Thursday, March 18, 2010

We Don't Need No Stinking Minivan

Upon hearing about our having twins, people tend to ask right away what kind of minivan we will purchase.  Honestly, I would not mind having a minivan at all.  I think they are marvels of ergonomic technology, offering endless bells and whistles that you can actually justify paying for.  But Dr. Mom is dead-set against them.  To my surprise, this seems to be the case in many families.  Dads think that minivans are pretty cool, stuffed as they are with gadgetry; but moms see them as an admission of defeat: mom jeans with remote control sliding doors.

But our attitudes toward minivans are irrelevant, because there is no way we can afford a new car, having racked up so much debt remodeling our house.  Whereas the labor was mostly free, the materials were not cheap.*

So, since we can't have a minivan, I have decided to sneer at them thusly:

Why on earth would anyone drive one of those hideous breadboxes?  Who needs all that space and all those conveniences?  There were five of us in my family, and we never had such a thing.  When I was a toddler, we had two cars: the sports car, a '56 Austin Healy; and the family car, a '65 GTO  with a 389, a six-pack, and a 4-on-the-floor tranny.  We drove cross-country like that--Mom behind the wheel of the Goat with a trailer in tow, and Dad driving the Healy because no one else was qualified to operate its complicated, highly modified (rigged) electrical system.  Was it comfortable?  Not really.  Safe?  I think the Goat had seatbelts in the front.  But that's the kind of experience that really helps mold a bunch of people with shared DNA into a family; and it provides great stories to bore your children with.  Was it ideal, when all of us kids were bigger, to travel across Europe in our rusted out Audi 100 LS ?  In some ways it was.  By driving a beater, we were able to afford ski passes; and in addition, it built character and helped us learn to fight hand-to-hand in close quarters.

So Dr. Mom and I are eschewing the minivan in favor of our classic autobahn cruiser, a sweet German sports coupe...well, more of a sedan...all right--a 13-year old hatchback.  By cleverly accessorizing, we are able to carry both the kids, their gear, and their bitchin' Chariot II stroller/bike trailer.  We could also theoretically carry a bike on top and a large dog in the way-back.

Nice rack, right?

The Chariot Cougar II.  Rraawwrrr!  Thanks Grandma & Grandpa.

*A word to the wise: read the fine print carefully in financial agreements.  It turns out that Home Depot is entitled to one of our children if we don't pay them off by February 2010.


  • I don't really think I have a brain tumor.  I went to the doctor the other day and he told me to stop being such a fatass and tried to assign me some Michael Pollan as homework.  I was like, "Look Hippie, I've already read all that crap.  Why don't you just give me one of them lap bands already."  He also gave me referrals to two specialists for other non-brain related, non-serious issues.  That's why I avoid going to the doctor.  I didn't bring up the headaches.  Maybe next time.
  • Stella is doing quite a bit better.  At least I am less mad at her.  Probiotics seem to have helped with the chronic diarrhea, and PPA has mostly stopped the urinary incontinence.  I've been trying extra hard to be nice to her and give her some special Dad time every day.  She seems to have adjusted to her new food
  • I changed the settings so you can write comments without logging in, based on a suggestion from a lazy reader. 
  • The big shindig over the weekend went really well.  12 grown-ups, 11 babies, heaps of bbq, and no meltdowns or huge messes.  My concerns about our guests judging us were unfounded and indicate my own shallowness more than anything.  Everyone had fun and loved our house. 
  • I am substitute teaching a nighttime English Lit class at a trade school for gamers and anime fanboys.  I had to miss the girls' bedtime for the first time since they have had a sleeping schedule.  Dislike.  
    • The girls are already thrifty!  See how they fight over a Babies R Us coupon? 


    1. Wait until said gamers and anime fanboys discover your blog, and decide to punk you for slander. Or is it libel. Or is it blasphemous rumors. Well whatever, you know what I mean.

      Unless -- and this is probable -- you don't.

    2. Do you hitch up the trailer to the VW and drag the kids along the highway? Just wondering...

      -Dr. Spock

    3. Not yet, Spock. They have to get big enough to fit their helmets before we can do that. Safety first!

    4. Haha. I am 4 months pregnant and just traded a pick-up truck for a Nissan Versa hatchback. I'm telling everyone that I like simple living and don't plan to buy any unnecessary baby crap, but of course, it's because I can't afford an SUV. Bah!

    5. Anonymous--

      It's a damn shame we can't just throw them in the back of the pickup like in the old days.

    6. We're 10 years in & still no mini-van, or any other kind of van for that matter. 10 hour trip each way over Xmas in a Subaru Outback included 2 kids, 2 adults, 1 growing pup in crate, 35 square feet of luggage in cartop box, and 1 bike. We just need wider rails for more bikes next time. But what about when your kids have friends? you might ask. No friends, we say. It's all about family!

      Growing up, there were eight of us total in a Merry Oldsmobile wagon (w/ the woodie sticker panels) and made many many trips across the very long state of Tennessee and back. No seat belts, of course, and kids piled on top of each other in the back. Can't say we really bonded, either, but we did survive.


    Don't hold back.


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