AFTER the car seat was back together and re-LATCHed into the van, AND I was trying to strap Elyse into it on our way to a meeting at church.

I kept trying to put the buckle together but the thing would NOT click. My first thought was that some of the Icee had gotten into the buckle, got all sticky, and wouldn't allow it to go together right. Then, after I somehow managed to remove just the buckle, ran it under hot water, and then put it back in the seat, I realized that son of a BLEEP I put the pieces that go into the buckle in backwards. Yeah, backwards. The only way to fix it was see where this is going right...remove the whole car seat, take it all apart again, and try one more time.

Finally, after some screaming from Elyse, threatening Aaron with canceling Christmas, and quite a few tears from all of us, I got the seat put back in the van the right way and we got on the road. That will teach me to buy an Icee.


Leslie said...

Car seats are such a bitch to clean. Lucy's needs a good clean up. She had an ice cream cone the other day. I did a quick cosmetic clean up, but I didn't take it apart. I'm sort of afraid to.

Amy said...

You should be afraid. Be very, very afraid.