A funny thing happened on the way back from the vet…

If you have kids, then you are no doubt familiar with ‘The Car Seat’; that eternally bulky piece of plastic and padding that resides somewhere in the inner confines of your Soccer-mom-mobile ready to protect your little bundle of joy from even the hint of a car ride gone wrong.

But…

Has your car seat ever resembled an IKEA D-I-Y project?

I guess I should explain.

Yesterday I carted my brood of four to the vet for the feline’s annual vaccinations.

Groovy.

Until the ride home.

I should mention that we only have about a 5-minute car ride.  I should also mention that we don’t use a pet carrier given the short commute; instead we put a harness and leash on our cat.  In any event, apparently the commute was about one minute too long according to said feline’s bladder.  As we were turning down my street, I raised my hackles at the all-too-familiar smell of male cat pee.

IN THE VAN!

Cripes!

Initially I was relieved to find a wet spot on my pants (wait, that didn’t come out right.)  The cat had been sitting on my lap a minute earlier.  However, he had then parked himself on my younger son’s lap and I was horrified to find he had relieved himself all over the kid’s car seat!  (How he missed the kid altogether is a mystery.)

Naturally, I spazzed out, as any normal person in the same situation would.  I swerved into the driveway, narrowly missing our wilting marigolds, threw the van into park and ushered the kids and feline into the house, muttering expletives under my breath to the cat.

This is the culprit.

Time to examine the damage.  Ugh!

The car seat was sopping so I set to work trying to remove the damn thing.  In theory, this would appear simple.  But when you are racing against the dribble, dribble of cat pee leaking onto the upholstery and time is of the essence, suddenly it’s like trying to unscramble a Rubik’s Cube.  Hooks.  Straps.  Weights.  Pulleys.  O. M. G.

Got it out.

That was the easy part.

Now to disassemble the contraption.

Who engineers these freaking things, anyway?

Fortunately I reached for my handy-dandy Instruction Manual and managed to expertly remove every removable item escaping with only one minor injury.  All the while the pee is draining onto the walkway.  Mother bleeper.  This cat pulled an Austin Powers.  Grabbed the hose and soap and sprayed down the plastic frame and threw the padding into the washer with a bottle of industrial-strength disinfectant.

Still the matter of the actual upholstery in the van.  I’ve tackled it three times and I’m not convinced the smell will ever be completely gone.  Awesome.

So, it’s all good, right?

Nuh-uh.

Still gotta put the seat back together!

Groovy.

Went something like this:

Put large padding on, like so:

Then realize that the headrest padding should have gone on first.  (Or so I thought.)

‘Fix’ by peeling down top and putting on headrest padding.

Then realize this is not, in fact correct.  Remove headrest padding and yank large padding on around headrest styrofoam thingy.

THEN put on headrest padding a second time.

Score 1 for me.

Secure padding with elastics.  Easy peasy.

Enter the harness system.

Holy Hell.

You need a PhD to figure this s#@t out.

Enter the handy-dandy Instruction Manual again.

Forty-five minutes later I emerge victorious.  Oh, but now there’s a base to attach?  Dammit.

Oh, and then I have to put the whole contraption BACK in the van?!  Right on!  (In case you were wondering you need to have superhuman strength to tighten these life-saving straps.)

Next time I’m FedExing the feline.

Click here for Tips for Installing Child Car Seats.

Oh, and please take a moment to answer the poll below.  Curious to see which topics interest you the most!

~ DDD

About Erica

Erica writes with humour and heart about family, #fit40s and living life in the carpool lane. Part-time banker by day and Netflix-addicted-cake-decorator by night, Erica’s in-between time is spent dreaming up ways to ruin her kids’ lives. Obviously.

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