Friday, 13 June 2014

A major milestone... and it ain't what you think

So this week I had my first significant 'moment' since welcoming our wee lad into the world three months ago.  

It wasn't the normal type of moment.  It was a big deep breath, gulp, blink away the tears and harden up moment.

Nor was it a typical first milestone.  He didn't roll.  He didn't sit up.  He didn't say his first word.  He didn't sleep for 12 hours.  

Nope, this milestone, this epic and memorable moment is all about me.

Or to be more exact, all about my method of transport.

My name is Kylie, and I (GULP) now drive a 7 seater people mover.

Gone is my snazzy European hatchback with it's precision handling, low profile tyres, Bose sound system and sporty profile.

Welcome giant pastel blue van.  With sliding doors, plastic dash, velour upholstery and 7 seats.  The only saving grace is that it isn't beige.  

To help you appreciate the seriousness of this transformation, a wee back-story is required.

I'm one of those rare breed of women who love cars.  I'm a petrolhead.  Always have been and always will be.  I grew up in a car-mad family and was participating in Rally events and attending car shows before I could walk.  

I understand how cars work, can do basic repairs, can change a tyre in 5 minutes flat and love big classic American cars (and small sporty European ones).  

I record Top Gear so I can watch whilst feeding the baby, and I've travelled to Australia on three separate occasions JUST to attend Aussie V8 Supercar races.  I read car magazines whilst waiting at the Doctors, and browse Trade Me Motors for fun.

In the past, I have openly mocked my friends who have found themselves requiring a 'family car'.  My teasing was relentless, and often included references to certain religious affiliations and a direct correlation to vehicle size.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

The tipping point came last week when I tried to fit the three children, our 45kg Mastiff, the stroller and multitudinous baby supplies and myself in the VW.  We managed to squeeze in and headed off to the supermarket.  Fast forward 30 minutes and I was faced with a shocking small-car dilemma.  I could fit the kids in the car, or the food, but not both.  I ended up packing the groceries around the kids (not the dog, she can't be trusted) and we made it home.  Unpacking the car was a parody of the 'how many Clowns can you fit in a Mini' gag that has entertained audiences at Circus shows around the globe for generations.  It was a combination of origami, yoga, sweat and tears.  And that was just the dog.

That night, I broke the news gently to Mr Shoe that the time had come for me to consider a slightly more practical vehicle.  And he laughed.  And laughed.  And to his absolute credit, tried to talk me out of it and provided many suggestions of alternatives that we could make work.  Sadly, we had to face facts and car-shopping we went.  

Fast-forward a few days and I now own the aforementioned people-mover.  To give it some credit, it's revoltingly practical, has very efficient heating, and a glass sunroof so we can watch the stars when out driving at night.  See - I found three nice things.  Just.

This year I've said goodbye to my 30s, my waistline, my sleep, my brain, my shoes and now my wheels... surely that's enough?