look at the legroom situation
this is occurring in our current, "big family car," our saturn vue crossover (whose legal name is "shorty fire burnin' weasley):
before driving it off the lot in july 2009
we got the red car when our faithful, beloved old 1999 explorer, gandalf the gray died in the line of duty. luckily cash for clunkers was going on so we got $4500 from the government for it rather than the $0 it was worth at the time.
for me, jesse, and the 6-week old judah, this was the perfect car. safe, fuel efficient and lots of space for a growing family. t was our first ever NEW car. thanks to cash for clunkers and the sale, we got about $12,000 off the price of the car and were blessed enough to be able to pay it off in full within a year.
fast forward 2 years, and here is what this family looks like as keight, jesse, 2 year old judah and 7 month old layla attempting taking the "big" family car on vacation:
i am wedged in the back seat next to layla's backward facing baby seat and judahs car seat. and there is all of our stuff (2 of our bigger items had to be taken down by our friends in their cars).
i kind of hate the salesman for telling us that we would "never need a roof rack," and even though we knew better, we had not a lot of choice since the explorer was undriveable and some huge saturn sale was ending that very day. but the luggage capacity is clear not the only issue anymore.
in the past few months this car has been driving me nuts. cramming poor judah's legs in the back is a daily reminder that this is not an ideal situation (note: this IS a first world problem...but the first world is where i live, after all). if i scoot the passenger seat up any farther, then the passenger is going to get their lights knocked out if the airbag deploys AND have no legroom up until that point.
so i've made the mental switch. the final transition the many moms make:
i started lusting after a minivan.
visions of the kids running up and down the center aisle, of bucket seats and legroom for all have danced in my head for nigh on 6 months now.
for years i denied that this would ever be my chosen fate. and i know almost all the moms say they never thought they'd want one either, but i swore i was different. i thought if i ever had lots of kids i would just get a big SUV.
but now i'm there, and my mother in law's words are coming to life: nothing beats a minivan when you have kids.
and it's true, in terms of gas mileage, vertical space, layout and design, no SUV can compete. maybe when the kids are older and are without their individual required plastic space pods of safety, that will be an option, but to be honest, the only PRO in the SUV column is that it's not a minivan or that it's somehow "cooler."
hey world, i picked up actual human excrement off of my sweater yesterday and wore my pajama t-shirt to work the day before because it was just easier: the race to coolness is over. i have withdrawn on account of i dont give a shit and because i have won that race before and still never received any prize money.
instead i am now competing in what i will call the "master's division" of the cool race. all you have to do to win this one is not go insane. doesnt that sound COOL!?!
during that scene last summer (pictured above), hurtling 70 mph down the highway towards our florida vacation, i had to get into the back to access layla and help her not scream her head off and make me stab my cochleas with our tire pressure gauge. her rear-facing carseat was in the middle (the only place it fit in that car) and judah was behind jesse at the time. so i ever-so-nimbly turned around in my seat, got into a squatting position and proceed to squeeze my ample self through 11 inches of airspace above the headrest. i think at one point i was IN layla's carseat with her while simultaneously kicking jesse in the head, rubbing my butt on judah and getting rug burns on my face from the ceiling.
if there had been a blood pressure monitor handy at the time (there was no room in the car for it) i'm sure i would have been off the charts. this right here is how you LOSE the master's division cool race.
so now i envision heading to the main cabin of a van like a glamorous air hostess of the 1960's, drink cart and all. the room! the luxury! the sanity of it all!
i posted on facebook that we were thinking about trading in the saturn for a minivan, particularly an odyssey (yes, EVERYONE has one, but people arent stupid, they are popular because they work, evidently) and within a few hours i had 37 comments! every one of them (except for two of my childless friends who shall remain nameless, but judged) was touting the awesomeness of upgrading to a minivan. i have never seen passion like that on my facebook wall.
the funny thing is, up until i actually became interested in vans myself, i just assumed that they were super cheap; simply because they were so uncool. i thought, obviously honda would be thrilled to even get $10,000 for their newest vans due to their nonexistent degree of desirability or coolness. hahaha, stupid, stupid girl. these vans are pimpwagons and are priced as such.
so we are going tomorrow to look at a few used ones (2007 or 2008 models with 50K+ miles on them). the saturn is still worth quite a bit as a trade in, so we are hoping to be left with a very small amount to finance that we can pay off early at a super low interest rate. i will etsy my little heart out to make this dream a financial reality.
picture me rollin'.
there will be goldfish dust coating everything and at least one spoiled sippy cup inside, but no legs will be touching seatbacks, no luggage will be touching the ceiling and my mental grip on reality will be safe and sound. i will keep all of my master's division cool-contest trophies in one of my 27 cup holders.
say it with me: there's no room for insanity when you're in-van-wit-me. (puns like that also get you trophies in my division).
sound off: where do you stand on the great van debate. if youre anti-van, are there more compelling reasons besides not wanting to be a van-mom? edukeight me!