Whew, what a roller coaster couple of weeks this has been!
I'm pretty sure one of the nine circles of hell is being in a car dealership with small children.
Two weeks ago, after about a month of shopping around, Brian found his van. It's a 2010 Honda Odyssey, and definitely the nicest and newest car we've ever owned. In fact it's so nice that we have this pathological need to explain to people that it wasn't our idea to buy such a fancy vehicle, but that we have to have this nice of a car because the state told us too. Basically, our choices were limited to two options and they both have to be fairly top of the line to have the right electrical system to have the ramp installed. I don't think people are really judging us, or even care all that much, but I still feel I have to tell them that left to our own devices we would have gone with something less expensive. I'll tell you what though, it is a sweet ride. Power everything. I've been trying not to be pouty over the fact that it will be Brian's full time and not mine...
The original plan was to just have me take over driving the Accord, but one day of running errands was enough to see that it wasn't going to work. My kids have never fought over who was in who's space in the car before, and Jake has to climb over someone in a booster seat and kept smacking them upside the head with his huge backpack. Plus every. single. time I would get in or out I would smack my knee on the hand control and have to bite my tongue to keep from saying really un-lady like things. Also I happened to mention to Brian (strictly in the course of working through some emotions related to yet more changes in our life) that I was struggling with feeling like less of a mom without my minivan. I know, I know. I didn't say they made sense, but sometimes feelings don't make sense.
But being a guy and therefore a "fixer", Bri was on a mission to find me a car that would be more practical and help me feel like a mom again. He's sweet like that. After awhile I agreed that it would probably be a smart move to find a car that would help us lower our monthly payments. So one week later we were out car shopping again. I'll tell you, you get some funny looks when you drive onto a car lot in a fancy new van with a temporary registration still on. Once we explained what we were looking for and why we got a lot of friendly help, but still... if I never have to go car shopping again it will be too soon!
We finally found the car that fit all of our requirements yesterday. And believe you me, we had a lot of requirements. (We really made the poor salesman earn that commission...)
It's a 2004 Toyota Highlander.
Brian says it fits my personality. Not being a car person, I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not.
Either way I love my new car! It's definitely more of a plain Jane, not so many frills kind of gal, but I don't care. Truthfully, she's really more my speed. It even has a tape deck! I can listen to my old mixed tapes again! Yay!
(Don't tell Brian, but I'm even thinking of getting a bumper sticker for her... you know, really customize her.)
Today we drove out to meet Brian after work and pick up my new car. There are a lot of logistical headaches with changing cars, getting the hand controls pulled and re-installed, since Bri can't drive without them. Thankfully the place where we have that done is right down the street from Brian's work and he has some great co-workers who've been so kind as to give him rides after he's dropped off the cars.
On the way to the dealership from the mobility place, Brian (with all three kids in the van) hit a dog that ran out into the road. I was right behind him and saw the whole thing. It was mildly traumatizing. Fortunately the dog was tiny (either a lab puppy or a min pin) and was only hit by the bumper and rolled between the tires. He jumped up onto his back paws and waved his front paws in the air at our van (which I am pretty sure was the canine equivalent of flipping Brian the bird...) then ran off. We followed the direction he ran into a trailer park, but couldn't ever find him. Brian stopped and talked to a couple who were watering their front lawn and saw the whole thing. They knew the neighbor whose dog it was and told Brian not to worry, they'd let them know that there was nothing Brian could have done to avoid hitting the dog and that he'd come back to try and apologize. They thought the dog would be sore, but there wasn't any permanent damage. That helped the kids calm down a lot.
Then it was off to the car dealership, where we spent over two hours on paperwork and such while our kids ran riot. Again. I know. You'd think we'd learn. Really, though there was no one available to babysit. At one point I excused myself from where we were filling out forms to go check what all the screaming was about. Jake was dragging Lila across the floor by one leg trying to make her come back and sit on the waiting area couch. The mental picture gets even better when I tell you that she was wearing a little sun dress and her cowboy boots today, so all you could see was one booted foot thrashing around trying to kick Jake in the shins while her dress was covering her head where it had ridden up while she was being drug around. It's moments like that that just make you want to exclaim loudly, "Whose children are these?!" as you run the other way...
We finally got home around 10:30 pm, and I think Evie summed it up the best. As I was tucking her in bed she said, "Getting a new car is fun, but car shopping is no fun at all!" Good thing that the next time we have to shop for a car our children should be old enough to be out of the house! Or at least not need a babysitter...