Posts Tagged ‘car seats’


We finally found our way home yesterday after a wonderful vacation to Corolla, NC in the Outer Banks.   This was our fourth annual trip with my mother in law and brother-in-law (who I am lucky enough to love) and I think they get better every time (the trips, I mean, not the in-laws).


We had nearly perfect weather including one cloudy day in the middle of the week, which fell at the ideal time for all of us as it forced us out of the sun and into the local shops, onto the go-karts and mini-golf course, out to lunch and onto the docks of the Currituck Sound for some blue-crabbing (a favorite annual activity).

So, you might remember that we made the decision (read:  HUSBAND made the decision and I complained about and dreaded it for months) to wake up in CT at 3:00 am and drive the 9+ hours to North Carolina rather than fly this year.  I mean, I really dreaded it.  I dreaded it like I dread a dentist appointment or a pap smear.  Maybe more than I dread either.  Maybe more than I would dread both.  At the same time.

Last night, Husband asked me if I had a blog all cooked up about the trip and I said (truthfully) that I really didn’t.  My photos are already posted on FB, my brain is mush and I wasn’t feeling particularly creative.  His response was that today would probably be an appropriate time to confess to the cyber world that I was wrong and he was right.  Because I had absolutely no faith that the children in the car (including two that are always children and four that only sometimes act like they are) would behave themselves.  I would have bet my TiVo on the fact that there would be much crying, complaining and carrying on.   9+ hours of crying, complaining and carrying on.  Good times, good times.

Ready?  Here it is.

I was wrong.

The children (all six of us) were very well-behaved.  Sleeping much of the trip, playing games (I packed a large bag of surprises), singing and snacking.  It was all a very, very pleasant surprise for me.  Husband was a patient, non-aggressive, accommodating driver.  Mother-in-law was her usual helpful, generous, sweet self — propping pillows for Little Brother, distributing snacks and frequently rescuing wayward toys dropped from his reach in the car seat.  Brother in law (stuck in the way back with Big Brother) was quietly snoozing when not plugged-in with movies on his iPhone — deftly handling a very chit-chatty (“Can I play with your phone?…Can I play with your phone?…Can I play with your phone?”) Big Brother for nearly 20 total car hours all in.  I was a proud Mommy.   We will certainly save the $$ and drive again next year.  And probably forever after that.

It’s such a great vacation spot.  Unspoiled but accessible.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in straying from the usual Massachusetts go-to spots like Cape Cod, Nantucket or Democratic Presidents Vacationland otherwise known as MV.   Check out http://www.twiddy.com for rental houses.   (And no, sadly, they aren’t giving me a deal for recommending them.)

Only 356 days until we head back.  I can’t wait.

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Bob Dylan had it right about the times, man.  Those of you not directly involved in parenting young children in the 2010 era might be surprised to learn a few things.  For instance, did you know:

1) No more prizes in cereal boxes.  Oh, the injustice!  Prizes in cereal boxes were such a fabulous manufacturer idea.  My mother could talk me right into Oat Granola Barley Bits if it meant I was going to get a pink plastic sparkle ring when I reached the bottom.   Turns out the prizes choked a few small children and, poof, they were gone!  Unfair, I say.  How is one to talk a five-year old into grabbing some Raisin Bran™ when things like Eggo Waffle Crisp™ beckon them from the shelves with smiling yellow bears and images of warm syrup on the box front?   No self-respecting child will be lured in by a metal scoop with overflowing raisins.   Where’s the Silly Putty™ egg in the box?!

2) Speaking of Silly Putty.  I generally hate Silly Putty.  It’s along the same lines as Play-doh™ as far as its messiness to pleasure ratio.   The scales tip too far in the wrong direction.  Know what it’s made of?  Silicone and (originally) particles of boric acid.  They’re like little toxic balls of breasts — “Silly Slutty” (couldn’t resist).  Anyway, what do you recall as the coolest thing about Silly Putty?  The image lifting, right?  The fact that you could press it against a comic strip and then bend and pull the putty, morphing Snoopy into a wiener dog before your very eyes.  Well, since the invention of that pesky printing press you can’t do that anymore.  For some reason, according to the Silly Putty website, the Wall Street Journal still works, though.  Which is weird.

3) Tivo / DVR.  So, elder generation parents, do you know that we parents in the technology driven world of 2010 can record television shows without a Betamax (remember the Betamax)?  Without a VCR?  Without those clunky tapes?  Yup, we can.  Right there in our tv.  What this means, however, is that, once recorded, our children’s shows can be on at any time of day.  And they are wise to this.  If Big Brother can pad out of his room at 7 am and turn on Wow, Wow, Wubbzy so that Mom can catch another 15 minutes of sleep before Little Brother rises, you can bet he knows Wubbzy’s in there later in the day.   Remember the days of “Sorry, your shows aren’t on right now.  Mom and Dad are watching the news”?   Gone.   They’re onto us.  Live by the TiVo, die by the TiVo.

4) Car seats are a total pain in the a** now.  I really think it’s possible  that if my parents used a car seat at all they stopped using it once I was old enough to sit up unassisted.  (I’d like some clarification on this, Mom)   Today, you can regularly see kids walking over to their car, swinging opening the door of a gigantic Suburban and extending long, strong legs and arms to deftly climb aboard.  Then they climb into a booster seat and strap themselves in.  The law in Massachusetts states they need to be in a special seat until they reach 8 years of age.  In New Jersey they have to be eight and eighty-pounds which just seems crazy.  As the mother of a bean pole, I can tell you that if we lived in New Jersey (which we will not.  ever.) Big Brother might well be enjoying a roadie in his booster seat before he tops 80 lbs.  I wonder if my mother’s right arm shooting out from the driver’s seat over my chest in the passenger seat at any sign of trouble would have qualified as a make-shift seatbelt?  She still does this, by the way.

Revised pregnancy rules would be a chapter in itself.   We were expected to abstain from smoking, drinking alcohol or eating pretty much anything that actually tastes good while we were pregnant.   What a total buzz kill (kidding, of course).  But, still I’m pretty sure my Mom’s water broke over a vodka tonic and a couple of oysters.   And look how awesome I turned out.

Heh heh heh.

Video is a little loud, fyi…

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