I’m afraid I’m no poet, but I must express my feelings about this toughened plastic baby essential.
To begin with, a vessel to carry a tiny and vulnerable baby home from hospital. Little O looked so small and crumpled, barely filling a quarter of the seat, awkwardly supported by a head cushion which looked more uncomfortable than helpful.
Placed on the floor when we got home at midnight two days after her birth, the seat containing our little treasure was a thing of beauty.
Mr O and I stared at Little O asleep in her car seat and wondered ‘what now?’.
‘What now?’ indeed.
Over the coming few months, the the car seat became a thing of dread. Little O decided that being restrained in this instrument of torture was too much for any reasonable baby to bear. Every journey, even just a five minute trip to the local food emporium, became a mission of epic proportions.
My new mum friends became accustomed to me arriving to coffee mornings late, red-faced and flustered, with a screaming ball of fury in tow. Yes, I tried all the tricks: travelling at nap time, dangling toys to distract her, music, singing and on and on. To no avail.
On Abu Dhabi highways, usually at least 5 lanes wide with no place to pull over, a purple-faced hysterical baby is not an easy travelling partner. The mirror allowing me to see Little O in her rear-facing seat made me feel worse, as I could actually witness rather than just hear the screaming whilst trying to avoid the tailgating, non-indicating drivers all around me. Of course, if she’s unhappy, I’m unhappy.
For anybody reading this and identifying with the scenario, I can provide reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Well, sort of.
Suddenly, at around 8 months old, Little O became fond of her car seat. We’ll never know how or why this happened but I’m not going to question it. Slowly but surely I’ve lengthened my journeys and can manage a half hour journey without any drama. It seems the car seat is the new place to sleep rather than scream.
Which brings me to our new relationship hitch. Little O now only wants to sleep in the car seat.
Currently I am to be found thrice daily making aimless car journeys around the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, to get Little O to sleep. Where bouncing on the exercise ball and singing ‘The Wheels on The Bus’ have failed, the car seat has now become our new sleeping hero. I type this blog post having just completed an afternoon loop of our favourite route. I say ‘our’ favourite route, to be fair Little O was non-the-wiser as she was away with the dream fairies.
I have mixed feelings about this new development. We can cover a lot of driving ground in half an hour. It gets quite tedious and uses a fair amount of petrol. Then we have the issue of the transfer. Not easy when it involves a basement car park and long journey in a lift followed by navigating a very loud-clicking front door. Then into the cot, at which point she sometimes wakes. But, today it worked well and therefore Mr. Car Seat, I salute you. I may get to the end of this blog post and even finish my cup of tea before Little O wakes up. I know this is likely to be a short phase, but whilst I have a fail-safe tool to get the baby to sleep, I’m happy.
Our relationship has been a rocky one, but for now, the car seat and I have made our peace. Until the next phase.
O Car Seat how I love thee so. I think we still have a long way to go.
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