The Dreaded Car Seat

Not every time, but quite often, when I am trying to fasten my daughter into her car seat, a battle ensues.

She arches her back before I can get the buckles fastened and slips right out. I put her in it again, and as soon as her fanny hits the seat, she's arches again.

On Saturday, I had this brilliant idea to take her to the park then out for dinner. She got in the seat just fine when we left the house. Getting back in after playing in the park, though, was tough. She arched and cried, and I grew more and more frustrated. I don't want to hurt her by forcing her into the seat, so I try reasoning with her.

"We can't go anywhere unless you get in the seat," I say. "Don't you want to go get some food?"

She nods yes. I try again, and yet again, she cries and arches her back. I give up on reasoning and just give her something shiny -- my car keys. She settles down, and I get her strapped in. Then, I take my keys back, and she fusses something terrible.

I start the car and we leave for Subway, and the whole time I'm driving there, I debate whether we should go somewhere else. I like that Subway has healthful options, but because Subway doesn't have a drive through, it means getting her back out of the seat.

Ultimately, I make peace with the inevitable battle to get her back into the car seat, and head to Subway for sandwiches. Afterward, as we're getting back into the car, I immediately offer my keys, but she's on to me. She knows that once I get her into the seat, I'll take the keys away again, so this time, it doesn't work.

I try several times to get her back into the seat, each time with her arching her back so that I can't buckle the straps. On about the sixth try, she's gives up and lets me latch her in.

As we drive away, I think about the years ahead, that she's supposed to be in some sort of car seat until she's about 12 years old. I don't know that I can take 11 more years of wrestling her into her seat. Hopefully, that reasoning thing will start really soon.

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