It’s been almost a month since we made the switch, and I’m just now writing about it. Honestly, it was a very bittersweet transition, one I had a really hard time embracing. Hubby was adamant that it was time, though, and I’ve finally become a little more comfortable with it.
At four years and a little over a month old, we turned the girls’ carseats to face forward.
When the girls were born, the guidelines were consistent for forward-facing…one year old AND twenty pounds. Our girls didn’t hit the 20 pound mark for quite some time after their first birthday…and by then there was talk about rear-facing until age two.
Before their second birthday, though, I began to read research, much of it cited from other countries, about the benefits of extended rear-facing. I couldn’t get some particularly graphic images out of my mind, and I vowed to keep the girls rear-facing “as long as possible”.
I didn’t have a specific “goal” in mind, but I knew I’d make the switch before they started kindergarten.
The challenge for our family was that the rear-facing seats didn’t allow the front seats to be adjusted very far back from the dashboard. That made it extremely uncomfortable – and dangerous – for my husband to drive, and maybe even to ride so close to the airbag.
Our girls are now four. They’re bigger, and taller, and stronger. On the growth chart, they are close-to-average, or above, in some cases. I didn’t give my husband my blessing when he turned their seats around…but I didn’t outright refuse him.
There. I said it. And it’s OK. I know we’ve waited a long time to make this transition, and I’m pretty comfortable with it.
And now I have to share some of the “funny” that’s come with this switch. The girls were seeing the front of the car for the first time ever…at four years old…and their questions and observations were downright hilarious.
They were fixated on all the buttons, and they had to ask what each of them did. And then, “Why do you have the keys there?” They were asking about the ignition!
For a long time, they were focused on the direction indicator on the rear-view mirror. “Mommy, we’re going north!” “Mommy, ‘S’ is for south!” “Mommy, what is ‘NE’?” “Mommy, why did it change?”
They’ve been very interested in the mirrors, too, wanting to understand why we have mirrors in the car.
And the funniest was when it was raining a couple of weeks ago when we were coming home from school. I was really alarmed to hear the screech from the back seat: “Mommy! It’s going FAST!!!!! Mommy, they’re going to hit each other!!!!!”
My heart dropped as I scanned frantically for an impending accident.
It took me a couple of seconds to realize the girls were just commenting on the windshield wipers. The rain had hastened, and they sped up to keep pace.
Whew. Deep breaths…and some laughs…as we embrace this new direction.