Skip to main content

Does this Prius make me look crunchy?

I spent nearly a year and a half hunching down to haul my baby girl out of the back seat of my Acura. Before the baby, my car was a snazzy luxury ride; after baby, it was too small, too unreliable. This year my car would reach 100,000 miles, and it was already at maximum carseat capacity. No way would it accommodate the second carseat we hoped to need in the next year, so I was on the hunt for new (used) wheels.
Ever the compulsive researcher, I started my car search at Consumer Reports, plucking out ten models of wagon and SUV that met my conditions for style, reliability, and safety. And back seat space for carseats. I shopped those models, crossing off one after the other. Too big. Too small. Too rugged. Too cushy. The sexy Volvos were cramped, the outdoorsy Subarus were uncomfortable. Goldilocks did not find her match until she landed in the cockpit of a Toyota Prius wagon.
But I’m used to six cylinders and sex appeal!  This little Go Go Gadget car runs on AAA batteries and pixie dust. I had to ask myself, how much power do I really need with my own little pixie napping in the back seat? What this family really needs is to stop bonking the baby’s head on the roof of the car when we pull her out of her seat. And we need cargo space for a stroller, groceries, cat litter, and a yoga mat.
Nick and I were sold on the small car that feels big, has lots of jazzy technology, and can drive to Alaska on a gallon of gas. The three of us spent our first day as Prius owners Sunday-driving around and discovering its features. 
I told my husband, “I feel like I could convincingly adopt a granola mama persona in this car. Like I was a yuppie in the Acura, and now I’m a neo-hippie.”
As the words left my mouth, my mind scrolled down the bullet list of things we had done that very day:
  • Picked up our CSA share from the farmer’s market.
  • Bought additional food at a natural grocery that is NOT Whole Foods (too corporate for us).
  • Juiced organic vegetables and fruit.
  • Composted.
  • Watched a documentary about veganism.
…and our baby was wearing cloth diapers.
This was not a special Prius-induced binge of crunchy behavior, this is our regular Sunday routine.  Maybe those around me already knew I was an Earth Mama, but I only just realized it.
It’s like… this Prius found me across a crowded used car lot to show me myself. Show myself to me? 
Screw it, I would make an awkward mystic.
What this car-buying process did was make me confront a list of choices:
  • Luxury vs Efficiency
  • Power vs. Economy
  • Status vs. Eco-Awareness
I chose the latter this go-around, but the environmentalist mask that came with the car doesn’t quite fit me. This choice, just like all those other pseudo-hippie choices I make are only in service to my tiny master. 
I’m not thinking about the planet when I hold my breath and throw a load of diapers in the washing machine, I’m thinking about her sensitive skin and all the desperate midnight diaper runs I don’t have to make.
When I chose the Prius, I wasn’t thinking about pollution, I was thinking about making half as many stops at the gas station with a cranky passenger who is ready to get out and play. 

Ok, I was also totally thinking about the “cool” factor.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On not waiting for the perfect time

When I got pregnant the second time, I was waiting for that stage to end before I would live my life. Exercise, activities with kids, travel, writing, house projects... Then after the Lizzie came and things were so complicated, I still found myself waiting until she was older, waiting to get out of tangle of doctor appointments.  Then I was planning to start life after both kids were in school, at least three years away! Enough!  Anything I want to do can be adapted to start now, incorporating the kids and whatever challenges we face in our plans.  Some dreams may be better suited for the future, but there will be no more blanket attitude of putting things off for later when it would presumably be easier or less busy. 
There is no perfect time, but the best time could be now.

On the topic of stuff I don't want to do: Cook dinner

Saturday night I tried really hard to get out of cooking dinner. No, I'm not perpetually steam-drenched, hunched over the stove every night, just looking for one night off. I have just about every night off because Nick cooks most of the time, and when it's my turn, I tap into my arsenal of delivery services.

This is not how my mama raised me.

Saturday night, I did, very begrudgingly, grate carrots and sauté bokchoy and glaze chicken. Nick said, "You don't seem to like cooking." But... but... but, I wanted to defend myself, I know how to cook; I used to cook; I used to like cooking.

Things change.

For example, kids. Feeding kids for the last 4.5 years has consumed me, no apology for the pun. My obsession with managing their growth and nutrition is totally separate from cooking. It's a mental tally of macronutrients and micronutrients; it's creating the perfect veggie snack plate with every cucumber slice salted; it's composing and blending superfood sm…

2018 So Far: Killing it

I was prepared to ask for a do-over on Week 1 of 2018. I have legit excuses, right? Husband rang in the new year in a hospital bed far away from home? We barely got back home by midnight on Wednesday -- half the week was gone before it even started!

Last night (Saturday), I was about 50 percent done with my ambitious plans for the week.

But it turns out that Sunday can be a powerful day for productivity. Today, a miracle happened: I unpacked my suitcase less than a week after returning from a trip.
Then another miracle happened: I organized my sock drawer.
And another: I convinced Nick to run an errand and bring me coffee while I took a bath in the middle of the afternoon.
As it turns out, this whole week telescoped to pack in so many things a normal, less magical week would not have accommodated:
We spent three extra days in Atmore with family, and got to see a full supermoon in the country -- it would not have been possible from our house in San Antonio.Lizzie used that bonus grandpa…