Let me start by saying I love my minivan. I do. It has so much space to climb back there between the babes. I can nurse, get the kids dressed and change a diaper if I have to. And for the past year of our lives we had no choice ~ there was no squeezing two toddlers and a backward facing carseat into the Lexus.
But guess who turned one already? And right up to that milestone Baby D was not a happy traveller. We hoped that upgrading her to a forward facing seat would remedy this torturous travel trait. It was not so the case. Unless Momma constantly performs my exorcist head-spinning maneuver baby girl still complains relentlessly.
We decided to try squeezing her in beside her brothers but in spite of Daddy's strenuous efforts we were still about an inch too short in the back of the minivan (ooh la la!)
Then the minivan started to make a strange flapping noise. And the new battery cut out time enough for hypo-mechanical-chondriac Daddy to warrant taking it to the garage. In the meantime Mommy had no wheels to take the tribe out ~ until Mommy came up with an ingenious idea.
"Erm, Daddy? Maybe we could squeeze all three into the back of the Lexus?" I said.
"Mommy you are a genius!" He said.
So that's what we did. Daddy left the minivan in the shop for three days and of course (for the bargain price of $40) they found nothing. But it was still worth it. Since being seated beside big brother, little Miss D has been a dream passenger.
Our Sawyer is the 'piggy in the middle' and so far has had to ward off fewer assaults from his younger siblings than we expected. In fact they all seem much happier squashed in together. They haven't even missed the DVD player! What's more, I can reach all of them from the front. I can pass water and snacks and toys without stopping the car. And the kids can pass their stuff to each other!
On the way home from HEB the other night I peeled a banana for each of the boys and a third one for me and Miss D to share. However, the little madam tossed hers straight on to the floor with an ornery growl.
So I say (pointlessly).
"Fine, if you don't want it. You aren't getting another piece to throw on the floor though."
Then I see little Lennox break off the end of his banana and pass it to Sawyer, saying
"Give this to Baby Dagny!"
So I watched in the mirror as Sawyer took the banana from his little brother and passed it across to his little sister.
"Here you go Baby Dagny!"
Of course the little minx accepted it from her brother and munched on it happily.
Then it hit me. Daddy and I aren't the only ones raising baby. At the tender ages of 1, 2 and 3 those three little beings in the back seat are already inextricably tied to each other.
Their sibling bond is an independent entity, separate to their relationships with their father and me. I admit feeling a little anxious at being left out of that dynamic, but of course I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm overwhelmingly humbled at their display of love for one another. They need each other as sure as they need me, and as I need them.
No doubt we'll gladly return to the minivan eventually - long before the eye gouging, nose pulling, nipple twisting and Chinese burn phase begins - but for now I couldn't be happier with my three little kids sitting in the backseat.
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