My parents were visiting us all weekend, which means we didn’t have time to run the errands and do the chores that we typically do on the weekend. So my Monday was a little busier than normal. My to do list looked like this:
- Grocery shopping
- Post office
- Return library books
- Attend play time at library
It’s not a lot, obviously, but usually the only thing on my list on Monday is play group.
Last week, Judah skipped his morning nap, so he was crabby all through play group. I decided to go to the grocery store first yesterday morning in the hope that he would fall asleep in his car seat on the way there and sleep through most of my shopping so he’d be rested by the time we got to the library. (Ha! He did fall asleep on the way there, but woke up immediately after I shut off the car, so my plan didn’t even work.)
I was running late when I left the grocery store, but I thought I’d have just enough time to get home, unload the groceries, and make it to the library right around the corner just in time for play group.
I was driving up the center lane of the parking lot when an ENORMOUS monster-sized dump truck suddenly appeared on the other side of a parked school bus. I slammed on my brakes and laid on my horn. THUMP. The dump truck hit me anyway.
Thankfully, he wasn’t going very fast, so the impact was minor. If Judah HAD been sleeping, I doubt he even would have woken up. The air bags didn’t deploy, which is a relief for me since those things terrify me. I mean, I get that they’re helpful in a high speed crash, but they usually cause more injury than the accident itself in a minor collision.
You may remember, I just bought my car in February. My shiny new beautiful Toyota RAV4, the nicest car I’ve ever owned. Now it has a huge dent on the front thanks to the giant dump truck. Sigh.
Obviously, we missed play group as we waited in the parking lot for an hour for the sheriff, and he wrote out a police report. All while my $12 chuck roast sat in the back of the car probably spoiling. So help me, if that chuck roast spoils, I WILL SUE. For $12 plus pain and suffering caused by lack of dinner for the rest of the week.
Anyway, I’m clearly keeping things in perspective. I’m thankful that we’re both safe, and even if the damage had been major, it’s just a car. In this case, the damage is superficial. I was able to drive away from the scene with no problems despite the fact that my front side is dented in.
After posting about the incident on Facebook, Kacie reminded me that I should probably consider replacing Judah’s car seat. I did some quick research to see what the protocol is in the event of such a minor collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car seat may still be safe after a collision as long as 1.) the air bags don’t deploy, 2.) no one is injured, 3.) the car is still drivable and 4.) there is no damage to the door closest to the car seat. All of those things are true in this case. However, the NHTSA says you should defer to manufacturer guidelines.
I called Chicco to see what they’d have to say. Surprise surprise, the corporation that sells car seats says the seat is now unsafe, and they want me to buy a completely new car seat no matter how minor the impact. Pfft. I’m annoyed, because I don’t think there’s any way the seat was damaged by such minor impact. I could probably shake my car more by bumping it with my hip. But I am a parent, and I’m not willing to take any risks with my baby’s safety, and they know that. So they’re using my parental fear to manipulate me to buy a brand new car seat.
Well, the joke’s on them, because I’m not even buying a Chicco! Judah’s probably getting close to the height limit for his Keyfit anyway, so I’m just going to go ahead and get him a convertible. The dump truck driver’s insurance better reimburse me, though, because now I won’t be able to use the Keyfit for a future baby. I’m pretty crabby about that.
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Judah desperately needed a nap when we came home, but I couldn’t get him to sleep all afternoon, because they’re replacing the roofs on the condos next door, which is making a ridiculous racket.
All of this is to say, I had a bad day. But we’re okay. Any time you and your kid can walk (or crawl) away without a single bump after an accident, it is a blessing. My pot roast may not have been so lucky, and my pretty new(ish) car is all dinged up, but we’re okay. And that’s what matters, isn’t it?
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