When minvans are cool? Sign me up.

Today I was folding some of Sydney's laundry. As I held up her 24-month-size pants, folded her barely-fitting 18-month-old size footie pjs, my thoughts once again turned to the whole "when do we have another BABY?" question.

Lately, when I have that thought another thought is always close behind: "And when we have another baby which ginormous van/SUV are we gonna get?" 

I know, MAKES TOTAL SENSE!

Anyway, here's the thought process: I have a perfectly acceptable smallish, Japanese SUV (a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder if you must know). We acquired this vehicle in Texas in 2006, about a year before we moved to California. At the time I desperately needed a car. John and I had been sharing his pickup truck for over a year and try as we might to avoid it we were slowly driving one another insane trying to be in two places at one time. We finally knew it was time – and it was financially possible – for me to get a car and after a few days of looking and a few test drives, we snatched up my vehicle and went about our business.

As I got to know my car better I started to have some remorse. Not that a Nissan Pathfinder isn't a nice car, and I totally realize that this is a First World issue, but I had complaints. Well, actually my backseat passengers were the ones with complaints as the backseat was an Extremely Bumpy Ride to say the least. These complaints culminated in the transport of my sister – who was at the time suffering from a painful bout of shingles – through the streets of Los Angeles. The bumps and cracks in the pitiful roads here offered no mercy and neither did my car. Soon after I took it to a dealership and had them take a look … we bought new shocks and through some miracle warranty finagling had the struts and some other bounce-controlling things replaced for free. I really hoped that it would be the cure.

Unfortunately? The bumps continued to BUMP.

Fast forward a few years to bringing home baby. The back seat of my car can comfortably contain two adults, and if you squish three can fit and get to know one another VERY well. A car seat "fits" in the middle, but it definitely restricts passenger space, especially if the passengers are not the size of, oh, Nicole Richie. A lot of the work I do outside the home requires driving and transporting people. Which means? That every time I need to go somewhere for work I have to fully unload my car of the baby seat, the stroller in the back, everything. And then put it all back when I need to go somewhere with Sydney. FUN.

Another point of interest? While my car has the LATCH system (which is AWESOME) when you install more than one baby seat it only has room for two. I learned this when my friend Joy and I took our kids somewhere together and we spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out where to insert our latch restraints. The seats had to be offset … sharing the middle. It's a great idea because it allows two kids to still be in the safest part of the car (backseat middle!). But in my car it also means that with two baby seats? No one else can sit in the back seat. WHICH BRINGS ME FULL CIRCLE.

IMG_0262_2

Lately I have this dilemma in my head … do I become a minivan driver when our next baby comes? I freaking LOVE riding in minivans people, I am not even going to lie. They are comfortable, spacious, have great features for kids, I LOVE THEM.

BUT.

As we all know, they are not "cool." And part of my job? Is appearing to be cool to a certain set of high schoolers and getting them to hang out with me. Even though I'm a mom. Even though I'm "old" (and can I just take a moment to point out that I'm NOT EVEN THIRTY YET).

Did you buy that? How I tried to blame it on other people wanting me to be cool? When really I AM THE ONE WHO WANTS TO MAINTAIN COOLNESS? Who just cannot bear the thought of pulling up to the high school IN A MINIVAN?

They should make pills for this.

And so, here are the two cars I'm currently dreaming about. Let me just say that I could give a flying flip about Green Factor or gas mileage. I am dreaming about a huge, honkin' car in which lots of people can fit comfortably without having to remove car seats, strollers, or any other baby/kid items. I'm dreaming of a car in which everyone wants to car pool WITH ME. I'm dreaming of NEVER EVER having to take two cars again and for people to say "OH, let's take John and Manda's BIG CAR!! WHICH IS ALSO COOL! HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT JOHN AND MANDA ARE THE COOLEST?! DO YOU THINK I CAN RIDE WITH THEM?!"

1. Ford Flex

https://i1.wp.com/media.dealerskins.com/carspecs2002/Photos/JatoColor400/FORD/FLEX/2009/5ODUA.jpg

2. Chevrolet Suburban

https://i0.wp.com/media.dealerskins.com/carspecs2002/Photos/JatoColor400/CHEVROLET/SUBURBAN/2009/5OD41U.jpg

DROOL.

What's YOUR dream car?

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8 thoughts on “When minvans are cool? Sign me up.

  1. Nora says:

    We just became minivan people and surprisingly our coolness factor hasn’t dropped… much… as if we cool to begin with :). My FAV vans that I’m currently drooling over are the Nissan Quest (looks less like a minivan) and the Toyota Sienna…

  2. Barbetti says:

    I seem to recall sitting in your back seat with THREE other bloggers. It was, well, intereting!

    Before we moved here, my husband worked at a dealership and I test drove the Flex. Loved. I learned how to drive in a Suburban, though, so I love them too.

  3. J. says:

    My dream car is the Honda Odyssey that sits in my garage. Yeah, I know it’s not a very lofty dream, but I have accomplished my dream and am happy this way. And, I am more in love with my car than one should be any inanimate object.

    I will say that my parents had a Ford Expedition and, while it takes up the same footprint as the Odyssey, had much much less room for people and Their Things. You could either fit a bunch or people…or a bunch of things, but not both (like if you were, for example, taking a bunch of youth to a retreat you could either take the youth or their luggage, but not both).

  4. A'Dell says:

    I have to say that Suburbans are big but they are kind of a pain in the ass. My parents have one and I have to literally climb in the damn thing and hoisting Claire into it is like heaving a child up a small mountain and then hopping behind her.

    They’re big, but I wouldn’t say they are CONVENIENT.

    I vote Odyssey. Luuurveeeee Odyssey. Remote-controlled sliding doors? They are the ultimate Mommy Porn and Honda knows it.

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m partial to the Suburban. You won’t catch me in a mini-van if I can help it, but a huge SUV, count me in. Currently I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I can get 3 car seats in the back and there is a ton of cargo room. If we ever upgrade more than likely we’d get a Tahoe for my husband to drive.

  6. larmar says:

    we have a grand caravan. and we love it. dvd package SAVES US on our long trips up to michigan. all the seats fold down. all automatic doors, including the trunk. and yep, i agree with the comment above. mommy porn.
    maybe if you go the mini-van route, you can just play cool and hip movies in the back to counteract the non-coolness factor. or something… 🙂
    but, we love ours. totally worth the drop in cool points. and, i still get checked out when i drive it alone. not every day. and it’s completely and utterly awkward when it happens because i am completely and utterly awkward around the opposite sex when they aren’t my hubby… well ok. it’s only happened once. but IT HAPPENED. IN A MINIVAN.

  7. Courtney says:

    I grew up driving a surburban…REFUSE to drive a mini-van even though I will agree they are super comfy and hold everything!! We met in the middle with a Tahoe.

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