Four kids, two adults, three rows of seats, two sets of grandparents, three black plastic yard waste bags filled with wrapped presents, 10.9 cubic feet of storage space, 11 hours of festivities and one new car.
That’s the recipe for one of the most efficient but exhausting Christmases ever.
The new car was purchased to solve the problem of taking 2 cars everywhere while safely and efficiently moving 6 people and all their stuff. The theory was that it would work flawlessly with happy children and ample space.
The car was a surprise on Christmas morning for the kids and provided a day of surprises for us adults.
The day began with lugging presents for the first celebration out to the car. The kids were given the keys to unlock the car but didn’t know they were looking for a new one. Panic began to set in when they couldn’t find the car, followed by confusion when the lights of an Audi blinked as they pushed the unlock button on the key fob.
As the realization set in that a new chariot awaited, giggles of excitement filled the still silence of Christmas morning. The Audi glared at us from a slight distance, its angry and intimidating face softened by the 4 children clamoring to be the first to get inside.
The excitement quickly turned to competition as they kids vied for the seats they perceived to be best. In a matter of moments, the Christmas morning giggles turned into the Christmas morning arguments.
“No worries,” I thought, “We’ll just put the presents in the back, hit the road and arrive on time at the grandparents’ house.”
I started the car, got the heat going, then got out to load up the presents.
Except I couldn’t open the hatch, because the car was running, and it doesn’t like to open doors while the engine runs. Once I figured out that challenge, storage became the next area of focus. As it turns out, the storage area was filled with the third row of seats and 2 children.
How could this be? How could such a large vehicle not accommodate a bag of presents? With some quick thinking and Tetris-like reorganizing, we stacked the presents, closed the rear hatch and hit the road.
That’s when we discovered the kids never stopped fighting, and we had troubles getting the Bluetooth to connect and couldn’t remember how to turn on the heated seats.
Our dream of being the kind of happy family in the car commercials quickly faded. Instead of the smiling and calm sweater-wearing people we envisioned, we arrived at the first destination frazzled and somewhat overwhelmed by the growing pains of learning all about a new car.
By the end of the night, though, the kids had their chosen seats and we figured out some creative storage options, which provided for the practical and safe ride we were looking for in the first place.
How long does it take you to get used to driving a new car?