The change was so insidious. It didn’t happen overnight. Before kids, I had always zipped around town in cool, two-door sedans like my Acura Integra. Then I had a baby and before I knew it, I had become a minivan mom wearing mommy jeans. I thought I should explain how this all came down.
You see, when David and I came home from the maternity ward, we found that the little baby car seat carrier fit snugly into the middle back seat of our sedan, and it was just fine. Of course, we always wanted to keep an eye on the little guy, so one of us would drive and the other would sit in the back with Josh. This was all fine until we started going places with our new baby. Besides the diaper bag, we needed to throw the stroller in the trunk, which quickly filled up with other baby things — portable crib, baby saucer, baby swing, balls, stuffed animals, and an inflatable pool. You know, just in case.
When our car began to resemble a trunk show for Toys ‘R Us, we decided we really needed to move up, so we got a Toyota 4Runner. It’s an SUV. It’s still cool…enough. Hey, my husband was still okay being seen in it. As our baby got bigger and heavier, it was easier on our backs to step up to buckle in the car seat. Also, when Josh was big enough to face forward during our drives, he got a better view from his seat and fussed a little less. We loved that little SUV, even if it did drive like a pickup truck.
David sold the car he had to a friend and drove my Integra around until I bashed into it with my 4Runner (see my other post about sleep deprivation). Actually, we got it fixed after that, but the final straw was when David was pulled over by an officer whom we suspect thought that David was an Asian gangster. The officer stated that the Integra’s windows were tinted too dark, but after realizing that he was talking to a straight-laced physician, the officer gave him a fix-it ticket to remove the tinting and let him go.
When our second baby arrived, it was getting increasing crowded in our Toyota SUV. Double the car seats, double the baby junk in the trunk. So that’s when it finally happened: our first minivan. David decided to sell the Integra and got me a Mazda MPV so he could drive the 4Runner.
I had to admit — I loved that minivan! Our kids could actually stand up and play baseball inside that thing. I could haul two strollers plus all the other baby accoutrements and not feel crowded. We could even give our babysitter rides home. No, it’s not exactly sexy but can we agree that no car is more practical for young families than a minivan?
We’ve since moved onward and upward to the Honda Odyssey, probably the best minivans around, even better than any swagger wagons. Strollers, bikes, furniture, pools — we can throw them all in there! It’s ideal for carpooling, because you can seat about 100 people. You almost need a Class B license to drive it. And the stereo! I could out-thump any sub-woofers around town. And I do.
Now, our kids are getting to the ages when some parents consider moving back down towards a sedan or an SUV. But I love my minivan so much that I think I’ll keep driving it until the day it dies or I die, whichever comes first.
So, are you a minivan parent? How did you get here and do you intend to stay? Let me know!