Whole Parenting Family

How I Fell Into Owning a Minivan {you read that right}

buying a minivanIt’s happened. Stop the presses. Wait–roll the presses & print this hot off the press: Nell owns a minivan. Nell will be driving said minivan. Around town. Toting & hauling her three kids. Driving to both the coop & Costco. Moms group & date night.

You may wonder why I have mixed feelings about the minivander. This is a change from my years of hatred. When I was pregnant with SuperBoy, AA and I bought our first car together. We walked around the lot with an over eager salesman. He showed us a minivan with a huge grin on his face. Boy, we were his target audience. Pregnant woman, young couple, car shopping, of course we would spring for the vander.

buying a minivan

In a moment’s flash, his face fell as he realized I would rather die a death of serf in the Middle Ages than drive a minivan. He moved on to the Rav4 Toyota with a third row. Why? Because we had researched the heck out of it and AA found the one Rav4 in Minnesota that had a third row. Why the third row? Because we could fit four kids in there! Maybe even five! And two adults!

Clearly I had never actually seen what sized child could fit in the very small third row. In our few weeks of having three kids, and shoving SuperBoy in the third row, squeezing SweetPea into the second row, and shoving the driver’s seat forward, ahhhhhhh. You see where this is going.

But I didn’t, couldn’t, and was in complete denial. I even had crammed myself into the third row once, just to make the point to me & my family that we could def do this. We could fit sooooo many people in our car. I think I suffered serious charlie horses but felt very vindicated that I would never drive a minivvvvvv. I said as much many times over to each and every member of my family.

Bridget, the oldest, smiled her Chesire Cat smile and told me on a number of occasions that I would drive a 15 passenger van before I knew it. Yeah, right. Over my very dead body.


Out of the blue, my pseudo uncle who is an auto expert called and said he’d found the perfect car for our burgeoning and bulging family. But we weren’t really looking for a car. I suppose this car found us. The car was going to move quickly, either in our direction or someone else’s. I called AA and told him what my uncle described as our perfect car.

Dead silence on the other end of the line. I knew what he was thinking. She’ll never go for this.


I jumped right into that quiet lake: YES, WE SHOULD BUY IT!

The shock was equal for both of us. I must have changed my opinion mid third pregnancy on a subconscious level, realizing how crowded the Rav4 really would be with three kids, much less four.  He must have been relieved as his knees have been totally smooshed when carting all the kiddos around.


I must have let go of my self-image as a cool person, too cool for minis. I must have embraced practicality, and the knowledge that no one cares what I drive. Most of my friends drive minivans. No one cares. It’s obvious we’ve got three kids, and we need to drive them around. And we’re a one-car family, so there you go.

Goodbye, cute red Rav4. Hello, cute Red Apple. Dodge Caravan, 2013!


NuNu took the kids on a little wagon adventure. Tres fun!