Last week I took a trip to Montpellier to buy some chairs from Ikea, the little one was strapped into her baby seat in the back (although she is 16m she is only 7.2kilos so has to stay in the original baby cocoon style rear facing seat). My cousin sat in the back with her to entertain her as it was about an hours drive in the holiday traffic.
Anyway we're zooming along and all of a sudden she starts screaming (the little one, not my cousin) and then was sick twice. I was worried about her choking so I pulled over to the hard shoulder to see if there was anything I could do, but then realised the hard shoulders are really tight & I couldn't actually get out of the car. We have a 2 door BMW 330ci sport coupe which has huge doors (yes I know not a practical family car but we've had it since we were dinky's).
Then the highways man came up behind me & very nicely asked me to move off the motorway for our safety which I duly did, accompanied by further screaming as the little one realised I wasn't going to extract her from her car seat or predicament.
2km later I pulled off at the peage & tried to clean her up, at this point realising I had forgotten a change of clothing (yes I know basic mummy error!), but I did have lots of babywipes & cuddles so having carefully avoided covering myself in the not so nice stuff, I was able to calm her down, clean her up & then set to cleaning up her car seat & the back of the car. Thank goodness for the leather interior...v..practical!
I eventually put her back in her seat & finished the trip (we were only 10mins from Ikea & it's shopping centre next door where I nipped into Zara Baby & bought her a new dress in the sales). She was fine then all morning so I concluded she has car sickness.
I wondered if we could move her to the next car seat, so I ordered the Recaro Young Sport Car Seat with Microfibre fabric from Olivers Babycare via www.UK4Me.co.uk. Olivers ship large items to France for a very reasonable shipping fee. I did realise later though that she can't go into it until she reaches the minimum weight of 9 kilos which could be another 6-12 months as she's only put 300g on in the past 4 months! (Before anyone says 'see a Dr' I would add she is a very healthy, strong & active baby & eats well (apart from veg but that's another story).
This however does give us another problem, our next baby is due end Oct/beginning Nov and we will need the Maxicosi Cabriofix seat for the baby...so we'll have to get another one...this itself whilst frustrating is not our biggest problem...the problem is the car. We can't fit the maxicosi behind the drivers seat so on explaining this to hubbie I concluded 'we need a bigger car'. I am upset about this as I love our car, we've had her throughout our whole relationship together, she's like an old pair of slippers, every dent & scratch tells a story, I even had her as my wedding car. Hubbie tells me to stop being soppy over an inanimate object & can I imagine what the locals would think about me being upset about changing the car? point made but I'm still sad!
At first he wasn't keen on the idea of changing her either, but that obviously didn't last very long as the next day he was up at the crack of dawn and had tracked down a list of 10 LHD cars for sale in the UK with garages who would take my beloved RHD in as part exchange. He had his eye on a 5 series which to be honest is a bit like our current car but the bigger brother version (I've already concluded it is male - well it has to be with a 4.5 litre engine). So it is with sadness that I say goodbye to my lovely car this weekend & in it's place will arrive a beast of a car which I'm not looking forward to parking, but at least will go someway to be classed as a 'family car'. It does have front & back parking control which will be interesting to try out.
I'm sure our friends here will be laughing when they see it & will say it's not at all a family car by their standards, but I just couldn't see him going from sports car to people carrier - it just wasn't going to happen.
So my trip to Ikea to get cheap chairs turned out to be rather more expensive that I planned, but at least now we have 4 doors instead of 2 & a LHD which will be easier all round and should make it easier to sell the car on in France in the future.
We found that LHD cars in the UK were a lot cheaper than the equivalent car in France as I suppose no-one wants a LHD in the UK just like no-one want to buy a RHD in France. We were also able to part exchange our car in for a fair price which we wouldn't have got in France. So for the cost of a trip back to the UK we still saved a few thousand pounds/euros & we have a large empty boot coming back so I've already placed my order for massive jars of Marmite & trays of Heinz beans!
We've now got to go through the immatriculation process...deep breath...