Not very long ago, I swore on any grave that I could think of that I would never own a minivan. I wasn’t that kind of mom – after all, I was cool. I was the ‘big SUV’ mom who was young, fun, and trendy. I wore skinny jeans and drank Starbucks. Just kidding on the Starbucks. Coffee makes me want to hurl.
In late 2010, when I became pregnant with what we thought would be our second child, we knew we needed a bigger car. We travel quite a bit, usually with our 85 pound dog in tow, and needed space for all of us and our stuff. About that same time, several commercials came out mocking the ‘mom-mobile’ in an attempt to make it hip again. We came thisclose to looking at vans. I blame social media. Long-story-short, we didn’t look at vans and instead bought a Lincoln MKT. It was new that year – a crossover between a car and an SUV. It had three rows of seats (only two seats in the last row) and some storage space. It kind of looked like a cross between a space shuttle and a station wagon. I know what you are thinking … Sexy.
Once Luke came around, it became pretty obvious that the MKT wasn’t lighting our fire or really working for us. Anna entered the world of television and realized that she could watch TV in the car if we had a DVD player. We attempted to use a portable player, but that was a nightmare. Now, Luke has the ‘TV itch’ and wants to watch too. He can’t hold the portable DVD player (as if Anna would let him), so it’s a huge blow up. To add to that, when we would travel to visit family (which means we bring our dog, Lucy), there was next to no room for all the crap that we also needed to bring. It was becoming obvious that needed a better solution.
So, we started researching. We didn’t want to do a big SUV because we didn’t want to pay that much or empty our wallet putting gas in it. Cars were out because we needed space – and lots of it. I started toying around with the idea of getting a minivan. It was a major fall from grace to even consider one. They are just so freaking practical, it was stupid to not consider one. We started researching and looking. Can I just say that minivans hold their value? Holy cow! It’s next to impossible to find a nice, used van with navigation and a DVD player (both are must for us) that was in our price range. It looked like a lost cause, then we found a Volkswagen dealer who was giving a major cash-off option on their new Routans. I could dig a Volkswagen, right? Volkswagens are trendy, right? So, I went to check them out one day by myself. If you could ignore the fact that it’s a minivan, the exterior is actually kind of cool looking. The interior was even nicer! Everything was there. I mean, the dash is like a complete mom command center. Seriously. If the thing had a refrigerator for milk, we’d never have to get out of it. I called Alex and told him that I really liked it. He was speechless. Before I knew it, I was taking one home to try out for the night.
The next morning, the kids were extra whiny getting ready for school. It was one of those days that you were counting down the minutes until you could hand them off to get a little bit of a break. (Don’t judge me – I know you have those days too.) We threw the kids in the van and turned on the DVD player. They both instantly went silent, completely content. My jaw dropped. Is this why everyone is buying these things??? We were sold. Hell, I’ll take two if it keeps them from being major whine-bags. I think I even said, ‘Who should I make the check out to?’
Now, I was ready to sign on the line and make this van ours, except the exterior was robin’s egg blue. It was the only color they had. It was a major leap for me to buy a minivan. Feeling like I was driving around in an Easter egg was a deal breaker. I told them that if they could get a sexier color (see, I’m still trendy), I’d buy it. The dealer traded and a few days later we drove our new baby home. The cherry on top – we traded in for a brand new car and now have a lower monthly payment. I tell you what – so f-ing practical in so many ways.