I like to think that I am an agent of change. That rather than being the type of person who stands idly by when I spot an injustice, instead, I rise to the occasion and give voice to an issue. Only, this time, I don’t know who to go to… so I’m taking my movement to the blogosphere.
It is time, for parking spots to grow to accept larger vehicles. There. I said it. Now, if I were a little more environmentally minded, I wouldn’t have such a large vehicle (reducing your carbon footprint is so… trendy. Okay... clearly that was an attempt at humor). I drive a vehicle, which the public would refer to as “a crossover vehicle.” I like that title, it sounds so much better than what my car really is, “a mini-van in training.” I used to be the type of person who would boast, “when the time comes in life that I may consider a mini-van, I won’t fight it.” It’s important for you to realize that I am all talk.
When Matt and I were considering growing our family, we also were considering getting a new car. We were trying to think ahead and get a car that would be suitable for a family of four that could also handle the gear that a family of four needs when taking driving vacations. The more the word “mini-van” got tossed around, the closer I was to tossing my cookies. Then, I met, and fell in love with my Saturn Outlook. An SUV on the outside, but a mini-van on the inside. The car came first, the news of twins came after (making our dream of a family of four, into the reality of a family of five). Oh dear. Thank GOD we had gotten that ginormous not-a-mini-van.
The more kids you have the more car seats you have. It’s a fact of life, albeit one Mrs. Garret kept under her bouffant (points for an 80's pop-culture reference?). Ironically, the smaller those kids are, the more elaborate and obnoxious (and often, bulky) those car seats are. It took weeks of experimenting to figure out the best configuration of the car seats in our not-a-mini-van, but we got it, we’re comfortable with it, and we do our best, even though it can be tricky. Everywhere I park, I mentally rehearse the process of getting all the kids out of the car. Who will get out first/second/third? Will I make use of the double stroller, or just carry the twins carriers in my arms? (Surprisingly, there are times that this feat of strength is actually more practical). Where will the safest place be to set a car seat down while I get the other one out? How do I get the 3 year old out of the car and make sure he doesn’t run into oncoming traffic? Etc. etc. My head spins. It’s like designing a seating chart for a wedding (not that I’d know, because I wasn’t even organized enough to do THAT). So, while to the common observer, the dance we do may look well choreographed, it is only because all my traveling time is devoted to planning the execution of our evacuation – as each parking situation requires a plan a, b, and c, depending on the circumstances.
So, you can imagine that this modern problem of the parking spaces inability to accommodate the girth of the not-a-mini-van is especially troubling for the mother of infant multiples in their ridiculously large car seats and a pre-schooler who may or may not be listening depending on his mood. I also don’t want to be that spectacular a-hole who parks across two spots just so I have the room I so desperately need. Where do we go with this? I think this is going to have to begin as a grassroots movement. Once we’ve achieved this transformation, we can begin our movement for bigger shopping carts (with cup holders, please). You’re with me, right? Sweet. Should we march… or drive?