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Infant Car Seat Fun

So I installed the car seat today — job 1 of at least 46 that I need to get done in the next two or three weeks. Or at least I think I installed it. See, infant car seats are interesting. All the baby-on-the-way literature suggests that you couldn’t possibly be smart enough to install one of these suckers yourself, and that after you attempt your own half-assed installation you must then go to a Car Seat Inspection Center where a much manlier man than you will correct all of your baby-life-threatening mistakes. I always wondered why I should even bother with the first part if I was doomed to failure anyway — why not just take the seat straight to the Mr. Inspection Tough Guy and save myself the ritual humiliation?

Well, apparently having a baby on the way has made me less of a wuss. Or at least more embarassed to be such an obvious wuss. So I got out the car seat and all the appropriate documentation I could dig up and decided to see if I could possibly be manly enough to install an infant car seat into a 2000 Corolla.

After carefully going through the relevant portions of the Toyota owner’s manual and then skimming through the Graco car seat instruction booklet, it appeared that all I had to do was run a seat belt through a couple of slots and then fasten it on the other side. That’s it: seatbelt, slots. Go over both manuals again: seatbelt, slots. Read the enormous sticker on both sides of the car seat: seatbelt, slots. One seat belt, two slots. That’s it. And does the car seat feel secure? Of course not. It feels like it’s being held in place by a single seatbelt running through two slots on the back!

See, I knew it. Now I’ve done everything the instructions said, and the whole thing feels half-assed. Do I feel macho? No. Do I feel fatherly? Hell, no. I feel like I do every time I try to assemble anything — like a chump. So I’m off to the local Car Seat Inspection Center later this week, which promises to be oh-so-much fun.

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