I put the car seat in last night. Are you ready to laugh? First of all, you always hear these horror stories about people putting their car seat in. Well I thought, it can't be that bad, I am smart, I can read and follow directions.
Step 1: clean out the car. No problem I have a shop vac, that should do the trick. Grab the extension cord, plug it in, carry the other end out to the driveway, try to plug in the shop vac and it won't fit. I had an extension cord without a 2 prong receptacle and a shop vac cord with a grounding plug. Back to the garage, get the other extension cord, plug it in, head for the driveway, whoops, it isn't long enough to reach the car. Go inside, get the keys, pull the car forward, and finally I can vacuum.
Step 2: educate myself on installing the seat. So I sit down and read through the instruction booklet before ever going back outside. The car came with a plastic card in the owners manual telling and illustrating that child seat anchors are located at the base of the seat behind the seat cushions. So I go outside all prepared to use the anchors, get the strap laid out and start looking for the anchors. There aren't any! Go figure, just like everything else you buy these days, the manufacture is too lazy to figure out which specific model you bought and make a specific set of manuals for that model, so they just give you everything for all the models. Now I could understand the owners manual having a page that said "if your vehicle has these, this is where they would be", but to put a separate card specifically about the anchors in a model that doesn't have them is just lazy and stupid.
Step 3: Reeducate. So back inside I go, sit down and read the instructions for how to install it using the factory seat belt. Reeducated I go back outside and start over. First I have to extract the middle seatbelt from between and beneath the seats where it has been hiding through 6 years of non-use. Way short on patience by this point I start pulling and pulling until I get to the end and the buckle gets stuck. No problem, I'll just give it a tug and....WHACK! The buckle comes loose, flies at my face and hits me right in the eye. A couple of obscenities, some pacing around and already I can feel my face getting puffy. Not to be defeated, I return to the backseat, thread the belt through the seat base and fasten it snugly but not tightly. See, I read all the instructions before getting started, smart huh? The base is obviously not level and I know it needs to be so I fully extend the level adjustment and it looks a lot better. Snug the belt up some more and snap the seat in. Not quite level. But I know, roll up a towel and put it under the base. Why a towel? Why something soft and forgiving? Don't you want this sucker strapped in tight? But I follow the instructions, roll the towel as tightly as I can and place it under the base. Finally, we have a level seat.
Step 4: Make that sucker tight. These seats are not supposed to move so here's the deal, and I think it worked pretty well. Pull the belt as tight as you can while pressing your knee into the seat like the instructions say. After that I felt the seat was still too loose. So, I unlatched the belt, took about another 2 inches out of it while it was loose, then bounced and pressed on the base with all my weight until I finally got the buckle to latch. I WIN!! That seat isn't budging!
Step 5: Put ice on my face. Luckily today it doesn't look too bad and my eye is not black.