By Heather Keenan
Windows down, music cranked, rolling out. There I go, cruising around town, feeling good. Only wrinkle? I am definitely rocking a minivan. I think all of us have a love/hate relationship with our minis. There are pros to driving these mom mobiles, and there are absolutely cons. Lets discuss……
Doors that open with the touch of a button. While the minivan is far from the coolest looking beast on the roads, you do have to admit that you look way cooler approaching a car, with two handfuls of grocery bags, that is already opening its doors for you. No fumbling and no dropping the milk in the parking lot. Leaving the museum with a screaming toddler under your arm? Let the van get the door, you are already working hard enough.
While operating the van, one has the tendency to forget that one is operating a van. Once those kids are dropped off at their schools it is time to crank up some Snoop and roll out! The best (or maybe worst?) part of this con is that you will eventually remember you are driving a mini. You will remember it at a stop light, when the car full of high school kids beside you rolls up their windows because they have never had the pleasure of memorizing every lyric to Gin and Juice. Their loss, really.
The mini is nothing short of a studio apartment on wheels. Potty training? No problem, there is more than enough room in the back for a travel potty and for it to be used. Toys in the car? Sure! I have an actual van toy box in there, filled with great things to keep my monsters entertained. Snacks? Of course! Why else would that cooler be permanently placed in the back? You never know when you will need an emergency juice box and bag of goldfish.
The third row of the van might as well be another country. You will never go back there, so you will never know what is back there. Thinking about it, maybe that is a pro, because once you do venture back there, you will wish you could go back to not knowing what was back there. Kids are gross, as I have told you before, and they do not care in the least what conditions they ride in. They would rather actually stick to the arm rest than fess up and tell you they have spilled a juice box.
Driving a mini will give you a total sense of camaraderie. You will see other ones on the road and you will know that they are on your team. They have a potty and three year old cheese-its in the back, too. They are in this with you!
When you leave that nice, fancy, dinner feeling great about yourself and looking amazing, you will have to leave in your mini. Nothing is quite as deflating as having to walk up to, and claim, your minivan. Thing is, your mini won’t judge you, it knows you would rather be walking up to a Land Rover, and maybe one day you will be, but for now, mini will get you home.
Love them or hate them, the minivan seems to be around to stay for parents of small kids. It took a while for me to be ok with driving one, that’s for sure. I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass, one day I will be booster seat free and rocking a sedan. But, until that day, mini me.