I am not a student of economics. However I understand the basic concept of supply and demand. Specifically if there is a limited supply of something and many people want it, its perceived value increases. What you may ask does this have to do with parenting or my relationship to my two sons? Let me explain.
We currently have two vehicles: a Honda Odyssey and a Nissan Sentra. However we only have 3 booster seats. A booster seat is one of those items you need to have, but if you loan it to someone who is going to drive your kid or if you leave it in the other car, your going to have that moment where you say to yourself, “sh.t!! I don’t have the car seat. The solution is simple, buy another car seat-right?
As you read this, the solution seems obvious. But trust me when you are in the day to day drive your kid to camp, get groceries, go to the doctor, take care of the house and yard-getting a car seat doesn’t usually rank in the top 10 on the “to do” list. And then there is the issue of how much are you going to have to pay for just one car seat. And then my wife will suggest, “why don’t you stop by a thrift store and get one?”
At this time in my life, I hate going in thrift stores. I hate the chaos, the smell, the leftover pieces of others peoples lives. It is no longer a romanticized experience for me. So last Friday, I picked up Ry from camp and went to Target and found an$18.00 car seat. Target was created for those of us who don’t want to pay exorbitant prices, can’t stand Sears, and don’t want garage sale items. It’s not too expensive and looks good enough to make you feel like you are still doing OK.
We put the Cosco car seat together quickly and easily in front of Target. Ry instantly wanted to try it out. It is black with a burgandy stripe in the center, with modest black cushion arm rests, with a cup holder on the side. Ry immediately noted how comfortable it was. I knew at that moment that I had to declare,”this is a family car seat.” This way he or J or a friend could use it.
Ry wanted to bring thecosco car seat box into the house. J was curious about the mysterious box with a car seat on the outside. Ry announced, “I got a new car seat.” J replied,” hey thats not fair!” I added, “Ry didn’t get a car seat. It’s an extra one that anyone can use. In fact I plan on using it on the next ride.” This usually breaks the tension till we went for a ride.
Ry raced for the Honda and had to sit in the new car seat. J shouted,”that’s not fair.” Their mom replied, “you get it on the way back.” And now despite having four car seats, every car ride begins with a negotiation to sit in this black car seat with a wide burgendy stripe down the center, followed by ” I get the car seat.” ” Ok,but I get it on the way home.