We just hit another milestone that we knew was coming, were waiting for, were looking for, and were talking about... and somehow it kinda just happened yesterday.
My niece no longer needs a booster seat in the car.
Okay, I get it... For most of you that's really not A Big Deal (to be honest, it was very low-key at this end of the wire as well) but it sort of marks the end of an era. Miri was always "the little one" or "the short one" in groups & photos -- I nicknamed her "Pipsqueak" for a reason -- and rode in a child seat for at least a year after her peers had stopped, and has been using a booster seat since then (again, long after most of her peers had begun just sitting on the car seat, no booster needed).
Our state uses a somewhat thicker-than-average tome for its book of laws, many of which apply to child safety -- so we had to wait for Miri to reach a certain combination of height and weight before putting aside the child seat, then again for the booster. And, despite growing like a weed for the past 18 months or so, she just kept missing that last requirement for not riding in a booster seat.
About a month back, Miri plopped down on the back seat in my car and realized she was sitting normally and could see out the windows just fine... but we decided to not push things, so she got into her booster seat as usual. The subject came up a few times in the following weeks, and last weekend AJ & I checked her out and she was able to sit in the back seat with her feet touching the floor naturally (a key requirement in local laws) and the seat belt fitting properly. I don't remember why, but the three of us decided it would be a good idea to wait just a little longer before changing...
...until yesterday evening, when Miri came marching into our folks' house (to join some cousins visiting from the Left Coast) and said she wasn't riding in the booster seat any more.
The one complication is that, instead of sitting over on the passenger side where AJ (or whoever is driving) can easily see her and speak with her, she had to sit directly behind AJ because they discovered that the last couple of years' worth of dropped crumbs, bits of candy, dribbles of drinks, etc. etc. etc. that had found their way beneath the booster made that part of the car's seat far too grody to be sat on... (Dude, like, YUK...) So at some point this week AJ will try out several seat cleaning tricks she's been told about by different people who made similar discoveries in their own vehicles.
But, yeah, the Pipsqueak is now officially no longer a pipsqueak. And as good as that news is... Well, let's just say we've all been looking at a lot of photos from back in 2010 and 2011... <8-}