Monday, July 26, 2010
Goodbye Mommy Missile
A little over three years ago when Randy drug me to every dealership in the state looking at minivans I was more than annoyed! I had a car that was working just fine and that I thought was sporty and cute. Though it was a bit difficult to get the carseat in and out, I absolutely did not want to have a minivan. After looking at several dealerships one weekend, en route to Des Moines to visit friends and show off our new bundle of joy, we ended up at a Chrysler dealership and I decided to test drive a sporty looking, racing red mini van. We strapped Reese's carseat in and away we went! It was not as bad to drive as I had imagined, I was used to driving cars and thought that a van would feel so much larger and more awkward. Another factor in our decision was the fact that Reese, who had cried during every previous stop at a dealership, was quiet as a churchmouse during our car ride. Finally, the salesman pointed out that all of the seats folded down into the floor "making it easy for picking up and hauling large loads, say of furniture, without the necessity of a truck, or even needing to tell my husband." Those were the exact words of the salesman. At that, I had to have it! Randy and the salesman worked out a deal and about 3 hours later, we were driving away in our new (to us) minivan. Up until then I had made it perfectly clear to everyone in both of our families that I did not want a minivan, so of course I caught some flack upon showing off the new vehicle to members of our family, especially those who dubbed my new car the "mommy missile". I had to totally eat my words because I loved the new van! We began to reap the benefits immediately on our ride home from Des Moines. I could sit in the back by Reese to pump and then feed her without feeling on display to passing motorists. When I was finished feeding her and she slept, I could move easily to the front seat to talk with Randy. If it was raining, I could crouch in the van and get Reese into her seat without having to stand outside and get all wet. I did also use the van to pick up several pieces of furniture for our house including a large table and chairs, buffet and 2 patio sets. Finally, when going on trips with my family, we were able to consolidate several families into our van and take less vehicles, that is until we all had multiple children!
We bought the van just before I returned to work from my maternity leave. About 1 year later we were expecting our second child. After the birth of our second child I quit working to be a stay at home mom. We rarely used the van after that time because I did not go anywhere except doctors appointments, but if we could I planned appointments around times when we could use Randy's vehicle and go together. After over a year we had put less than 5,000 miles on the van and were still making the same payment. We decided that it would be smarter to cut out the payment and find something with a little better gas mileage that would be cheaper for us. After putting the van for sale, Randy found a cavalier convertible similiar to one that he had in high school. I was not excited about it because I did not think that a convertible top would be very safe if I were to ever be in an accident with the kids. I didn't relay my concerns to Randy and he ended up buying the convertible. After driving it to Dubuque to visit my mom I became irrate. The car shook like crazy at highway speed, died if you let it idle to long (like at lights or intersections) and leaked terribly through the back window. I was especially upset because I had been offered and accepted a job with the schools and because my mother- in-law watches the kids for us, we would be making more money. I felt that in giving up my ability to stay at home with the kids full time, I should be able to drive something a little bit nicer. I didn't relay this appropriately to Randy and the van ended up selling, making me even angrier. Finally, this past weekend, I took Randy's car with the kids because of rain and he was stuck with my convertible. He called me after his experience and apologized profusely for the selling of my car and leaving me with such a piece! and promised that we would go out and get something that I felt more comfortable in. Now that I am stuck with the decision of what to get next, I don't know what to do. I would love to have a minivan back because of all of the space, because I would love to have at least one more child and have plans to do some furniture refinishing next summer. He wants me to get something like an SUV or truck that would pull our boat and trailer. Whatever we end up with, it will definitely be the result of lots of discussion and compromise, so we do not end up with the same situation we just came out of.