B and I bought my car in a big big hurry. I graduated from law school, we had a car, but B drove it to work every single day. I had fully intended on getting a job in downtown Chicago, and to take the CTA to work every day, just as I had done for law school. I never anticipated that I would end up working in the suburbs, and my perfectly placed condo, 5 minutes away from both the Red Line and the 145 express bus would be basically useless. B's cousin was the finance manager at a Honda dealership, so we rushed out there after my first day of work to pick one out. We fully intended on buying a used Accord or Civic, but on an new paycheck and emotional high, I wanted a Hybrid. His cousin pointed us in the direction of their new hybrid car, the Insight. He promised us that we wouldn't pay a penny more than he would if he bought one. I recognized it as Leslie Knope's car from Parks and Recreation, asked if they had one like hers, in white. They pulled it around, and I signed and drove off.
As a 26 year old who was buying her first car after her first day of work as a real lawyer, I clearly did not look at my five year plan. I can't believe I never even considered that I might have a child before my car payments were up.
But, I loved my car. I could fit it in the tighest of spots, which was number one on my list of car-needs. My street in Chicago was one way, narrow, and crowded. Past 7 pm, you would be lucky to get a spot within a 3 block radius. I get 45 mpg, which was amazing for my over an hour commute from my city condo to my suburban office. It' so narrow, that I could drive speedily down any tiny Chicagoan two way street without worrying about side-swiping the parked cars. It's a cute utilitarian hybrid that I was just head over heels for. The only time I ever questioned my car's awesomeness was on a trip back from the airport for my Bachelorette weekend, when I had three people in the very small backseat, and 4 people's weekend luggage in the hatch. I swear, it was the only time.
Until I was 7 months pregnant, with backpain, shopping for carseats and living in a city with ample parking dominated by SUVs and luxury sedans. My little car stands out like a sore thumb in this place.
With the carseat installed, the front passenger seat has to be pulled all the way up. Like, all the way, knees hitting the dashboard for anyone over 5 feet. So yeah, that's not awesome. Luckily, it's mostly just me and Mia in my car. If my Mom is in town, B and I will switch so that we can enjoy the luxurious and spaciousness of his Honda Civic. (Yeah, it's a problem when your big car is a Honda Civic)
I've been complaining that my car is too small for this city, for this family. Wanting a new car seems so silly and indulgent, considering that my car is three years old and was purchased brand new. But with Mia's stroller, carseat and one other person, this car is just too small for us. We decided that we'd wait until at least one of our cars was paid off before we could consider another car. Having only one car payment would make such a difference in our budget. A couple of weeks ago, he announced that his payments would be over by the spring of 2013. I got so excited! 6 more months and I could get a real car! Since bigger cars cost so much more, I started looking at used car listings. I fantasized about a Mazda CX-9, or really anything that would allow for two carseats and still fit a passenger in the back. B and I started having very serious discussions about gas mileage v. a third passenger row. Serious, serious, serious.
But, he double checked, and it's the spring of 2014. BLARG.
It's not a big deal of course. Nothing in our lives has changed. We have one child, one car seat, and small dogs. We want Mia to be at least three years old when she gets a sibling, so we're not even in the realm of trying for a second. But, for those couple of weeks, I was really looking forward to some leg room.