Thursday, March 15, 2012


There are moments in life where we are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, either as individuals or as a race. Climbing Mount Everest, visiting the north and south poles, putting footsteps on the moon. All these and many more bear testament to the will and ingenuity of humankind.

We're pretty damn awesome when you think about it; pat yourself on the back quickly, bask in the glory of being a person, take a sip of whatever is your favourite tipple and permit yourself an indulgent moment of self congratulation.

There.  Feels good right?  Good, you've earned that.

There's something else that, if you are a parent, there's a good chance you've done. Something which you might not often think about, might not wish to recall. You may well have fitted an Isofix car seat base, plus the associated seat.

I was feeling masochistic tonight, so I decided to take on that particular challenge for myself.  I'd heard the stories about how annoying it is, how awkward and frustrating. But there was a little sticker on the base. It had pictorial instructions, like you get on Lego kits. There were numbers next to the pictures and the biggest of those numbers was five.


"It must be easy" I thought to myself "there are only FIVE instructions, and they all look really simple!"

DO NOT BE FOOLED.  There is false security deeply ingrained within those bright, cheerful instructions.  Here's how it went:

1.  Push the button on the front of the base.

(Done.  Easy.  This is going to be a piece of piss.)

2.  Slide the seat base forward, exposing the two Isofix mount thingies. 

(Bit of a struggle.  Hmm, this is harder than it should be isn't it?  Am I doing this right?  Oh, for the love of Jesus, why won't this farking thing mov...*smack of plastic on knuckles*...*Swearing*... Oh, good, done it.)

3.  Push the Isofix mount thingies onto the Isofix bracket thingies in your car.

(I don't see the bracket thingies.  The car definitely has bracket thingies, doesn't it?  Are you supposed to take the seat out or something?  WTF?  *rummaging in depths of car seat*...*scraped knuckles*...*more swearing*... AHA!  There they are.  Now, just push them in until they click.  Done.  *mop sweat from forehead*)

4.  Slide the seat base back until snug to the back of the car's seat.

(*pinches tiny piece of skin on hand between sliding parts of Isofix base*...*VIOLENT swearing*... Done.)

5.  Slide the stabilising arm doofer until firmly against the floor of the car.

(*shaking in anticipation of mishap*...Oh.  That bit was actually easy.)

Feeling a strange mixture of smugness and resentment I went back into the house.  That was when I found the two little pieces of plastic which go between the car's seat and the Isofix base.  The two little pieces of plastic which meant I had to go back out to the car and start again.  The two little pieces of plastic which I may well one day tell my therapist about.
Yeah, it's all smiles for you...
Still, I've calmed down now and realised that, actually, all the manufacturers of these things are trying to do is prepare us for the arrival of the child itself: poor instructions, lots of mistakes, trials and tribulations, swearing and pain.  I ought to be writing to thank them.


  1. We got the shop to install ours...

    1. Good choice. Ours was given to us by a relative, so had to be DIY.

  2. Mahahaha. Oh the joys. My husband and I fell out fir days after trying to fit ours.

    1. Thankfully my wife decided to stay indoors and sort out the seat itself, else the situation may have been even worse!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :-)

  3. *chuckle* Brilliant. But just think, after that changing a nappy is easy-peasy right?

    1. That's what I'm telling myself for the moment, yes! Oh my, the lessons I have to learn...

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

  4. We have an odd household in that my wife does stuff like that and I do the cooking and ironing when I'm home. I'm absolutely hopeless at installing / making etc.

    She managed it brilliantly but with a similar level of swearing to the above post.

    1. DIY of any description is not my strong suit; I usually just want to call my dad!

  5. We have had our car seats for 4 years now and I'll be honest - I still can't put the bloody things in. Job for Papasaurus - everytime. He loves it*.

    *He hates it.

    1. Ha! I look at the base of the seat in the car every morning before I drive to work and think "I OWN YOU".

      That said, I don't look forward to swapping it into the other car.

  6. Popped over from Mum of One who thinks this post is H for hilarious.

    We waited until we were in a hot, dark underground car park in Spain, and had a newborn straight out of the hospital doors in arms, to try to install our baby seat for the first time... They say that after the trauma of childbirth everything else is a piece of piss... this of course is rubbish.

    1. Thanks for popping by, I'm going to buy JB a glass of wine next time I see her :-)

      I feel decidedly organised having heard your story!