Jimmy Conquers the Matrix

Last night for the first time, due to a complicated array of circumstances that rendered our Jeep Commander unavailable, I had to fit three passengers — my 6’1″ husband, my 14-year-old son who already wears size 12 shoes, and James in his Cadillac of a car seat — into my adorable and trusty Toyota Matrix. This arrangement rendered the Matrix into something of a clown car.

With Jimmy’s car seat installed behind the front passenger seat, any front-seat Matrix passenger must contort into a position ridiculously close to the dashboard. My husband folded himself into something of a fortune cookie, knees to his chest, as Junior filled up the portion of the back seat that wasn’t occupied by James and the giant car seat. I could feel the lanky teenage legs pressed up against the back of my seat as I drove. Quite literally, I had to put my purse in the trunk because there was no room for it in the front of the car. 

We only had to drive a few miles this way, but the experience further reinforced the fact that a minivan is in our near future, although we have written off the Scottish Routan salesman. After several e-mail exchanges, it is clear that he is either blatantly ignoring my requests or that he simply can’t read.

So even if we could get a decent deal out of him on the version of the Routan I want (which has been an experience akin to teaching my dog to talk), my husband and I agree that we don’t want our money to support his anti-American, misogynistic, possibly illiterate self anyhow. We may still end up with a Routan, but we won’t be buying it from that guy.

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.