Seeing Ryan's dream car in the parking lot of the restaurant we frequent for breakfast tacos provided a poignant contrast on the day we were planning to go finalize a deal on a minivan.
I may never drop a hundred and forty grand on a car, but my kids think I can fly like Superman!
The car we chose is one we had looked at a couple of weeks ago. Ryan found it on Craigslist and it had everything we wanted (Me: Eight seats. EIGHT. And an iPod port. Ryan: Good mechanical condition, reasonable mileage, yawn!).
We took it to a mechanic for a checkup, thought about it for a few days, then Ryan and the owner negotiated over the phone and settled on a price. I didn't tell the kids where we were going when we went to pick it up because Charlie's been begging for "the right minivan" ever since we started looking and Wes asks every night if tomorrow we could go "wook at cars?" We've been riding around in the van for twenty-four hours now and I think Wes still thinks we are car shopping. He's probably waiting for us to take him to Starbucks so he can drink chocolate milk while Ryan and I have a really boring conversation with lots of spelled words.
I got to tell Charlie the good news while Ryan went inside the house to sign the paperwork:
Wes was unimpressed:
After all the papers had been signed we spent an awkwardly long time milling around in the seller's driveway getting the car seats in the van and calling the insurance company to add it to our policy (seriously, sometimes it's like Ryan is the only adult in this family).
And then we drove both cars straight to Sonic. It's a family car-buying tradition. The kids wanted Ryan to sit in the back with them (Wes was not still asleep, just not cooperating). Ryan had to get out just before the food came for some reason and I had to throw Charlie's hamburger to him.
Then the wind changed direction and it started to get cold, so I turned the key to close the windows and NOTHING happened. I fiddled with the shifter and pumped the brake a few times and tried again, also with no success. Weird! I guess the mechanic wasn't just being alarmist when he said we would need to replace the battery almost immediately. Ryan had planned on doing the battery that afternoon anyway, so he took the other car to go get some tools and a new battery while the overtired and now very bored kids and I stayed at Sonic. He returned thirty minutes, one spilled lemonaide slush, and four-thousand empty threats later and heroically installed the new battery to a chorus of little boys chanting "Yay, Papa! Yay, Papa!"
It started right up with the new battery, so I drove it home and installed the infant seat in the middle row, right next to Wes's seat. And then Ryan and I stood side by side in the driveway staring at all those car seats. I can't believe there are going to be PEOPLE in all of them very soon.