I swear it’s like Jill at The Happy Homefront has been watching footage of my life:
"Okay, this is the plan; we’ll divide into three teams. Each big kid will take a smaller one by the hand, and I will carry the baby in the sling. You will wait for my signal, and when I say it’s clear, we will cross the street together. Once in the building, bigger kids will continue to hold the hand of their assigned smaller child, and you will direct their attention away from the candy. We are not purchasing sweets, we will make cookies this afternoon at home. If we are separated, remember your training! We never leave a man (or a toddler) behind! Are you ready? Operation Grocery Store: Execute!"
Yes! Exactly! I do feel sometimes as if I have to be a strategic mastermind in order to accomplish the simplest, most mundane tasks. Like the carseat situation. Frankly, I seem to be slipping in the mastermindery department when it comes to figuring out how to fit my five kids into our minivan.
See, all my kids are small for their age. Even Jane, who just turned eleven, isn’t tall enough to go without a booster yet—unboosted, the seatbelt cuts across her neck, which isn’t safe. But it is darn near impossible to fit three booster seats, one toddler carseat, and an infant seat into the back of our Honda Odyssey. I have tried every configuration possible and the only arrangement that fits all five seats has the three older girls wedged into the back row so tight that not one of them can reach her own seatbelt. I have to scrunch back there myself and wrangle the buckles into their sockets. It’s laughable, the amount of time this process takes. Forget buying ice cream at the grocery store because it’ll be thawed by the time we finally roll out of the parking lot.
I know there’s got to be a better solution. Maybe I can find some other way to boost Jane high enough for the seatbelt to fit right, a phone book/cushion combination or I don’t know, something narrower than a booster seat but still firm enough to lift her up the necessary four or five (?) inches.
Either that or we’ll just have to stay home until the kid hits a growth spurt.
(She’d better hurry up—we’ve got a big fat road trip in the [we hope] near future.)