My wife, currently Heather, has been suggesting that I write something for CarseatBlog.com. Were the suggestions more frequent or insistent, I would refer to it as nagging, but to her credit it has not yet risen to that level of annoyance. In an attempt to nip that in the bud, the following is an irrelevant blog entry for your reading displeasure.
Keep in mind that I know very little about car seats, which is fine as Heather knows enough for the both of us (according to her). I’m minimally competent at installing a backless booster, which consists exclusively of putting it on the car’s seat. Our kids are very well trained, of course, and no telling/pleading/demanding/threatening is required for them to properly restrain themselves. They’re both in boosters, so it’s much, much easier than it used to be. No more strapping them into five point harnesses and pulling so hard on the strap that their rolls of baby fat spooge around the belts. Those were the days.
We also have a bit more peace of mind in the event the kids are in someone else’s car. The elder child can generally get away with no booster at all, and the younger fits in some vehicle seats without one. The boosters are also much easier to carry while travelling, which makes packing and getting through airports less difficult.
We will be travelling this summer and seek a way to avoid carrying even a single, standard booster. I am told by She-Who-Is-Never-Wrong that there is a nifty solution to this. It’s the Bubble Bum.
At first I thought she said Bubble Gum. Of course! Why didn’t I think of that! The child uses no booster at all. Just before a crash, the kid shifts in the seat as needed to face into the force of the crash and blows a large bubble. The bubble absorbs the force of the crash, popping in the process. As the inflation of the bubble is away from the child rather than toward her, the problem of explosive airbags is avoided. It’s genius! Almost as good as the thing with the knives.
As I explained this to her, she got that usual look on her face, something like “I could have married that drunk guy in the Starbucks who said I looked like Mia Hamm.” No, she explained, it’s the Bubble Bum. It’s an inflatable booster that is rather small when not inflated, but a perfectly acceptable, and safe, booster seat under full air pressure. Only then did I realize the error of the bubble gum idea. It would only work for kids who can blow bubbles, and not many of them can.
I know what you’re thinking, because I had the same initial reaction. Instead of spending hard-earned Pounds on a British inflatable booster, why not just use one of those airplane neck pillows? (As an aside I’ll mention that it’s a good thing the Bubble Bum is not an American product, as my British to American dictionary says it would be called the Bubble Ass, and that’s not quite as catchy.) A travel neck pillow is also inflatable and packs flat. The daughter doesn’t need a booster on the plane, so she can use it during the flight and sleep in complete comfort (because all you need to be completely comfortable on an 8 hour plane ride is an inflatable neck pillow). Once the family hits ground transportation at the aeorpuerto, she can just slide that bad boy under her bum to travel in complete safety. No boosters to carry, problem solved. They also make a lovely hat.
Apparently that solution is not acceptable. Nor is using a phone book, which I have suggested before. But we could use the Bubble Bum. I like the idea, but as you can see with the neck pillow suggestion I’m a fan of packing items that serve multiple purposes on long trips. It took some time, but I was able to come up with a solution to the problem of the single-purpose item. It really comes down to one, elemental word. That word, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, is helium (He).
I informed the Boss that I will agree to use the Bubble Bum in lieu of a neck pillow or phone book if I can fill it with helium, tie a string to it and let one of the kids carry it around like a balloon. When it’s time to deflate, I will suck the helium out and sing a selection from an Alvin & the Chipmunks movie, to the great delight of all within earshot. If we don’t use too much helium such that the thing floats away, we could use it as a volleyball. The possibilities are endless. Now that’s my kind of travel accessory! If only CarseatBlog.com had one to review so someone who knows what they’re doing could tell everyone all about it….
Note: The Bubble Bum booster is currently not available for sale in the USA but should be in the near future.