I’ve Got the Compact Car Blues

Not having the minivan to drive over the past few weeks while we wait for the transmission to be rebuilt has made me appreciate it all the more. Yeah, go ahead and scoff, people. I know, I know. Driving a van isn’t “cool” or “hip.” Some people go to many lengths to avoid such a faux pas in adulthood, making mental vows that they will never ever drive such a nerdmobile, no matter how many kids they have. And they sign a contract with themselves to never let down their guards, lest they wake up one morning and find a Dodge Grand Caravan in the driveway, complete with juice-stained carpet and crayons melted to the seats.

I, however, have never been bothered by driving a minivan. Maybe it’s because I grew up riding in a brown conversion van with decorative swirlies on the sides and the extra tire stored conveniently on one of the rear double doors. And it wouldn’t be complete without a Baldknobbers bumper sticker from the hillbilly family show in Branson. Now that’s a van! To me, driving a white Town & Country with sliding doors and a DVD player is nothing.

And now that this family of five has had to travel everywhere in a Nissan Sentra for a few weeks, even the jumbo jet-sized 10-passenger vans are looking good to me. Anything to put a little distance between me and the boys AND the boys themselves.

Observing the behavior of three boys confined to a small car is a study in both psychology and physics. Why must the elbows and fists begin flying as soon as the car is put into Drive? And there must be some sort of physical law that states that as the amount of cubic feet inside a vehicle decreases, the more a boy must increase his vocal volume.

Apparently the “quiet game” is not compatible with a small car either. Must be some adapter that we’re missing. And direct bribery? Yeah, it’s got no effect. Something about a small car renders it powerless, sucks all the juice right out of it.

And while it doesn’t work to have the middle child in the middle seat, it doesn’t work to have the oldest either. There appears to be no possible combination that produces a peaceful ride. (Especially when there is a dog thrown into the mix.)

And despite Husband’s opinion, turning up the radio even louder does not make them get quieter. Nor does it do anything for my headache.

So Al of Al’s Transmission, if you would call me today and tell me that my minivan with the captain chairs and rear bench seat, providing three separate spaces for my three separate children to sit, is fixed, I may shed a few tears of joy. Cracked windshield, dented bumper and all—it’s going to be a sight for sore ears eyes.

Image courtesy of alvo at stock.xchng.


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