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In Which I Recount the Horrors of This Morning's Very Disturbing Revelation

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Friday, February 3, 2012

In Which I Recount the Horrors of This Morning's Very Disturbing Revelation

I think all women are changed by motherhood, and often in unexpected ways.

{This is where I wanted to insert a meaningful quote about how motherhood changes us in unexpected and often frightening ways, but after about four minutes of half-heartedly googling "motherhood changes us quote" while Jack hovered over me with snot running down his face and onto my keyboard while he kept repeating, "Show me a picture of a jellyfish!  Show me a picture of a jellyfish!  Show me a picture of a jellyfish!" - I gave up.}

For some of us, the changes motherhood brings might be drastic...quitting a job to spend the days snuggling with a new baby, shelving a beloved hobby for the future because there just aren't enough hours in the day once kids are added to the mix, or buying an entire new wardrobe because you can't drop the last 15 pounds of stubborn baby weight (they lied when they told you you'd lose it all breastfeeding!).  For others, the changes might be subtle, but are still obvious reminders that you HAVE A KID NOW...things like a previously spotless home that no longer sparkles, grumpy mornings because you're tired from being up all night with baby, or bottles of foundation that you bought on sale and stored in a box with some other makeup you picked up cheap but have never even opened because who the heck cares if you are wearing makeup anymore, anyway?

OK, maybe those are just my experiences.  

But, if you have kids, you will know that some things in your life have changed and no doubt, that includes your priorities and you idea of a good time.

Which brings me to this morning and the little light bulb that went off above my head during a very quick encounter with another mom in (where else?) the Target parking lot.  

But first, you need to know this: I am not a "minivan mom."  

Charles and I have had this conversation, and more than once.  He "jokes" about wanting a minivan and I cut him off before he even gets started and tell it like it is:  HELL TO THE NO.  *I* am not a minivan kinda gal.  I'm a big truck girl.  Or maybe an SUV girl.  But a minivan?  Not a chance.  

Never mind that I have never actually owned a big truck, and that the bumper sticker I bought for my future truck when I was 18 years old that says "Geld 'Em!" still sits in a box somewhere, waiting for said truck.  Never mind that I owned an SUV once, and it was ridiculously expensive to keep running if I actually wanted to put gas in it and, you know, go places.  Never mind that we OWN A HONDA ACCORD.  I. Am. Not. A. Minivan. Mom.

"I will not drive a minivan until we have either three kids or I am at least 37 years old" I tell Charles.  

So, that brings me (again) to this morning.  

It went a little something like this.

I go to Target to buy detergent.  This is the only item I need.  But first, I have to return the fabric softener that Charles bought because he can't read a label and bought fabric softener instead of detergent and that just won't help me at all with the giant towers of laundry invading my closet and laundry room.  As much as I love Target, there is really nothing fun about loading up both kids to go there and return fabric softener and buy detergent.  

I reach back and unbuckle Jack's buckles, get out of the car, put the Ergo on, climb into the back seat and pull out Claire (careful not to bump her head on the low ceiling while the door keeps closing on me), stick her in the Ergo, go to Jack's side of the car and help him out (with him deciding it would be fun to just sit on the floorboard for a bit before I literally pull him out into the RAIN).  It rains on us as we run into the store (Claire in the Ergo, Jack holding my hand as I help/drag him across the parking lot).  We enter Target.  Jack is loose.  This is going surprisingly well, and I quickly and easily return the fabric softener.  I start to walk towards the detergent, Jack telling me how good he's going to be and how he's going to "follow directions" - which he does, until he spies a conveniently-placed (i.e., right in the line of this three-year-old's vision) light-up spinning propeller lollipop.  Things quickly take a turn for the worse.  Jack tries to make a run for it.  I grab him by his shirt (baby is in the Ergo, remember) and then by the hand and drag him to a shopping cart, which I lift him into (baby still in the Ergo!).  We buy the damn detergent and I start pushing the cart (with a wily three-year-old and one bottle of detergent as it's only occupants) towards the car.  It has, thankfully, stopped raining.

I pop the trunk and as I'm doing so, see a woman with her kid getting into a minivan next to us.  I notice, as I toss the detergent into the trunk, that the back of her van is open and behind the third row of seats there is a nice little flat spot with plenty of room to change a diaper on!   I look at the the trunk...and think of what a pain in the ass it is to change a diaper in the TRUNK.  But I've done it.  More than once.

I take the baby out of the Ergo and crawl into the back seat of the car with her, bumping my head and maneuvering the baby so she doesn't bump hers, too, as I stuff her into her seat (she likes to straighten up and turn into Stiff Baby whenever it's time to get in her seat).  I buckle her in, the car door half-closed on my leg and Jack in the cart right outside the door.  Then, I get to wrestle Jack into his seat (and he makes a big show out of it because one time he may or may not have hit his head kind of hard on the car as I was lifting him into the seat).  I push the cart into the little cart-area (which I have learned to always park next to for lots of reasons).  

At this point, the Minivan Lady asks me if I can help her with something...she can't find her phone, so she asks me to call it from my phone so she can hear it ringing and hopefully locate it.  I have so been there.  I oblige (I should note here that this same lady has randomly approached me and talked to me now on THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS...once at the gym, once at the library, and now at Target...I don't think she recognizes me weird is that??).  Anyway, I call the phone and we don't hear it ring.  Apparently she gave it to her son to play with in Target so he would behave and she must have left it there.  She says, "Oh, this is so my life right now!" and I hear her loud and clear.  

With a magical push of a button, the door to her minivan slides open.  She unbuckles her son - not fighting with a door, not crawling half into the car, and not all scrunched over so she doesn't bump her head - removes him from his seat, pushes a button and walks away as the door closes behind her.  

And all of a sudden, the light bulb turns on.

Oh!  So *that's* why people drive minivans.

I get into the Honda and the whole way home, find myself thinking about...minivans.  I start thinking about all the reasons I have to justify trading in Hondy (yeah, we call it Hondy) for a van.  I'm 34 and have been married for 11 years, who the heck do I need to impress with my car, right?  If we have another kid we'll need another car, so why not just get one now and save myself all the trouble of loading up the kids into the Honda every time I need to leave the house?  Surely it has a DVD player for those long drives...OMG, the justifications are endless.  And...more than a little disturbing.

When did I become such a "mom" - one who thinks that not only are minivans OK, but also kind  When did a flat, temperature-controlled spot to change a diaper become more desirable than trunk space?  When did the thought of being way too embarrassed to drive a minivan around town get replaced with the thought "no one cares what I'm driving anyway!"

When did this happen??

We're not looking for another car right now, and even if we were, I still have my reservations.  But, it's safe to say that when we are ready to look for our next car, we'll have to broaden our search to include a few minivans.

The lesson here?  Same old, same old...never say never.

:::Vroom Vroom!!::: (that's me speeding away in my minivan).

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At February 4, 2012 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Maria said...

I had my 3 children side by side in a sedan! Talk about awful! 2 car seats & a booster. I hate minivans so we got a (used) crossover w/captain chairs and a third row (after suffering through for a few months.) Still miss my car and we didn't want another car pymt but it was impractical. Especially since the two RF seats meant I was 4" from the steering wheel/air bag. No sliding doors though & not as much cargo space as a van but it's a vast improvement!

At February 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Carrie said...

OMG! That does sound awful...I can barely squeeze two in there - I have them right next to each other so I can sit back there next to the baby if I need to, but it's a tight squeeze. What did you get? Is it easy to get the kids in and out of? I am interested in convenient minivan alternatives!!

At February 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM , Blogger Savannah Cooper-Hughes said...

Your post really made me laugh! I always park by the cart corrals too, that way I don't have to feel like a jerk leaving it stuck up on a curb because I don't want to leave my kids alone in the car to run the cart half way across the parking lot.

My husband has a Honda CRV. I didn't have a car so after our daughter was born that's what we drove. I really like it, it's getting old but still runs well. There's just enough room in the back you can pack a lot in there (We've driven from California to Texas and Texas to Maryland with all our stuff back there, this was before the baby). But when I found out I was pregnant with #2 I knew we needed another car.
We went to the dealer and got a used Honda Odyssey, it's a 2006 but it's the nicest version of the Odyssey, with the DVD player (although my kids are still facing backward so we haven't had the benefit of that yet), power doors and windows, tons of space.. it's pretty fabulous! It drives like a car too, not like a bus. So when you finally do decide to make the switch I really recommend it!

At February 16, 2012 at 7:45 AM , Blogger Carrie said...

Parking next to the cart corral was one of the "mommy lessons" I had to learn the hard way!

My husband wants an Odyssey! I absolutely want "the works" - DVD player and all. If I get a minivan, I am going all out!


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