For starters, it’s roomy. My three boys can spread out and there is no touching. None. Secondly, I can make a Costco run or make out at IKEA like a bandit and never worry how I am going to get everything home. Open the hatch and pile it in. No finessing required. Thirdly, I never feel cramped when we are driving all together and I always feel cramped. No one can touch me when they are belted into their seats. No one can encroach on my space.
Unlike Nathalie, I spend a lot of timing driving the boys around to activities, school, their grandparents, the grocery store . . . pretty much everywhere. I gave up feeling guilty about this in the throes of the polar vortex.
Like Nathalie, we’re never far from sporting equipment. Spring marked the transition from skis and toboggans to baseball gloves and balls. My boys will toss the ball around any chance they get; when they are waiting for their brother to finish an activity, waiting for a school bell, waiting for me to finish yapping with my friends.
Before children we used to switch out the winter mats of our car. After children, we NEVER switch out the winter mats of our van. Why? If you are asking, then you clearly don’t have children.
I always have juice boxes. You’d think my kids are in a constant state of dehydration based on how often they ask for something to drink. Since we pepper our day with outdoor play at any opportunity, I usually have a sweaty crew of boys. Juice boxes store nicely in the side compartment because the million cup holders that come with the van are always in use, holding anything and everything but cups. (See above picture)
This CD saved my sanity more times than I care to admit. Even though my boys have long outgrown listening to the story, I can’t bring myself to remove it from the van because for so many years I needed to have it at arm’s length. There may or may not have been times when I drove around the city childless with this playing in the background.
I will never be without the following essentials:
– Ziploc baggies (the uses are too numerous to list, but barf bag tops the list)
– Wet wipes (every parent knows why)
Here is what I like to call The Abyss of Crap. It’s a bit like Mary Poppins’ carpetbag: a complete mash-up of random things. Math flashcards, sunscreen, CDs, hand sanitizer, earpieces, sunglasses, more Kleenex, crumbled crackers, stale Goldfish . . .