Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baby you can drive my car

I miss my car.

Maia is now officially in her big-girl convertible carseat, the Chicco infant carrier a fond but rapidly receding memory as of Sunday. She's 21 pounds and change, and the Chicco only goes up to 22, at least the model we have. Later models go up to 30, and I wish we'd gotten one of those. Also that reminds me that I need to write a letter to Chicco to inform them of my sadness that they don't sell convertible carseats in the US, as if they did, we'd have bought one. The price would make the move we've made--which I'm going to get to in a minute when I'm done with my consumerist rhapsody--even more desirable, but we'd have done it. Heck, we would have bought two when Chloë first graduated. Have I mentioned how much I love our Chicco travel system?

Ahem. So the time has come for both girls to be in big-girl carseats. When this happened with Chloë, we bought one and transferred it back and forth at daycare for about two days and decided this was too much of a pain in the ass and bought a second so we could each have one in our cars. With Maia, of course we're going to have to have two girls in carseats sometimes, but buying another one for each car would effectively remove any spare seating for another passenger, ever, and of course would cost an extra $160 or so. So we decided that we'd get one carseat (same as Chloë's, a Graco My Ride 65; huge, but easy to use and seems comfortable) and install it in my car, as it's the de facto family car and is bigger and nicer than Eric's. That car would then remain with Eric and the girls at home and be used whenever necessary to transport either both girls or just Maia (at least until she's forward-facing). Eric's car would then become the work car: I take it to work every day, and Eric takes it to his work and to gaming. And when we split up with the girls, we revert to our own cars (we did not actually discuss this but I assume Eric knows this and if not he'll find out the first time we do it). So over the weekend we bought a carseat, installed it, and sadly took the carrier bases down to the basement. And yesterday I drove Eric's car to work.

I had a terrible day and I swear it was mostly due to the car. Not that it's a bad car. The driver's side mirror is having some weird feedback with my glasses and the brakes are too sensitive (which I know actually means that my car's brakes are not sensitive), but it's a fine car, drives well, better turn radius. But it's someone else's car, and more, I feel cut off from my own car. I've had that car for nine years. It's one of my last this-is-mine personal spaces. I know it. I love it. I talk to it. On the way to work and back I had this gnawing mostly nonverbal running commentary in my head: this is not my car I want my car this doesn't feel right my car would not do that I want my car dammit where is my car. I talked to Eric's car, but it wasn't the same.

I had no idea I was going to feel this way. I don't consider myself territorial about the car--I don't mind when other people drive it or borrow it. And it doesn't bother me when we go on a vacation and I don't have it around. But apparently part of being at home, for me, is driving my car; and I'm feeling its loss, even though it's in the garage right now, wondering where I've been. (Only it's not, because I told it what was happening the last time I drove it.) (Yes, I know the car wouldn't wonder anyway, because it's a car.) (Anyway, don't think about me like that. Cars that are anthropomorphized last longer than cars that aren't. Fact.) (When parentheses attack!)

Eric goes to work Wednesday and will drive his car. I think I'd better take the girls somewhere that night. Because I don't want them to be bored, you know. And because I miss my car.

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