April 27, 2009
We upgraded Noah to a "big kid" booster seat this weekend. It did not go well. It is not going well. I'm not surprised -- honestly, the last time I bought him new SOCKS did not go particularly well either -- but there was no getting around it. Had to be done. Ezra's toes are hanging over the edge of his infant seat and I've been willfully ignoring that fact for a couple weeks and will continue to do for a little while longer, since I need Noah to finally accept the New Seat before the Old Seat reappears with the New Baby in it, lest the Old Baby decide to...to...I don't know. Throw things at him. Whine a lot. Something terrible, I'm sure.
I wasn't prepared to see Noah sitting there in a booster seat (EDITED TO POINTEDLY ADD: it's a hybrid booster seat model for kids 30 pounds and up, with the back and headrest that you later remove once they're old enough), looking both incredibly grown-up and yet dwarfed by the rest of the backseat, using the regular seatbelt like a regular person. What's this? Where's rest of the harness? Where are all the extra clips and buckles and assorted things that never snap into place when it's raining? I was also rather alarmed by the neck-strangling placement of the shoulder strap, but it later turned out that was only because he was slouching, and the installation instructions clearly state "Do not allow your child to slouch." Which: Okay, and how do you propose I do that, Mr. Installation Instructions? Make him ride with a book on his head? Poke him with a big ol' pokin' stick every now and then? Would it have killed you wire a mild electric shock into the seat?
A lot of our new sibling "issues" with Noah have more or less came down to the fact that he does not WANT to be a "big kid." Telling him that oh, that carseat is for BABIES and this seat is for BIG KIDS and that's a BABY swing and BABIES poop in their diapers and BABIES can't eat pizza and BIG KIDS don't lose their shit over NEW FUCKING SOCKS basically just cements his belief that being a big kid is highly overrated. He does not like the new and different, he likes the old and familar, an infuriating blend of stubborn toddler and cranky old man.
So he hates the new seat and does not give a fuck that it has cupholders (PLURAL CUPHOLDERS! don't sippy cup and drive, kids!) and some patented seat design that allows cool air to flow under his butt and when I call it a big kid seat he corrects me and says no, it's a BABY SEAT. And then I say fine, it's baby seat and suddenly everything is more or less okay for the rest of the car ride.
You would think by now, after having this exact same conversation with him 7,953,005 times since Ezra's birth that I would stop with the big kid hard sell. I don't know where it comes from, this default form of canned-answer parenting that does not suit my child in the slightest, but I've yet to figure out how to coax him through these boring -- yet traumatic and YOOOGE -- rites of passage without at least trying to convince him that growing up is awesome and fun and yay!
Of course, it really isn't. Growing up is hard and it sucks and then suddenly you're the grown-up. Which is hard and it sucks. Hmm, it's like he's already figured precisely how full of shit I am.