First published July 2017
It’s funny how we attach so many memories to objects or clothing. We’ve recently bought little miss a new car seat. We got a new one partly because she had just about grown out of her old one. However, the main reason was the old one absolutely stank. She’d had a couple of accidents when she was potty training and I clearly hadn’t cleaned it properly.
The stench of wee that came from the car every time we opened the door was often overwhelming. I dreaded going in when it was hot. I’ve driven round with the windows wide open in the pouring rain because I couldn’t stand the smell. My nieces were horrified when I collected them from school in a car that stank of wee.
We’d been counting the days until she got the wee thing sorted so we could buy a new one. Throwing the old one on the skip was a good day. We bought a lovely new Frozen (of course!!) car seat which little Miss absolutely loves. She climbs into it herself. The best bit is it doesn’t smell of wee so we can drive round with the windows closed when it rains.
I’d been looking forward to it’s replacement for so long so was surprised when I felt sad to see the skip collected and the car seat gone forever. Despite it’s recent falling from grace, it held some very special memories for us.
When we were waiting to be matched, my mother-in-law bought us a fab pushchair which came with a free baby carrier. I’d always thought we’d be matched with an older child so it probably wouldn’t be needed, but having it in the house helped me remember I was going to be a mum.
As it turned out, our daughter was nine months old when we met her. We arrived at the foster carer’s house with our lovely carrier, only to find that our daughter was too long to fit in it. So, for our first outing in the car with her, we had to borrow the foster carer’s car seat. In between visits we did a hasty trip to Mothercare to buy a new one.
I was very nervous about going. I felt a complete fraud because I had no bump or baby and thought we’d be told to leave for attempting to buy a car seat under false pretences. We weren’t and the assistant was lovely. I think that’s one of the first times that I actually felt like a mum.
Little Miss didn’t like travelling in the car so, on the advice of the health visitor, foster carers had moved her into a forward facing seat. We weren’t happy with it but there was nothing we could do about it. Little Miss got hysterical being put in a car rear facing. I was convinced the assistant at Mothercare would tell us we were terrible parents for wanting to buy a forward facing seat for such a young child.
I was very relieved when she didn’t, nor did she think I was a fake mum. She was so excited when we told her we were in the middle of introductions. When we explained the position about the forward facing seat she said she wouldn’t recommend going back to rear facing, and showed us seats that tilted to make little Miss safer.
I can remember driving back to the foster carer’s house feeling very happy. A car seat is a practical bit of kit to keep your little person safe taking them from A to B. Somehow though, it felt much more than that. It felt like a really big thing to have bought it. I can’t really explain why, it just did.
Our daughter loved her new seat and seemed very happy to be put in it which was a huge relief. A lot of her previous experience of travelling hadn’t been particularly nice. She had a long trip to contact to see her birth mum which was several times a week initially.
Unfortunately, more often than not it was wasted trip and little Miss seemed to associate travelling with that. Having a new seat felt like a fresh start for her as right from the start, she was happy and relaxed in it. I couldn’t wait to take her to lots of fun and exciting places in her new seat.
The seat that came with the pushchair had helped to keep me sane while we waited to be matched. The new car seat helped me feel like a proper mum and signified the start of a new adventure. It has helped us explore new places and kept little miss safe on our journey there. It let her sleep when she needed to and did a very good job of containing her wee when she struggled with potty training.
So it wasn’t really just a car seat. It was so much more than that.
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