The Cheap Seats
The latest rite of passage for us as first time parents was the upgrade from the first car seat to the second car seat. Let me tell you, this was a tough one. Prices range from about £50 to £400 and basically, the question those sales people are asking when they look at you with their burning, slightly curious eyes is, "How much is your child's safety worth to you?" I know what they're doing. I'm not stupid. I know it's a ploy to make us parents spend money and I know that there isn't a car seat available on the market that hasn't passed all the necessary tests and standards. But, when faced with the task of publicly announcing how important my child's safety is to me, I crumbled. Like a knackered old brick wall, I fell into a million pieces and succumbed to all the marketing and sales-techniques. I walked away £337.00 lighter. It would have been £375.00 but Jimmy charmed the sales woman and she gave us 10% off. Thankfully he only had to chat her up a bit but honestly, at this point, I would have let him take her in the stock room and do his damnedest if it had meant we would get anymore off! 3
Anyway, we now have a brand spanking new car seat that cost almost as much as the bloody car. It swivels, it's backward facing until they're four, it's forward facing if we need it to be i.e. if she gets pissed off looking at the back of a car seat. It's the safest, bestest, most comfortable seat on the market and she still threw milk and rice cakes down it and snotted all over it when she sneezed and she couldn't give a damn that we spent more on that than we ever have on ourselves. That's like me buying a pair of Jimmy Choos and wearing them on a walk through a muddy forest. But I digress...
The point is, don't let them get to you. Or try not to. Or at least, if they do get to you (which they will), be comfortable in the knowledge that you're not the only one. It's emotional blackmail plain and simple. When I asked, "What about this one?" which was still £150 but looked perfectly fine, the salesperson said, "Well, it's fine. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but when I have to buy my little one a car seat next month, I know I'll be getting the Cybex Sirona at £375.00."
With a resigned sigh, "Fine. Wrap it up. We'll take that one. Here have my kidney, I mean my card."
From now on my new motto is plain and simple and stolen from friends of ours: Only the cheapest for my child.