A few months ago, my oldest two children’s daily civil war had me wishing for a larger vehicle. A larger vehicle you say? Something more roomy, more comfortable, something more awesome than the minivan? Agreed, not possible. However, as of August 6, 2009 the number of children that I will haul around in minivan awesomeness has doubled. While the Caravan can seat seven relatively comfortably, add three baby seats and five bodies and the Caravan comes up a little short.
The self-improvement set would employ something cliche like ‘With every challenge an opportunity is presented’. A broken clock is right at least twice a day. But this an opportunity. A new vehicle is needed and with a family of eight, why not try and get another minivan?
While the funds are still tight, it doesn’t stop me from pining after the sexiness of this, or the hautness of this, or the American genius of this! However, the wife is using this opportunity to go after gas guzzling symbols of soccer mom status like this or even this. It hurts a little, the wife not wanting live the loco life with me in the minivan. But a man can dream right?
We have had the minivan for about two years now. The initial disappointment that accompanied the purchase of our ’05 Dodge Caravan was followed by a brief spell of the Kubler-Ross method of grieving. But it is hard to resist the incapsulated feel that the minivan provides. Acceptance comes relatively quick when you’ve got Michael Franks ‘Popsicle Toes’ playing while you and your offspring take in the cityscape from their individual seats.
Once you accept this la vida minivan loca, you start to appreciate the finer points of minivandom. Riding around in some trapezoidal time traveler starts to look and feel sexy to you,and that is the tipping point. That’s when you notice that minivans are everywhere. So many choices to be had, almost every brand has some model of minivan for you to lust after. Currently, the minivan of my eye (other than the ’05 Dodge Caravan) is the Honda Odyssey Touring edition. Pure awesomeness.
It happens so easily. The pace of the day allows the little things to go unattended. Daily commutes can get ugly on any given day: school drop off / pick up, work, saxophone lessons, guitar lessons, soccer practice twice a week, soccer games on Saturdays, as well as the spontaneous late night nacho runs from Taco Cabana. It gets crazy in these streets.
Frequently we find ourselves doing things in the minivan that a responsible minivan owner might avoid. (not the van-a-rockin’ variety) Domestic activities that are typically done in the comfort of our home might happen in the minivan regularly: shoe removal, sock removal, change clothes, store heavy jackets, mail sorting, eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner, pass gas and in the rare occasion of down time recline the captains chair and sleep. All of these activities bring with them a certain level of debris and odor. Nothing overtly foul, just one of those things that puts a wrinkle in your nose.
As the man of the house, ultimately the responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of the vehicle falls on me. However, combatting the onslaught of Now’n’Later wrappers, left foot socks, discarded sweaters and abandoned Chick-Fil-A cups is a task made only for the committed. I am not that committed. My time spent not working divided by the number of things that do not pay me would leave no time to ‘chillax’. (as my eldest daughter would say) So if you ever get into our beloved Dodge Caravan, and the air isn’t quite as fresh as you would like it to be, just remember what you’re smelling was once a burrito. Let us know if it offends you, we’ll get to it the weekend after next.