All Aboard the Safety Train

I'd like to come clean with all of the ways I'm a terrible human, so while I'm admitting that I put playoff hockey above a child's possible broken finger, I should probably admit that Mila's new car seat is absolutely her birthday present.

What? She's going to be two. She doesn't care about gifts. She has more than enough toys and car seats are expensive. It absolutely makes sense to charge that expense against her birthday account.

Mila agrees with my thinking, for the record.

The first time I went to stick Mila in her new car seat, she literally "ooooohed!" and then she "aaaaaahed!" and I'm not kidding in the least. She smiled ear to ear as she scooted her tiny butt into that new space then proceeded to check out the head protection by shaking her head back and forth and grinning. "Pillow!" she declared.

And then. AND THEN. Once Mila was safely buckled in, she noticed that there are buttons on the car seat. She can't actually press them, but she thinks she can. And HOOBOY does she get excited about buttons. "Ook! Mom! BUTTONS!" came out of her mouth that morning.

She's had the same reaction each time I've put her in the car.

And then came this afternoon. We had a bunch of running to do because the end of the school year is all about the hectic. Unfortunately, toddlers are really bad at cooperating when the hectic sets in. Thus, Mila was in no hurry whatsoever to walk across the parking lot. She stopped to climb a curb. She bent over to see if I'd let her eat a rock. She hopped up and down because she can. If it had been Alexis dawdling, I would have said "Focus, please" and that would have been that.

Mila ignores my requests for her to focus. It's as if she has her own ideas and thoughts and mine don't matter.

After a good three minutes of trying to convince Mila to either let me pick her up or to start walking in the right direction, it dawned on me that I had another option. "Mila, do you want your new car seat?" I said.

She took off running towards the car. "YES!"

As I strapped her in, she applauded.

Go ahead and tell me it's not appropriate to buy a kid a car seat for her birthday. I'm pretty sure Mila disagrees.



Because Hockey

I'll leave it up to you to figure out which kid is which, but one of the girls can swing from a chandelier while holding a cat by the tail without getting so much as a scratch on her. The other one, however, can stand perfectly still on a flat floor and end up with an injury.

They're both overachievers, each in their own special way.

The thing about the order in which they were born is that I HAVE LEARNED NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL. You'd think that having a kid who gets attacked by the floor first would mean I would have lots and lots of practice at figuring out when injuries and illnesses warrant extra attention.

But I don't. AT ALL.

I really doubt I'm the only parent who loses sleep trying to figure out if a runny nose, fever,  or ache warrants a trip to a doctor. Things have gotten easier with urgent care centers popping up here and there, but I am still clueless. I stress and think and reconsider hour after hour after hour. I second-guess myself and then third-guess myself. "If it still hurts in an hour" or "If the fever doesn't go down two degrees by 4:00" and all sorts of weird mental games go on in my head.

It's a waiting game, is what I'm saying. But it's the sort of waiting game that occupies every cell of my being while I'm waiting. Because STRESS.

Which brings us to my newfound cure for child injury stressing. One of the girls, her name might rhyme with "Aflexis," managed to whack her pinky finger off the side of a wall in a way that left her teary-eyed and filled with drama. That particular kid acts like the world is ending no matter the severity of the injury, so I was left to hand her an ice pack and wait to see what would happen. Was it broken? Sprained? Totally fine and she was just being dramatic?


What I do know is that said injury occurred at 7:50. The Pens game started at 8:10. That means I had exactly 20 minutes of furiously worrying about my kid and then ... I forgot. I didn't even consider a trip to urgent care because HOCKEY. For once I was firm in my "we'll reevaluate in the morning" stance and didn't consider it even once all night long.

Because hockey.

So basically I figured out how to make myself stop stressing about a kid at the exact same time that I figured out that I should probably wrap the girls in bubble wrap on hockey days. Apparently I forget how to parent when there's hockey involved.



Always in a Hurry

In less than two weeks, Mila will be two years old. That's about two years and two weeks before I'll be ready for her to officially leave the "baby stage" behind, so of course she decided to go ahead and prove her point by suddenly getting taller. One day she was comfortably smooshed into her infant car seat; the next her head was kissing the eviction line.

And thus began the search for a new car seat. Which, that should have been an easy task. Alas, my good friends at Target decided to be a giant ball of pain in the butt because they refused to honor their own sale prices, but whatever. Eventually I found my way around the incompetence.

The fact that Mila's head was kissing the eviction line had me all set to install her new car seat this weekend. It was a most excellent plan.



I guess maybe Mila was in a hurry? I don't know. I just know that as I was pulling into the parking lot to pick Alexis up after school, I heard a weird noise from the back seat and then some yelling. Mila was MAD. She was justified in her mad because there were half-digested yogurt-covered raisins EVERYWHERE OMG WHYYYYYYY.

I shall spare you the description of the disaster I found all over Mila and her baby car seat. Mostly I'll spare you because I don't want to think about what I had to deal with for even one more second. It was frightening.

There's only one thing to do after your baby (she's still a baby!) tries to redecorate your car and that is to pull everything apart and take the hose to it. So I did that. I tore everything out of the back seat and I stood at the back of our yard spraying the gross away.

While Mila jumped on the trampoline.

It was her idea. I don't know, call me crazy, but I feel like if I'm spraying your fresh puke out of my car, maybe you shouldn't be bouncing like a rubber ball? UNLESS YOU DID IT ON PURPOSE BECAUSE YOU WANTED A BIG GIRL CAR SEAT I AM ON TO YOU, MILA.

Ugh. Big girls are smart.