Random bullets of minivan-ness

by DaniGirl on December 19, 2007 · 9 comments

in Life, the Universe and Everything

  • It’s been just over a week since we picked up the minivan. Meh. I don’t hate it, but I can’t say I’m in love with it. It has wheels, a steering wheel, and it goes. I suppose that’s a good start.
  • The first time we tried to pick it up, we made it all the way to the dealership with the boys in tow before they realized they had forgotten to order the licence plates for us, so I had to trek back the next day after work to pick it up.
  • The good news is, the dealership is a four-minute walk from a major transit station. (And, for the record, it’s the only time I’ve had to stand on a bus for this whole pregnancy. People who live in Barrhaven apparently have better manners than the people who live in South Keys. I’m just sayin’.)
  • The bad news is, it was yet another snowsqually day in Ottawa (have there actually been ANY days without snow so far this year?) and it took me more than an hour to make the 15 minute drive from the dealership to my house.
  • Being stuck in crawling traffic for an hour in the dark gave me a lot of time to poke around and play with various features inside the van, like the multitudinous cup holders, the drop-down sunglasses holder / conversation mirror, and the dual cigarette lighters (with no ashtray – where will I put my coins??) At least I know the defroster, the heater and the windshield wipers work.
  • I still have no idea how to set the radio stations.
  • I must admit I do like the imperial feeling of sitting WAY up high and looking down at all the little sedan drivers below.
  • The highest speed I achieved on that first drive was a heady 40 km/h on Fallowfield. I see this as an omen.
  • When I went to step out of the van in the driveway, and my leg swung open into a vast expanse of nothingness with the ground a vertiginous distance below, I really thought I was going to have to use a step-ladder to get in and out of the damn thing for the rest of this pregnancy.
  • The boys were desperate to go for a ride, so we took them for a spin up to the movie store at the corner.
  • Tristan, who is apparently five going on fifteen, immediately claimed the back corner seat for himself. He seems miles away from the driver’s seat and I’m not used to having to practically shout to talk to him. I find myself watching him more closely now in the rearview mirror simply because he seems so far away.
  • Simon claimed a seat on the middle bench, and announced that the seat beside him was reserved for his “baby brudder.” When Beloved tossed the DVD boxes on the seat beside him for the ride home, Simon immediately told him to move them or his baby brudder would have to sit on them.
  • It took a couple of days, but I’m starting to get the feel for manoeuvering the tank in and out of parking spots. But getting the snow off that sucker takes about a week and the use of a long-handled broom.
  • It’s a royal pain having to either remember to switch stuff from one car to the other or stock a second car with all the things you stow in your car so you don’t have to worry about them – a snow scraper, a box of kleenex, the iPod transmitter thingee, the reuseable grocery bags – let alone the cost of a second set of car seats. I don’t even have a plastic sleeve to keep my new insurance and ownership papers in.
  • I hadn’t really thought about the impact of having a second car in the driveway, aside from the annoying fact that no matter which car is closest to the road, you need the other one. But now we have no driveway left for hockey games or visitors, and with six foot snowbanks there’s no street parking either.
  • A few nights ago, I took the Focus Wagon up to the grocery store, and it was like sliding into a comfortable pair of shoes. I think I actually sighed in contentment as I pulled into a parking spot. SO much more comfortable. Sigh.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 annika December 19, 2007 at 9:17 am

Wow, I guess moving from one car to two is a big transition. I’m sure you’ll eventually grow to like it!

2 Barbara December 19, 2007 at 9:22 am

Okay, so you know I am biased towards minivans at least for other people but I think that once you have 3 kids, the van will be the vehicle you take when you take the kids and the car will be the one you drive solo in. You’ll keep in cleaner, put in the AA and R-rated music, turn the radio up and enjoy the car but the van will be a second living room.

3 Cakes December 19, 2007 at 9:41 am

very funny. You’ll love it once the little brudder shows up.
Imagine making the jump to a 12 psgr van. But, I can’t imagine having TWO vehicles! LOL!

4 dean dad December 19, 2007 at 9:41 am

I hear ya. Family circumstances (i.e. tall kids, no cash) narrowed my car-buying options to the point that my new car has utterly failed to produce the usual new car infatuation. I’d describe it as “adequate.”

In the scheme of things, that’s insignificant, but for all the money dropped, I’d like a little jolt of pleasure from it. But nooo…

Aesthetic appeal will have to wait until…let’s see, TG is three, so assuming she graduates college around 22…

Ah, crap.

5 JJ Daddy-O December 19, 2007 at 11:02 am

Welcome to Minivanland!
Try not to focus on the psychic pain of feeling unstylish, uncool, or whatever.
Truth is, you left that behind as soon as you had your first kid. 🙂 Parents of 1 or 2 can try to kid themselves that they are still as with it as they were in college, ha.
When you have 3, you are in the kid business. You will look down on onesie/twosie parents with a sneer and say to yourself “Ha! If I only had one kid, I could change diapers, cook dinner and juggle flaming knives at the same time! Quit your whining, slackers!”
But I hope you got the power doors option, whoever invented that deserves some kind of Nobel prize.

6 kgirl December 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm

that’s right. i do not want a minivan. but i hope you learn to love yours.

7 Mac and Cheese December 19, 2007 at 3:53 pm

I felt the same way when I went from my last car to my current one. I longed for the comfort of the old one. I have since adjusted.

8 slouching mom December 19, 2007 at 10:40 pm

I don’t much like minivans, though I do understand how larger families might need them.

But yah, I’d be driving that Focus wagon whenever possible, LOL!

9 Sara December 20, 2007 at 9:52 am

To add to your minivan biast I am guessing you may have saw that the Dodge Grand Caravan was at the top of the Stolen Vehicle List in Ottawa. I guess if you are having too much trouble with the transition you can alway leave it in a prime spot to get man handled… and then when the insurance money comes through… buy yourself a hot red sports car, complete with baby seats on the roof!!!

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