Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Car Seat

My daughter can't give birth quite yet. Sadly, we haven't figured out how to properly install the car seat.

You can't tell me it is simple. Not when it is apparently common knowledge that one of the duties of the fire department is to rescue those in grave distress from failing to perform this seemingly most mundane of tasks.

I am a useless excuse for a person so when my son in law Brett and I set out last weekend to the location where the car is garaged, I knew my contribution to this endeavor would be limited to providing less than meaningless moral support.

We are in the midst of another in the seemingly endless heat and humidity waves of this summer. The car is housed on the fifth floor of the garage and so the walk up the stairs consumed most of our collective energy. There was nothing but lifeless,virtually suffocating air greeting our arrival.

Brett was clearly convinced this job was but a moment's undertaking. Apparently, in the store where the offending piece was purchased, there was a demonstration of the ease of installation. It provided him a false sense of hope.

You see, the car seat is actually cradled in another smaller apparatus. It is this one which is intended to latch into some metal bars, I think, hidden somewhere deep within the back seat of their automobile..

After several minutes of intense scrutiny, the approximate area where the surgery was to be performed was located. But the bars were not in their ordained position, or at least not readily within touch.

The temperature in this sauna seemed to increase with each uncomfortable moment. The hidden prize still proving most elusive. Though Brett remained ever calm after a very extended period of exertion, it was evident there was a rapidly fading possibility of success before we both passed out. "Two men found dead on top floor of garage. Car seat to blame. No foul play suspected."

I knew I had an ace up my sleeve while this debacle was unfolding. I now pulled it out in the hopes of saving both our lives. "Let's call Joanne." 

You see my wife can figure out any  problem of this nature. Have three truckloads of furniture to move. She can fit in all in a hatchback. Can't get your key to work in the door. Step aside, and then step inside.

Thankfully, Brett agreed this was not a task suited for mere mortals and so his attempted ascent of Everest concluded. We arranged to drive the car from the garage and meet outside Brett and Alex's apartment building. And let the maestro perform her magic.

Only that didn't happen. It was, to me, as if Houdini was unable to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or Pavarotti couldn't hit a high note. My wife, who never met a problem beyond resolution, merely stared as the apparatus lay mockingly untethered. Despite long minutes of pushing, pulling, prodding and poking, it remained achingly unsafe for the baby to exit the womb and enter the vehicle.

And so my daughter and I walked to one fire station (out on call) and then the four of us piled into the car and drove to a second fire station (out on call) before accepting humiliating defeat.

The following morning there was a text from Brett announcing progress in the battle. Seat installed, but at an acute angle (not his exact words, but that was the gist). Not the most reassuring of messages.

Alex is 38 1/2 weeks pregnant. But I fear she will have to hold the baby inside several more weeks until we figure this out. Or at least until the firemen return to fight maybe their hardest battle of all. With a car seat.


Pam said...

Try sending Uncle Tommy into battle..... give him a shot at it! xo

Anonymous said...

Very funny!


David B said...

obviously, your kids need to move to Ridgefield CT . . there is always a special team on duty at the fire house, to provide car seat attachment. And if you step back and let them do their magic, they will reward you with an official [cheap plastic] fire chief's hat.

Anonymous said...

Once in you can't buy a new car.


ABC said...

Did you try YouTube? So many demonstration videos! If that fails, call the Car Seat Lady. Yes, there is a woman who has made a (very, very successful) career out of this in the NYC area. http://thecarseatlady.com

Or just wait til cousin Amy is up there this weekend!! :)

Anonymous said...

Sweet posting.


Anonymous said...

Awesome posting. You will get better at it with time. Still takes us a while to do.

Anonymous said...

Hard to fathom, but the “more things change....”
Lest you continue to suffer or degrade yourself one moment longer, I want you to know that your fiasco served to really jog my memory.
....So it was 37+ years ago when my “first husband” (still love the guy who # 2 refers to as his husband in law!!) showed up at Englewood Hospital to pick me and our beautiful new baby boy up (in the room right next to where you were about to pick up your beautiful new baby boy and where and when our longtime and abiding friendship began). He escorted me down, out the front door and into our VW Beatle with NO car seat, declaring that the contraption was impossible to install!!
....Expains his #1 status - yes??!!!
Hang in, you will prevail, Grandpa!
🤫🙄😉 EA

ASK said...

Did you try reading the instructions that came with the car seat?

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Loved this piece. How did we manage to make it to our advanced ages with no car seats or seat belts?