Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fine, I admit it. I drive a minivan and I like it. (Well, most of it.)

Hi. My name is Silence of the Mom, I drive a minivan. And I like it.

There, I admitted it. I always swore I would never be one of those moms. But, here I am, a husband, 5 kids and 2 dogs later and it is either a minivan, or a conversion van...aka...kidnapper van. I sure as shit ain't doing that.

(We don't have a stick figure family, by the way. 
Or a soccer mom sticker. I do have some sense of dignity left.)

Anyhoo, I actually love my mom-mobile. It is a relatively new one with all the bells and whistles. In the beginning, the automatic back doors really excited me. I was like a kid at Christmas (or me at Christmas, because I LOVE IT!). The kids were equally impressed. They thought it looked like a spaceship when I hit the buttons and opened the trunk and two back doors at the same time.

When we got the van, I was still working full time and was dropping my kids off at before school care. No frantic pushing the kids out in the drop off lane for fear of being scolded by the lady with the stop sign for taking to long.

After I had the 9-month-old and got laid off from my job (in that order), we decided to try and make it work as long as possible with me staying home due to the extortionate daycare costs for newborns. I already know what daycare I want her to go to - the same one my other two went to, but they don't take kids younger than 18 months.

Well, with me staying home, there was obviously no need to put the kids in before and after school care, so I drop them off and pick them up in that dreaded line every day. I had never really thought about there being "rules and regulations" other than, well, dropping off and picking up your kids and trying not to run over anyone else's. But then I read Hot Mess Mom's Un-Edited Student Drop-Off Etiquette and I realized there was a lot more to it than first meets the eye.

Here's where those automatic doors come in to play.

My kids get in and out on the right side of the car, there is no fixing of ponytails or long drawn-out goodbyes and they have been able to buckle and un-buckle their own seat belts since they started using seat belts. (Thank god for the last one because driving a minivan would mean I would need Go-Go-Gadget arms to buckle and un-buckle them.)

The things that get me into trouble? Yep, you guessed it. The damn automatic back doors. I have to put the car in park in order to open them. I have to keep it in park in order to close them. I can start to drive away as they are closing as long as I don't go over about 2 miles an hour. They they catapult back open.

Just as I think I have the hang of these things after driving the van for over a year, it all goes terribly wrong.

Like this morning.

We pull up to the "black pole" where I proceed to put the van in park, hoping I can do it and hit the "open" button before that little do-gooder with the yellow sash on can put his mitts on the door handle. No such luck. This kid was quick. He slowly pulls the door open just enough to hear me say "leave it please, it opens automatically" at which point I flash an oh-so-sweet-smile and push the little button, clicking the door back in to auto-mode.

Phew. That was relatively painless. Kids get out and, as I'm thinking don't touch that handle, you little shit, he asks if it closes automatically as well. "Yes, it does. I've got it. Thanks!" <Insert oh-so-sweet-smile.>

The door starts to close and I put the van in drive and suddenly get distracted by the twat-waffle scooting out of line behind me trying to get around and in front of me. Then there's the stop-sign lady and all the patrol kids waving me on to move up. I start to panic and a slight sweat appears on my brow. Stop waving me on. I know where to go. There is no other way to go! I succumb to the pressure and push the van up to about 3.5 miles an hour.

At this time I am snapped back to reality by the sound of the goddamn back door reopening. "Fucker! I hate these fucking doors. What the fuck?!" Pretty sure the patrol guards heard that one so I flash that oh-so-sweet-smile again. I don't think it worked this time. They just looked at me...they even stopped waving me on.

Now I have to put the van back in park, halfway in the drop-off lane and half-way in the through traffic lane, press the sodding button - again - and wait for it to close, almost all the way, before I can put the van back in drive and slowly creep off, under 2 miles an hour, until I hear the click of the door latching.

What the hell just happened? Who designed these stupid doors anyway?

Seriously, how much sense does it make to have a door open on a MOVING vehicle? Seems to me that would be some kind of safety hazard. Especially in a vehicle that most likely transports children.

I'm sure there is some logical explanation as to why the doors were designed this way. I can't think of one, but I'm sure there is one.

And at that, I must leave you as the dog just barked and woke up the baby!

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