Have you ever rode in a mini suv (think Honda CRV) with three children, two large convertible car seats, a stroller, numerous backpacks, a laptop and two adults? If not, you are missing an adventure that will sure to have you clutching your side in laughter. Well for the last year I have been torturing myself (and my family) by refusing to buy another car despite adding two more pint size children to the family. I finally realized that I needed a new car (badly) when my ten-year old son began to bow his head in shame when he had to climb through the front seat to even get out of the car.
So like any “good” parent I decided I would brave the car dealerships and attempt to buy another vehicle. Now before I even pulled up at the dealership I got my game plan together. I researched the type of car I wanted (SUV), the price I wanted to pay (less than my mortgage), and what interest rate I wanted. Armed with all of this armour, I drove to the dealership ready for my new truck. As soon as I pulled into the lot, I was surrounded by car salesmen–it was like I was the honey and the flies were coming to devour it. Still armed with my “game face” I said rather bluntly.. I need a three row SUV.
Immediately Car Salesman #1 stepped up and said let me show you what we have. We walked inside (while the remaining car salesman waited on their next victims)and I went over my checklist. I told the guy I was only interested in a USED SUV with a third row, that was under X amount of dollars and had under 50, 000 miles. That is not a lot to ask for…right??? Armed with this new information , this guy said he was ready. We walked out into the lot and we went to the usual suspects..Dodge Journeys (nice but not big enough), Honda Pilots (too much like my CRV), Suzuki (Umm..no), Kia (Ummm..no) . After telling the salesmen “NO” so many times I was starting to believe he could not help me. Detecting my growing frustration (and tiring of my two-year old constantly repeating every time I said “no”) the salesman promised that the NEXT car I would love. So as we rounded the corner, the salesman grinned and said, ” look at this baby”… As he moved away I noticed he was talking about a MINI VAN..
Still shocked at the audacity he had to bring me a van I drowned out everything he was saying and all I could think was, “why is he showing me a van?” Still shocked, when he asked me what I thought I immediately told him. “Dude why would I want a VAN…Do you know how old I am? Vans are for…well OLD people..I do not care if it is spacious and has a lot of storage it is a VAN!” Taken back, the salesman mumbled something about he would keep looking for me. Feelings bruised, me and my daughter got back in our CRV and went home.
All night I could not get the picture of a van out of my head and I began to have a million question: Does getting a mini van make you “old”? Do I look like I would even drive one of those? Now don’t get me wrong, the modern-day mini vans are nice..uber nice. They have televisions, leather seats and upgrades that will make you feel like you in a Mercedes-Benz but to me all I could think was I do not want to be that Mom forced to drive a van for room. After questioning other mommys I know, they all echoed my sentiments.
Over the next couple of days I continued to get phone calls from the Head Salesman at the dealership who left several voice mails raving about all the features a mini van has. A couple of days later, the original sales man called me and asked me if I had thought anymore about the van. I kindly told him that I would NOT pay for a van–I know what I want and if I could not get it from them I’d get it from somewhere else. After he hurriedly got off the phone from me (I think I scared him) I realized a couple of things about me.
1. Parenting three children has made me confident about what I want.
2. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not just good for you but for the family.
3. I still do not want a minivan.
I finally found a nice, clean SUV with a third row. Now my kids have plenty of space to throw their sippy cups and crumbs . Has my opinion changed about mini vans? Yes, they are super nice now but I will steer clear of those for at least a couple of more years!
Did you have to change vehicles after you had kids? What do you think about minivans?