Remember The Other Half’s reaction to the news of twins? “We’re going to need a bigger car”.
Typical male thought, I’d say. And a totally reasonable one at that, if not slightly devoid of emotion, but I’ll let him have that one. I was outpouring enough emotion for the both of us.
Turns out needing to get a bigger car, isn’t as simple as it sounds. Or it’s not if you have any interest in driving what is considered to be a ‘nice’ car.
Unfortunately for us, we were in that category. We like a ‘nice’ car. All you need to do is look at the smile on my face in this photo to tell that… Could I look any more smug?
Each to their own and all that, some people like holidays/casinos/posh clothes/big houses, we like cars. What was even more unfortunate was the fact only two months before we’d bought a shiny new, all-singing, all-dancing, top-of-the-range, fancy BMW as our ‘family’ car for the next few years. That one was now begrudgingly heading back to the garage to be traded in, along with its amazing heated steering wheel, and a whole heap of lost equity. Middle class problems, and all that.
Apparently if you want to fit three baby and toddler seats in the back of your car, the choice is, shall I say, somewhat limited. Most cars have a ‘half seat’ in the middle – not that I had ever noticed this. But it ain’t big enough to comfortably (and legally) squeeze a baby into.
So whilst I spent hours and hours conjuring up worst-case scenarios about twin pregnancy, twin birth, twin feeding, twin sleeping, and general ‘how the fuck’ twin things – The Other Half (a massive car fan) spent hours and hours researching our next set of wheels.
I have to tell you, the options are pretty slim. About five cars in the entire world (unless you’re made of money) if my memory serves me correctly and hasn’t been totally buggered by baby brain. I had this rant on Facebook at the time and was met with a few ‘safety over appearance’ comments, and of course safety is important. I’m not THAT bad a mum. But clearly car manufacturers think parents of three young kids have given up on any hope of style (this actually did happen once the twins were born, I have since come to realise) and in fact WANT to drive around in what can only be described as a box on wheels.
Of course I’m exaggerating, before I get shed loads of stick from the car people, but it totally felt like it at the time. There’s some fancy bench seat type thing you can buy for about a million pounds which apparently fits any car, but you then can’t use car seats on a buggy, and we all know what a fan I am of doing that.
So was it my plan to drive a Citroen Picasso, a Ford S Max, or a VW Touran? No it was not. Was it my hope to still cruise around in my lovely BMW or maybe an Audi? Yes. But I also didn’t plan to have three children under 2.5 either and not be catered for by half the car makes on the market. Hey ho.
Did I end up getting a VW Touran with its 7,593 storage compartments ideal for families, (maybe a slight fib) and even put an ugly but extremely-useful-for-holidays-roof box on it?
Yes I did! Bye bye shiny blue fast car. Hello shiny grey practical box. This was doing nothing for my yummy mummy status.
I can hear so many of you thinking “it’s just a car FFS!” And you’re totally right. Now a year on, it is definitely ‘just a car’ to me. In my opinion a dull but functional car that is scattered with toys, wellies, rain covers, pebbles, plastic corn on the cobs, and a boot that’s shit-high with mud from the buggy. It does the job, and I’m actually quite fond of it now. Getting three kids in car seats across the back without doing yourself an injury is a total pain in the ass, but so are a lot of things these days!
Parents of twins with other children, or those with three or more really young kids will get what I’m meaning. The twin groups on Facebook are literally FULL of threads asking what cars people drive. Who knew cars could be such an important topic? Those of you with one or two offspring, conveniently positioned on either side of their rear BMW seat – will continue to make me jealous!
The car wasn’t the only thing we needed to change – but moving house with five month old twins and a toddler is a whole other story for another day.
Did I mention none of this was the plan?