Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to be Cool in a Minivan

I know, I know, you and I and 50 billion other people have said it … “I swore I would never drive a minivan.” Well, crap. Here we are, lined up in the school parking lot, alarms going off, automatic doors opening … anything we can do to locate our silver Honda in a line of 13 others just like it.

Secretly, it was the single best decision we’ve made since the birth of our children. I see moms still lifting their 5-year-olds into an SUV, then crawling in with them to buckle them. I loved my little crossover when I had two small babies, but the ease of the minivan for both the kids and me is not something I will soon give up. With three kids, a stroller, pack ‘n’ play, potty chair, cooler, car activities, and luggage for five, there is no way we’d be able to take a trip longer than 45 minutes.

So, for those of us who think we couldn’t live without our minivans, here are my rules for attempting to be cool.

  1. No stick figure families.
  2. No personalized license plates with “XYZPLS3” or “USX3.” First of all, I’ve seen the latter, and I’m pretty sure they don’t mean two people times three, because I only see 5 stick figures, so … unless my math is off.
  3. When you open the side door, Goldfish crackers should not fall to the pavement in a slow and agonizing death. (Oops. Guilty.)
  4. Do not use the DVD player on your 10-minute ride to preschool.
  5. Tint the windows as much as you can so people can’t see the hell that is breaking loose inside the vehicle.
  6. No stickers on the car, including “My kid is an honor roll student,” the acronym stickers with black letters on the white oval to indicate your favorite beach or school, or the sport stickers—including, but not limited to the ones that look like a ball has broken your window and you chose to leave it there.
  7. The volume should not be above 11 when listening to XM 078 (kid tunes).
  8. The volume should be the same when you are alone and listening to your favorite music. If you listen to it louder, don’t open your windows. You don’t want to look like you are trying too hard.
  9. Do NOT, under any circumstance, talk or text on your handheld device while driving. The only thing more irritating than someone texting or talking on their phone while driving is a mom in a minivan texting or talking on her phone while driving.
  10. Do anything you can to have date night with your husband, or a girls’ night with friends, and NOT drive the minivan. Even following the above nine rules, your cool factor goes right out the window when you step out of the minivan with cleavage and high heels. Your self-esteem will be tarnished when you have glances from hipsters and DINKs that scream, “Aw, that’s so sad. That poor couple. They’ll be home by 10, but at least they are trying.” And, then you are like, “Whatever … don’t feel sorry for me … I, I, I … got nothin’ … damn minivan.”

That being said, it doesn’t matter what you drive. You have kids and when you are 80 and driving your convertible solar-powered sports car, you will look back and know that being a parent was the coolest freakin’ thing you ever did. See you on the road!

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  2. I LOVE mine...I have had 3 over the years and couldn't live without them.
    We tried to get pregnant for the last baby for several years...we decided it wasn't going to happen. I decided to enjoy the two I had and go ahead...sell the mini van and move onto the next phase of life.
    I was pregnant within a few months of selling the mini van! Long story short I lasted exactly 2 weeks with a new baby/3 kids and no mini van! I was like "How does anyone have a baby creature without a mini van! I don't get it! I need my lazy doors!" So now...I drive a silver Honda BUT I put a Peace Frog stick figure on the back so I can figure out which one is mine when parked beside three other Honda's. That sticker was one of the best thing I ever did...it has saved me a million times at Costco ;-)

    1. Haha! Yes, a sticker for that purpose is not a bad idea!

  3. Ok...I have one, pregnant with number 2, and the husband is literally out buying the minivan right now (against my will) while I supervise dinner in the high chair and google "how to be cool in a minivan" and simultaneously mourn the loss of my youth. Thanks for this blog post!

    1. LOL. Too funny! I hope it treats you well. Moment of silence for your youth. ;-)

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  5. Anyone who tries to be cool isn't. How to be cool in a minivan: use it to drive around in.

    Musicians (who are all cool) drive minivans because they carry lots of stuff.

    To conclude - don't try to be cool. Try to be happy.

  6. sorry raised 2 kids and NOT once EVER EVER consider buying a minivan and the wife would not be caught dead in one