People always told me I wouldn’t believe how quickly my child would grow, but things are getting ridiculous around here. My almost-two-year old has suddenly decided he’s a forty-five-year-old businessman. While his misconception can be entertaining, especially when he demands the car keys and shouts “Bye Mama!” while heading for the door with his dad’s briefcase, it can create tension at mealtimes. Because, obviously, grown-ups don’t eat their dinners off high chair trays. They like to be part of the flow of conversation. They want to pass the salt.
My son’s newfound maturity (along with Jackson Pollock-inspired food art projects I mentioned earlier) led me to search for a way to bring him up to the big kids’ table while keeping him contained, safe, and comfortable. It also wouldn’t hurt if the solution added to, instead of detracted from, our kitchen decor. I happened upon the idea of a booster seat, friend of small-kitchened families everywhere, and from there I found the Mutsy Grow-Up! booster.
The Grow-Up! (yes, that exclamataion mark is part of the official product name) is a step up from seats like the basic and ubiquitous plastic Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster. It has a sturdy plastic base with nicely padded feet to prevent chair damage, topped by a thick, foam-like seat. (The seat feels like the same kind of material as a Bumbo Seat.) An adjustable system of straps attaches it to a normal-size dining chair and works as shoulder and/or waist belts to secure the child in the seat.
My son loves the Grow-Up! It raises him high enough to reach his food and see his tablemates, while keeping him comfortable and secure. The soft seat is textured and not slippery and the waist belt holds him firmly in place. It also lacks the awkward assembly of its bigger sibling the EasyGrow, as it relies mainly on a strap/belt system instead of the problematic slide-in safety bar. Like the EasyGrow, however, this seat is very good-looking, and is one of the few boosters on the market that appears like furniture, not like we’ve dragged something from the toybox into our kitchen. The mod color choices are an added bonus. The price tag ($49.66 on Amazon) is on the high end of the booster seat market, but having sampled some of its competitors, I would say the quality and design of the Grow-Up! make it worth the higher cost.
On the downside, the Grow-Up! is not as portable as many other boosters, so if you’re looking for something that folds into a little cube every time you’d like to take it to Grandma’s house, this probably isn’t the product for you (try the Sack-n-Seat!). The shoulder straps are a bit awkward — they hang off the back and never seem to quite find a stable place to rest once they’re buckled — so we don’t use them, since my child is old enough to do without them.
Keep in mind that this booster is not a high chair subsitute for small infants, as it lacks the back and head support they require,and it doesn’t have a tray attachment. But that’s part of its charm — it’s designed with toddlers in mind, so it’s targeted to their desire to sit at the big-kid table.
So it seems I’ve found a practical way to make my kid happy at dinner time. Now if I could only get him to turn off his Blackberry while he eats.
We’re giving away a Mutsy Grow-Up! to one lucky MamasWorldwide reader!
Enter to win by:
–Leaving a comment on this post
–Linking to this giveaway from your blog, and then comment here with a link to your link
Each reader can enter twice — once with a regular comment, and once with a link comment. Do so by midnight (12am) Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 13th. Be sure to include your e-mail address in the comment sign-in section so we can contact you if you win. We’ll choose one entrant at random. We can only pay to mail this within the USA, so please enter only if you have a USA mailing address.
In addition, don’t forget that Goore’s online store is offering an exclusive discount for Mamas Worldwide readers — receive 10% off the purchase of any Mutsy products by entering code MWMU10 at checkout.