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Minivan? SUV? RV? How to Fit Three?

By Macki West |

Our current family debate is how to fit three kids in a car: do we get a minivan or try to make our current mid-size SUV work?  I mentioned in a previous post that I’m pregnant with number three, so it’s not like we are going from a convertible 2-seater to the family wagon. That already happened. Now we are trying to figure out the best fix for three.

I began the discussion with my 6-year-old daughter by asking her what she thought about trading in ‘Woody’ for a minivan. Her reaction: “No way, mommy, you CANNOT drive a minivan!” What? Is my kid really that much of a snob? Then she kept going into one of the most brilliant ideas to ever come out of another human’s mouth (slight exaggeration). She told me I must get an RV. Oh. Em. Gee.

The girl is a genius and it’s all I can think about: tossing the kids in the home-on-wheelz and going about our errands. Me driving though the city, pulling up to Costco and loading up my RV with all my heart’s desires. All of this while the kids play checkers or horses or puzzles. Need a snack? No problem, just go to the kitchen and dig the the fridge or pantry. Gotta potty? Just open the door and poo to your heart’s content. When we get home I can just cousin-Eddy it and stick the hose in the sewer pipe.  Then my daydream disappeared in a poof of reality check when I realized the RV would never fit through the Taco Bell drive thru or in any parking garage. Oh yeah, seatbelts and car seats and no raw sewage. Crap.

We’ll keep this as Plan B. (Sylvie, you are still brilliant.)

After number one was born I bought my current mid-size SUV because it has a pop up third row. How cool is that? If I have number two (I did) then one and two can take the second row and my mom or a friend or even number three can take the third row. Not so fast. I can’t access the third “row” if there are two car seats in the second row. This makes zero design sense. How did I miss this when I bought the cool midsize SUV?  Oh, I know, I’m the snob who wouldn’t buy the minivan. Third row is no longer an option.

I need to figure out how to make the current rig work because my husband is very anti-new-car-buying and calls it a depreciating asset or the absolute worst way to invest your money (hey, I can’t argue and yes I’m kicking myself for being the minivan snob).  I can’t even give him the ‘minivans get such better gas mileage’ speech because it’s not true. Time to get thinking.

The safest place for an infant is in the middle or behind the passenger seat. If I put the baby behind the passenger and we are parked on the street, then both kids will have to crawl over the baby to get to their seats.  How am I going to buckle in the toddler who will be in the middle? Ugh, that won’t work. Baby behind me? That still leaves the two antagonizers sitting next to each other. I think our best bet is putting the baby in the middle (he won’t be able to kick the center console!); the 6-year-old behind me because she is responsible enough to buckle herself in and out and not jump into traffic being on the street side. That would put the almost 3-year-old behind the passenger. That way the oldest can crawl in and scoot over first, then I plop the baby seat in the center, followed by the wild man that I can safely buckle in from the sidewalk.

Ok, there I have it; I don’t NEED a mini van (want, yes) because I can conceivably fit three kids in my car. Tell me, does this sound reasonable? What do you all do?

Now watch, two weeks into three kids and my husband will be at the car lot picking up my mini-van to ease my uncontrollable sobbing.

You can find me over at the Family Kitchen too!

Image credit: RV store Direct

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About Macki West

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Macki West

Macki West is a unique and original wild-woman at heart who happens to be wrapped around her three kids fingers. She founded Cool Mom Tips and contributes to Prudent Baby, Cooking With My Kid, Babble’s Family Kitchen, and Babble Pregnancy. Read bio and latest posts → Read Macki's latest posts →

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One thought on “Minivan? SUV? RV? How to Fit Three?

  1. Kristina says:

    I have 3 kids ages 8,6 and 10 months and I have a Ford Focus SE and I fit all 3 of my kids in the back seat just fine. My 10 month old is in a car seat and my 6 year old uses a booster seat, and my 8 year old dose not need a car seat or booster seat anymore thank god because I would not be able to fit 3 car seats in the back seat. I want a mini van, but can not afford one right now. So hopefully my Focus can hold 3 kids in the back seat until I can.

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