Well, we've bit the bullet. We are trading in my beautiful 7 series beemer for a,... mini van. So the beemer was gotten used and is ten years old, it's still a nice little car and I see my car as an extension of myself. A quality person, worth the extra maintenance, serious but with a fun side, okay, maybe not german. Sigh. Nothing against mini vans or the people who drive them. I just see them like I do dolman sleeves or espadrilles; cute on somebody else.
We took yesterday afternoon with the cranky B and went to the local automall. Nothing like car shopping in Olympia, Washington; where we were terrified we'd be attacked upon stepping foot onto a lot, we actually found the places quite deserted. I helped myself to a few cars, realizing that the driver's door on most vehicles was open and I could gain access that way. Is that breaking and entering? I hope not.
We checked out the Kia whatever, the Hyundai whatitscalled, the Toyota thingy and the Honda Odyssey. Also the Saturn Outlook and the Buick Rendezvous. These hybrid vehicles are so very cute, but honestly, with five children who have parents 6' and 6'6", we will not fit in them for very long. It would be the car version of me buying school uniform pants for my kids right now; they fit for a couple of weeks, then in a blink of an eye, they are highwaters and the zippers are too tight. And I've been warned; friends who are the same height as us have grown children where the girl is 6'4" and the boys are both over seven feet tall. I'm not making this up.
The Rendezvous was kind of cool and a good price, after I got over my snotty image of the whole 'Buick' brand. All I can think of driving a Buick is my grandpa in his golf pants. But it will only fit six if I get the captains' chairs in the middle. Explaining why I want the captains chairs to my hsuband was like speaking a foreign language underwater with no tongue.
"Honey,",I said. "I need to have two carseats in the middle. Then, I have a booster seat in the way back that houses a child who can't seem to put on a seatbelt without making it into some sort of origami ribbon."
He tells me to just slide the seat forward, it won't go all the way forward anymore, but with the top tilted up, the boys can squeeze in the back.
Okay, I'm envisioning myself in rain (or 130 degree So Cal weather, doesn't matter, the point is, I want out of nature quickly), with a baby in a baby seat over one forearm, the toddler trapped between my thighs, a huge purse/diaper bag/garbage can/toy holder slung over a shoulder, yelling at my kids to 'stay right here, DO NOT MOVE' (yes, the OTHER three) as I find a free appendage to feel blindly for the little lever that will spring that second seat forward. Only 1/2 of the way. Then, hanging my childbearing backside out of the car door as I try and unknot child's seatbelt in the way back.
No go baby.
When I find the Rendezvous with the captains' chairs and the leather interior (big whiff o' leather; I haven't owned a cloth seated vehicle since I was in college.) and explain to hubby that I like it, but we can't fit him in the car with us, he says to me, "Like that matters, there's no way in *#&$(& I'm getting in that thing."
Very funny. Spoken like a man with a brand spankin' new F150 company car waiting for him in Orange County.
So, on to the mini vans. To make a long story short, the Odyssey honestly had more third seat space than the Kia, which was also a nice vehicle. And it had a stowable middle second row seat, so I can have my aisleway with the captains' chairs when hubby isn't looking.
Since leather is a bit out of our price range at the moment; we refuse to carry a car payment, and after a year overseas with an NGO, the coffers are a bit dry, I can deal with foamy fabric. I'm sure I can find some sort of cute car seat cover, they make them for babyseats, why not mom seats? If not, maybe I can design some in pink chenille, or leopard print. That and a non alcoholic beer that actually tastes good, and I can retire in comfort.
And the 'entertainment system'? Entertaining for WHO? I am not going down the slippery slope of in-car DVD systems. At the dinner table, the big 10 year old was selling us on buying a car with one. All I can see is wasting precious time getting ANYWHERE as five children fist fight over what one video will play on the screen. "I'll even watch whatever the others want to watch," he says.
To which my 8 year old piped up, "Digimon! And Pokemon!"
And 10 year old promptly replied, "Except that."
So, here we are arguing over what to watch on the in car DVD system we don't even own yet. And then, when I mentioned, we now have girls to deal with and so the viewing options have just opened up to include titles like 'Barbie's Swan Lake' and 'Strawberry Shortcake' and 'Bratz Go to Mars' (or is that just my silent wish?) the DVD system doesn't seem so cool anymore.