Sunday, January 13, 2008

I need a Chrysler that's as big as a whale

Now I know why people end up driving HUGE cars. It's all about the car seats. The baby is surrounded by four inches of plastic and padding on all sides, and then clamped to the frame of the car. You're legally bound to do this. Hospital staff will follow out to your car when you take your baby home from the hospital to be sure the child's transportation is up to par with legal requirements. I'm not kidding.

If you have a small car, this isn't a problem if you only have one kid. The baby just occupies the whole back seat. Forget about fitting other adults back there. The problem comes along when you have two kids, both of whom are legally required to be properly protected against F=MA. In an attempt to thwart the merciless effects of physics, each child must be encased in plastic and padding.

At 132,504 miles, our loyal and tiny Ford Escort is developing a well deserved personality. So we're looking for another mode of transportation. We're drawn to the small cars like the Civic, the Yaris, or the Aveo. They use less gas, they're fun to drive, they're good on the snow, they're less expensive, and they make me feel like I don't need to over-compensate for anything. That's right...a small car makes me feel like a man *flex*.

But two carseats side-by-side in a small car just doesn't work. And the infant seat needs to be in the middle because A) it's safer and B) It doesn't fit on the sides.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I start to look at larger cars. Maybe I'll move up to a mid-sized car. Something in a Malibu or an Accord perhaps. While I realize it's important to have laws protecting infants and children, the conspiracy nut part of my brain suspects child safety laws were less about protecting the kids, and more about car lobbyists pushing for objects that required people to buy More Car.

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