My son came into my bathroom this morning as I was brushing my teeth. He climbed up on the scale because two inches makes a big difference in your ability to see the mirror when you’re three. This was my brand new digital, checked it against the others at the store and the gym to see if it’s accurate, scale. I watched as the numbers flashed.

0.0
0.0
0.0
33.2

Thirty three?! point two?! He was only 27 lbs at his check-up in December. I knew he’d been gaining weight quickly, but he was only 30.5 lbs last week. This was barely after breakfast. It wasn’t at the end of the day with a full belly and fully clothed like they tell you to weigh your child to determine if he’s outgrown his carseat. He rides rear facing in a Britax Marathon with a 33 lb rf limit.

I looked down again. 33.2. This could not be happening. I’m not ready to turn him forward facing.

I quickly started considering my options. His Scenera has a 35 lb rf limit, but he’s outgrown it by height. The new Marathons rear face to 35 lbs. They really aren’t any different than the one I have, right? Right?! No good? Okay, new seat. If he’s too tall for the Scenera, the Uptown is probably out. I need something taller. Compass True Fit? A Recaro Convertible? Has anyone actually seen a 35 lb Radian and will it even fit in my car? Oh, the Evenflo Triumph Advance! I wouldn’t even have to order that one. Now how am I going to convince my husband that this is necessary?

Just as I started to formulate my plan, he looked up at me and asked, “Mom? are you ready to go to the library yet?” It was then that I realized that he was already wearing his backpack full of books. Three pounds of books, to be exact.

As the feeling of relief washed over me, I felt myself doing a reality check. Even if he had been 33.2 lbs, it wasn’t the end of the world- or even reason to buy a new seat for those next 2 lbs. Yes, rear face to the limits of the seat, but that doesn’t mean buy a new seat each time a limit is reached or something new hits the market. At age three and a half, we’d far exceeded the minimums of 1 year and 20 lbs. I know that rear facing is safer. We’d all be safer that way, but forward facing at his age isn’t necessarily unsafe. I gave him 2.5 years of increased protection. I armed myself with good information and did the best I could with what I had available. As parents, that’s all we can do.