July 12, 2005


We are fortunate enough to have two vehicles, both of which actually drive and do not sit up on blocks in the front yard, contrary to what some of you may think about people in the South. Our two vehicles though, are very different. I get to drive the 2000 Mazda MPV, which hauls children around very well. Justin is driving the first car I ever owned -- a 1988 Volvo wagon, which though running poorly and ailing in general, gets him to and from work and is a wonderful car for carrying all sorts of cargo.

Last Friday as I pulled into the parking garage at the library the check engine light came on in the van. Justin came over from work and checked the fluids and such, which seemed fine. As a side note, I am capable of checking the fluids, but with three somewhat fussy, impatient children in tow, it becomes more complicated than yielding control in exchange for help. We then drove it by the mechanic, who checked it out and said that it was safe to drive home and we should bring in on Monday.

After wedging three carseats tightly into the back of the Volvo, Justin drove off with my van to the mechanic's yesterday. I managed to avoid driving yesterday, but today I had to drive Justin to work and run over to our insurance agent's office to pay some bills that I'd forgotten to put in the mail in a timely fashion.

I am so lucky to have something else to drive besides the rattle trap. The carseats are jammed together and only one kid can get in at a time. The Boy can't even buckle his own belt when his sisters are in there, because one carseat covers the buckle for the next. Also, the automatic locks don't work, so I have unlock and lock each door separately and since the handle has fallen off the outside of the of the rear driver's side door, funky contorsions are required to open it from the inside.

Yes, I know, it is only one step removed in redneckedness from sitting on blocks in the front yard, but at least it drives and gets Justin where he wants to go. It was a great car in its day and has served me well since I bought it in 1997, but I sure am glad I don't have to drive it around on a regular basis anymore.


Any mention on the miles for the Volvo? And are you going to get (or do you already have) one of those fancy badges for the 200k club (like a certain marsupial blogger)?

I can't imagine wedging three carseats in the backseat of a vehicle. I suppose you could ask for volunteers for the trunk ... naah, just kidding.

I can remember when it was just a parent's backhand that kept a kid in his seat, in the "good ol' days". It does make me sad/angry to see kids crawling around the inside of a car while a parent is trying to drive.

Posted by: MarcV at July 12, 2005 02:16 PM

Marc, the odometer on our car died at 167,000 miles over 4 years ago. Unlike the previous owner of Terry's car, we were not meticulous about keeping records of our mileage. In fact, we didn't even notice for quite a while that the odometer had died. So while we are probably nearing the 200,000 mile mark, we will have no idea when it arrives.

Before we got our minivan in anticipation of the birth of the third child, some people liked to point out that most people with three kids had done just fine without a van in the old days, but of course, back in those days, carseats were not required and there was a reason those things were called land yachts.

Posted by: Jordana at July 12, 2005 03:01 PM

I realize it's not worth it, but have you ever considered getting one of the accessory rear-facing third seats for the Volvo? Again, I know it's really not worth doing, but if you had a couple of hundred spare dollars, it could give the Boy some place to sit without being all jammed up during emergency MPV outages.

And you're right out the reason cars used to hold so many more munchkins--back in the olden times, you didn't have to wear seatbelts, and people didn't think anything wrong about letting babies sit in their lap, or having four or twelve unbelted kids in the backseat. Ahhh--the good ol' days!

My only hope is that your Volvo hasn't actually "severed you well." Unless you got the special Razor Blade Option Package. ;)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 14, 2005 09:19 AM

Ouch. My typos are somewhat spectacular in their badness, huh. Most I don't worry too much about fixing -- they show the "authentic" me, but that one had to be fixed.

Posted by: Jordana at July 14, 2005 10:13 AM

Oh and if we used the Volvo for child-hauling very often, we might need one of those third rows of seats, but that would impede it general use as a lumber/mulch/junk hauling car. Plus, I always got sick when sitting backwards.

Posted by: Jordana at July 14, 2005 10:15 AM