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March 13, 2013

Turn Around, Bright Eyes



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.

7 comments:

Julia said...

We recently switched the girls around (right before Ruby was born). I was not thrilled about it (I think we've seen the same videos), but it was necessary, and at 31 and 34 pounds, it was certainly okay to do, even though their car seats allowed for them to get bigger while still rear-facing. I think I just felt better having them rear-facing.

We made the switch on a Saturday night, so their first time riding that way was before church on a Sunday. When Brad put Brynne in her seat, she completely freaked out, "I'M UPSIDE DOWN, I'M UPSIDE DOWN!" (ha!) Then, as we got moving, suddenly she was grinning through her tears, "WHOA! We are going SO fast!" (She's a little dramatic sometimes).

It's been pretty okay since that day :)

Jennie said...

Oh, I totally understand! I just turned my very tall, very thin not quite 3.5 year old boy and I was so upset. I had purchased a car seat that would accommodate him rear facing for many more inches and pounds. It got to the point where I was literally fighting him like a wild animal to get him in his seat, and he complained incessantly about his back hurting. I think the pretzely way he had to sit was putting weird pressure on his lower back, as much as I didn't want to admit it. I hate that he will never be as safe again, and am more nervous on the road.

But like your girls, he is full of hilarious questions! He is particularly intrigued by the glove box :)

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Well done, I know it must have been a bit nerve wracking but good for you on letting go.

You sure you're not an ESTJ too? :)

Robynslittlenest said...

Great job girl! Hang in there...it's a new adventure for all of you!

Mandy said...

Bwhahahahaha! I love it!! We only turned in the last car because of space. I'm pretty sure the slightest fender bender would have decapitated me. Of course Tobias the van has endless space...

Now about those cribs... too soon?! LOL!

cat said...

YOu are kidding! Wow, you really did this one proper. Mine just all got too tall and the scrunched up legs just does not work.

strongblonde said...

good job, mama! :) our kids are still finding things that are NEW many months later!! :) it's fun to see everything from their eyes when it's so new!! :)

 
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