|© 2009 SouthPark Studios|
Domestic Enemies of the Prius-Driving Mom
First and foremost driving a Prius has a certain kind of, dare I say, "smugness" associated with it and South Park has a whole episode dedicated to putting Prius drivers in their place. Everyone knows you spend less on gas and there is a debatable theory that you're hurting the environment less with your righteous investment in hybrid technology. But no one has quite figured out what to do with the spent Prius batteries, so we shall see if that claim pans out. Of course, a distinguishing feature of the Prius is its form factor--which is a hatchback. It served all our needs as a DINK (Dual Income No Kids) + YUPPIE (Young Urban Professional) Couple. Then we had a child who came with gear and it suddenly feels slightly inadequate. But it's our only car so we make it work despite these enemies:
As a mom, you want deals on essentials in large quantities. We didn't shop at Costco until after we had a kid because we never needed as much as Costco was willing to give us. (You CAN have too much fruit leather by the way.) But as soon as my daughter was born, we turned into wholesale consumers of diapers, wipes, paper towels & formula. Only problem is, you need a car that can handle Costco. With a car seat and any form of a stroller in the back of a Prius, you've just seriously jeopardized your capacity for large boxy items. If you get impulsy and also buy a new HEPA Vacuum, a humidifier and a case of wine, you'd better be good at Tetris and hope the kid isn't claustrophobic with all the stuff stacked to the ceiling on either side of them.
Why is it that these cars have been on the market over 6 years and valets still act a little nervous when they take the keys? I know it has a push button start but even my 2-year-old has figured it out already. And please, don't take offense when I ask if you'd like me to show you how to turn it on and/or make it go. The old man at the Jiffy Lube spent a very amusing few minutes trying to get it into the service bay because he was too manly to let me show him how the car worked.
No, I don't want to race you and should I ever be ahead or passing you, please don't take it as a challenge. I just need to get by you or you need to speed up.
Secret Mini-Van Envy
When we fly places and have to rent cars, sometimes we get minivans. Can I tell you that it's like a vacation within a vacation? Having so much choice of where to put stuff and people makes my head spin. We just came back from Canada where we had a Dodge Grand Caravan and I was freaking out. You mean I don't have to contort and strain my back to get my child into the car seat? Or I don't have to make the Sophie's choice between the emergency roadside kit and the BOB stroller? Or the side doors and the hatch open with the touch of a button? Minivans are not sexy or hip but they sure are convenient. Parking them in the city is not so fun but who am I kidding? I only go to the grocery store, the park, co-op and Costco/Target/The Mall. All of which accommodate minivans.
Spectre of a 2nd Child
It's just a matter of time. There is no way my 6' husband can sit in one of the front seats with 2 kids in car seats behind us. There just isn't enough leg room. And don't get me started about how we'd even attempt to get a double stroller in there as well.
Four Adults Who Want to Go Somewhere
Today's car seats are a triumph of technology and padding. Even the more streamlined ones that are suggested for smaller cars still have a decent-sized foot print. In our case, the car seat sits smack in the middle of the back seat. It allows 2 adults to sit uncomfortably on either side just long enough to get to a restaurant or a relative's house. But if the child isn't accompanying us, it is fairly straightforward thanks to the LATCH system to remove it. Just don't look at the seat and all the gross food, sand and debris that is now where the car seat was.