There was a time when you couldn’t get me to drive a minivan. I actually shuddered at the thought of driving a van. Come on, I’m young. I don’t need dual rear sliding doors or three rows of seats. Who could possibly need that much room? After all, I only have two kids.
My car did just fine. I could get the infant car seats in. With a little work and yoga-like maneuverability, I could contort my body into the car along with the car seat until I heard the safety click. One down, one to go. Ugh. At least this one was easier…just plop my daughter in and strap her in her “big girl” seat. Easier? Did I say that? Who am I kidding? Strapping a sometimes screaming and/or kicking child in while my face is in the trajectory of flailing arms and legs while my tush is exposed to the rest of the world is not a pleasant experience. But, I am stubborn, and it worked.
Then baby number three came along. Thankfully the screaming and kicking little girl that wouldn’t let me strap her in a few years ago is now a beautiful teenager, and that frees up the backseat for yet another car seat. (the car seat has become the bane of my existence) I have to admit though, three kids in one small car, this really isn’t working for me.
I recently visited with my sister. I pull into her driveway and see a shiny silver minivan. I roll my eyes and think oh my gosh, she did it. She is officially a “soccer mom” (which she was, I suppose, always running her oldest son to this game and that practice). But with this eye roll and sarcastic thought I also feel a twinge of jealousy. That sure is a lot of room…but it’s got to be terrible on gas. I’m sure.
When she suggests we run out on a Starbucks run I am ready to go. After all, trying to keep up with our combined six kids is tiring. We hit the door as soon as my poor brother in law walks through and she heads to the van as I head to my car. Uh oh, she wants me to ride with her. “But we don’t have the kids” I say. “Shut up and get in” she says in her bossy sister tone. I remind her I’m the oldest and to shut up. But I get in anyway.
Leather. Oh that’s nice. A big information screen right in the center console with music and navigation. Dare I peek behind me…oh.my.gosh. The room in this thing. Three car seats are already in here, with room for more and still room to stretch your legs. Storage all over. Two rows of seating with DVD players. You’ve got to be kidding me. This is unreal.
As we catch up on family current events and best potty training tactics, I casually ask about gas mileage. 20 to 25, depending. Hmmm. That wasn’t what I was expecting. She throws in that the second row is Stow & Go seating too. Great for all those projects I like to do. Is she just sharing this with me, just because? Or is she showing off her new Town & Country? And, the DVDs are independent of each other. Say what?! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the second row, and My Little Pony now showing in the third row. All this needs is a popcorn maker.
After returning home from our little caffeine run, I am not ashamed to say that I am jealous of my little sister’s minivan. I look at my little car, and she has been good to me, but realize it is time to upgrade. I have finally caved to the soccer mom van, and I am excited. Next stop, Prince Frederick Chrysler.