Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh The Shame!

I have spent the better part of my married life slowly but surely breaking all my youthful promises.  You know the ones you make as a child:  When I am a parent I will never say or do (insert childhood gripe here).  One in particular that I broke very early on was telling my kids, "Because I told you so!"

As a child getting that answer was not satisfactory because I felt like every decision should have a real reason behind it.  Little did I know (a) that IS a real reason and (b) me and kids everywhere will ask the infinite WHY question until or unless a declaration of this sort is finally offered.  And its not that kids stop inquiring because this answer makes the most sense and we've somehow satiated their thirst for knowledge.  No...they just realize they've pushed us too far and its only wise to cease and desist.

But of all the promises and childhood vows I ever made to myself, I had ONE biggie that I really, really had NO intentions of ever breaking.  I would NEVER. NEVER EVER, EVER.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER own a MINI VAN!!!!

As such when the twins were en utero we went car shopping and bought the only good family alternative...the SUV.   We investigated and found just a few different models that offered a third row seat, knowing that if we ever had more children...we'd need it.  The Dodge Durango was really the only affordable option for us and so we've owned one for the last five years. 

Enter our newborn and the reason for discovering the practical need for me to swallow all pride and become a hypocrite yet again!  The Durango is big.  Its has eight seats and belts to, "in theory", hold and haul that many bodies should the need ever arise.  We have a family of five.  By my math, that leaves three extra spots for our stuff as well as some elbow/leg room.  Theories are good but this one got put to the test and failed miserably.  Part of the problem is the seat belt laws we have to follow with the twins.  Yes, even years out of the baby seat, they still have to sit in something called a booster until the age of ten.  These things take up room!  And if a car exists where you can strap two boosters and one baby seat base all into the same row and still be able to easily fasten all the belts, the Durango wasn't one of them.

That's OK though!  We were prepared and have a third row just for such a circumstance.  So we put baby and one child in the back seat and the lucky twin whose turn it is for the way back...in the way back.  But with said third row up we literally have no trunk space.  So guess what?  That lucky way back traveller gets to have a big stroller as a seat mate.  And heaven forbid at this point if we need to go buy groceries or take a road trip.  We'd have to put luggage and/or food on the floor boards and just cross our fingers.

I don't know what kind of auto fairies manufacture minivans but they are magical!  You see, the model we purchased doesn't look any bigger than the Durango. In fact, it looks a bit smaller.  But somehow these fairies have made it so we can carry a family of five, easily buckling everyone in, stowing a stroller, and still having tons of room for elbows, legs, groceries, and luggage!  It's AMAZING. I mean...shameful!


Susie Bibb said...

Our mini van is actually a step up the cool ladder from what we had before... a. conversion. van. Yikes. See, we already had two children when our twins were born and in a minivan, the twins' infant seats would block the big boys from getting to the back seat. So, we either had to have the kids enter from the front seat, have the twins in the very back (that would be fun, loading up two infants into the back of the minivan) or we could get a conversion van... yup... we did... but when the twins moved to 'boosters' we moved to a minivan...and actually got 'cooler'. ;)

Jim said...

I agree. Your coolness points went up! Maybe you picked up the points we lost. :)

Shannon Wheeler said...

I totally understand.... This is our story, too! When I was pregnant with #3, we sold our very cool Honda S2000, which we enjoyed SO much... top down, sunshine... Just me and Selden and the wind blowing through our hair... But I digress. We still had our cool new Denali, with its hefty payment and a whopping 10mpg fuel economy, but as you said, it had 3 rows! But unfortunately, as you pointed out, even the hugest, coolest SUV does not allow for the necessary stroller/pack'n'play essentials to fit in the back with the third row up. Nevermind the groceries that fly out of the back end when the hatch goes up! So, yes, like you, we sold that, too, and we now have the exact Odyssey you have in your post!!! Too funny (well, not so funny to my husband....). I say, they're only small once, and if it makes life easier for a few years, I can live with the minivan, but it's definitely an "issue" to work through psychologically! I SWORE I wouldn't have a minivan, and it was so unreal to my husband that we sold the "little car" and traded in the one-year old Denali for a minivan that I actually did the whole transaction, price talking, whatever, myself! (I think he's scarred for life!)

Jim said...

Maybe your husband and I can start a support group!

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your links with LinkShrink and make $$$$$ for every click on your short links.