Friday, December 26, 2008

A Paean to the Minivan

For Christmas, we got a car title. (Wo-hoo! No more car payments for us.) And 600 miles before the warranty expired, a scary noise that only happened at slow speeds, whilst turning. So early this morning, CPod took our Honda Odyssey in to the dealership to have them check it out.

I was surprised to find that all three of our car seats actually will fit in the Date Car, also known as the Honda Accord That I Wish I Could Still Drive All the Time. When MayDay was born, the big boys were still in little seats that are in reality much bigger than the big boy seats they use now, and it was absolutely impossible to fit our entire family in one vehicle all together. Hence the minivan.

You may scoff. I know I did. I swore I would never be one of "those" moms. Had I known then what I know now, I would have hopped on the minivan bandwagon as soon as I saw the glimmer in CPod's eye. (It's completely beside the point that said glimmer happened in a test tube . . . but I digress. I'll cover all that in a future post.)

We decided, on the spur of the moment, to drive down to SC so that CPod could go to the gun club with his dad and brothers. We women-folk decided it might be fun to catch a movie with all the kiddies. And so we headed down the mountain to meet up with the rest of CPod's family.

Usually, these days, when I'm in the Date Car, I'm alone, on the way to a rehearsal, just me and Bono singing away. Or on an actual date with CPod. (Sometimes Bono comes along then, too.)

And so, today, in the car with three children who haven't had a normal bedtime in well over a week, and a two-year-old who is used to a three-hour nap every day but hasn't had a decent one in three days, I came to understand what most of you have known now for years: I LOVE MY MINIVAN.

For two reasons. First, my kids can't touch each other in the minivan. They also can't reach other with Slinkys. Or a play guitar. Or a cheeseburger.

Second, I can't hear them in the minivan. We have the seats arranged so MayDay sits right behind the driver and the big boys sit in opposite corners of the very back seat. The acoustics aren't so great in the minivan, especially on the highway.

I used to complain about this. In fact, it was one of the only things I disliked about our car. But no more.

I think I might write a letter to Honda telling them how glad I am that they are smarter than me. And how grateful I am that their years of experience in car manufacturing has created a vehicle so evolutionarily advanced that it perceived my need for quiet in the front long before I realized the horrible alternative.

Happily, the scary noise the Odyssey was making was a minor issue covered by the warranty. It was fixed by the time we came back up the mountain.

And now, I will count my blessings every time I get in the minivan and only vaguely hear some noise that may or may not be a distress signal emanating mysteriously from the back seat.


  1. I also swore that I wouldn't be one of those moms with a minivan. But, I am so glad that I am now. They are wonderful.

  2. All of that is so true about minivans! We got our first when Hunter was only 18 months old and I felt silly. But I soon learned to love its versatility as well, from him being able to see out the windows, to Brent and I being able to pull out all the seats and put a full 4X8 sheet of plywood in it (not to mention not having to climb over seats while traveling from front to back!) I am glad you've whole heartily come over to the dark side! And just think, be glad you are passed the station wagon generation!

  3. I think we had the same kid/van set up. The smalls behind the driver and the two older in opposite back corners. But Aves kept throwing up so I finally, I mean, immediately, moved her to the middle section. Which really is just too close for comfort. The whole "I'm sorry honey, I really can't hear you" doesn't work anymore. Aw well. Glad your van was still under warranty when the scary noises started. How often does that happen?

  4. I love my minivan too. Wouldn't trade it for anything. Except a million dollars. Or maybe fifty thousand dollars. Cause I could buy an even better minivan with that.

    On our trip this past week I climbed in to the back so many times that I actually started wishing I didn't have that convenience.

    I can normally hear my kids, even when they are in the back. Because they have no concept of inside voices. So I just pretend I can't hear them.

  5. and now I will comment on all your other posts.

    Because I loce you.

    As always.

  6. I love our minivan. Although I'd like a newer model. The whole concept is awesome.
    And after reading yours I think I'm moving another child to the back seat. Brilliant.

  7. How exactly does one loce another?

    So, I discovered this same thing just a month ago! We took the car to Chicago with three boys, instead of the van. To save on gas and make parking easier. Or, whatever.

    Not even 6 minutes down the road I was seriously wanting to turn around and get the van. Almost did. For me, it was the noise.

    You could write and Ode to the Odyssey. Just sayin'


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