Minivan Trouble

The minivan is in the shop today for three issues: (1) free first oil change; (2) grinding sound when opening/closing sliding door; and (3) bad noises and drag when careening down the highway over 75 mph. (Not that I do that.)

Sadly, only issue #1 was resolved. They had to order a new hinge for the door, and they couldn’t replicate the scary experience of #3 because it is raining cats and dogs. So I have to bring it back in when they get the part and the weather is more amiable to an 80 mph drive.

At least I can pick up the minivan tonight, which is great because I keep turning the windshield wipers on and off trying to shift gears in my husband’s Jeep Commander. And, I don’t owe the dealership a dime.

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Jimmy has entered a new phase of maternal attachment that is bringing up mixed feelings. On the one hand, go me. I’ve cemented myself as the guiding star of this little boy’s world. On the other hand, well — yeah, at this point I’m pretty much still reveling in my new star status.

I’m not at all annoyed by the fact that once I walk into a room and acknowledge him, he will cry if I don’t pick him up right away. I’m not annoyed that he now cries sometimes just because he wants, well, me. Honestly, it’s pretty awesome.

I’m not trying to raise a mama’s boy, to be sure. But I have to admit I am not motivated to break this budding attachment any time soon.

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Well This Changes Things

Because Saturday was the last day of the month, I decided to take a ride to the Chrysler dealer to see if I could wrangle a deal on a Town & Country, just for comparison’s sake with the Routan. Before I sought out a salesman, I took a few minutes to play around in the floor model. The Town & Country is nowhere near as luxurious inside as the Routan, but it is loaded with uber-practical features like a power lift gate and satellite radio — all standard on the Touring model.

I was absolutely astounded when the Chrysler salesman — in the first thirty seconds we talked — gave me a quote almost two hundred dollars a month cheaper than the Routan. He didn’t make me sit in his too-hot cubicle while he talked with his manager; he didn’t present me with a ridiculously high number he would do me a favor by lowering later on. And not only that; he also told me Chrysler was announcing new incentives on Tuesday and to call him then, because he could likely give me an even lower price.

When I asked about adding on remote start, he told me it was part of an inexpensive package that also includes a sliding center console (one of the things I loved about the Routan) and built in window shades — great for keeping the sun out of James’s eyes. He said it would be no problem to locate a black Town & Country with the remote start package. No problem. How refreshing!

So, I’m going to call this guy on Tuesday and see what he has to say. I am looking forward to a much more positive experience than I had at the VW dealership.

Embracing Suburbia

Ready to Ride

James is ready to ride.

Ever since my son James was born a month ago, I have felt this desperate need to buy a minivan.

When I was pregnant, when James only existed in theory, I felt like I had chosen a great daycare, that our house was clean enough, and that my little Toyota would carry us reliably around town for another hundred thousand miles.

Now that James’s little nine-pound body is in my arms nearly twenty hours a day, nothing seems safe enough. I am second-guessing the competence of the daycare to snuggle and stimulate him enough; to eradicate dust and dander I have washed blankets and upholstery that has gone months (okay, years) without soap; and I have unwaveringly convinced myself that the only vehicle safe enough for James to travel in is a minivan.

So, it’s a toss up between a VW Routan and a Toyota Sienna, and possibly the Chrysler Town & Country (although I am not a fan of its new styling, they have some great deals going on these days). We have plans to do some test drives on Saturday.