And a few days before Christmas... we did.
We did not get a mini van even though no fewer than ten thousand people told us we should.
We love our SUV but once the baby was born we realized quickly that he was not safe sitting in between his brother and sister, three across.
Becaaaause... Girlfriend unbuckled his seat belt every time we went anywhere.
Just what I needed... another reason to have a panic attack.
So.. we had to move Boyfriend to the middle, but that made it pretty much impossible to buckle his seat belt ya know?
I was starting to get all sweaty and flaily and think that we bought the wrong car when we decided to upgrade Boyfriend to a real deal high back booster seat.
It was time.
He was well over the weight limit, and is four... so it made sense.
Plus... hello... he could buckle himself, yay!
He couldn't buckle himself because the car seats were too crammy and the buckle was too short for his little arms... so he couldn't reach.
So we brought all the big kid seats that we owned into the living room to play around with which ones would fit best and be easiest to buckle when butted up next to each other.
At this point I was pretty much ready to put the car up for sale... I was mad and frustrated and as a last resort I googled, "seat belt buckle extender."
I had no idea if that was even a thing, but as it turns out.... IT IS!!
Thank God for the Seat Belt Extender Pros... for real, they made this entire process so easy for a maniac, strung out, sleepy Mom like me.
I went to their website and saw that you could browse by car, which is a feature that I couldn't find anywhere else online.
I actually saw a lot of complaints on Amazon from people that bought car seat extenders that weren't compatible with their car... so when I found this "browse by car," feature... I was psyched.
Just what I needed... idiot proof.
Except they didn't stop there... they went one step further.
The Seat Belt Extender Pros actually offer live help on their website... in the form of a, "Click here to chat," kinda thing.
So I did... I clicked.
Then I explained in a semi-frantic way that we needed a seat belt extender for our particular year make and model car... or we would have to buy a new one.
And the awesome lady was like, "okay what seat will the child sit in?"
Uhh... I never would have thought of that... that the buckles could potentially be different in the center than they are on the sides.
These people know their
So then the sweet lady guided me to a three inch extender that would work for the middle seat of our new whip....
And then she was all...
"Well what about the eight inch rigid extender... in case the flimsy one gets stuck and your son cant reach it?"
Yet another thing that I wouldn't have thought of.
So... we got both.
And now life is much easier.
We ended up using the three inch one, but keep the eight inch one on hand just in case.
Boyfriend just hops himself up into his seat and buckles himself in...
The extender just clicks right into the regular buckle, like so...
Because I worry, I go back and check his buckle every time, and every time he does it right!
Even with the extender though, it was still a freaking tight squeeze for those buckles...
And after awhile, I couldn't handle the big kids sitting next to each other anymore ...
There was a lot of pulling on each other... which almost always ended with someone crying.
So it just made sense to move Boyfriend to the coveted way, waay back...
Thankfully, our seat belt extender is compatible in the back seat as well, so Boyfriend can buckle himself in and we don't have to climb back there to help.
We just give a quick peak over the seat to make sure he did it right.
Now he's happy because he feels independent and we're happy BECAUSE HE'S DOING SOMETHING INDEPENDENTLY!
(Although... why couldn't it be wiping his butt? If he was going to do just one thing completely unassisted I would want it to be butt wiping not seat belt buckling... just sayin')
And now the kids don't look like sardines crammed into a car anymore.
Life is better for all of us with the seat belt extender around... everyone can breathe better... even / especially... me.
**If you think a seat belt extender might help you and your family find some peace in the car, feel free to use coupon code HappyDay to save $5!!!
**Special thanks to the Seat Belt Extender Pros... who helped walk me off the edge of a cliff when I thought we had to buy a new car. They seriously saved the day.