We drive a Toyota Sienna which I love. We got the 2009 right before the 2010 dropped with all the cool features (reclining second row seats were one feature that I was jealous about), but it was cool because I loved the fact that I could throw all my kids in the van, all our junk in there and there was still room for other stuff or people. It was great. Also having sliding doors was totally baller and super when it came to safely herding my lovernauts while in a parking lot.
I won't lie, growing up I told myself I'd never drive a van. In fact when I became a mother I wholeheartedly vowed that I'd never become one of those soccer moms drinking coffee, cutting people off in traffic behind the wheel of some 7-8 passenger bus. But I did. I slowly became indoctrinated by the cult of the minivan. I surrendered quickly as I realized how awesome it was that people attributed your vehicle to precious cargo and a caffeinated driver... Traffic parts like the Red Sea when you're in a rush.
Our van has grown with our family. We've added more car seats, we've morphed into boosters, we drive with our infamous life saving car potty, and have travelled on numerous long trips to visit family. My sport fertility vehicle doesn't seem to mind that the kids have decorated her insides with food, stickers, cups, and marker. She doesn't care about that one time when daddy hit something on the passenger side leaving a dent, or that time when the sliding door motor had issues. It's a silent understanding that when the key gets in the ignition, we're safe and we'll get to our destination in one piece...
We sing, we fight, we cry. Everything happens in our minivan. It's our home on the road.
The older two hop out of the sliding door unaware of her discomfort. She was on the back bench and had unbuckled her seatbelt. I was on a call and didn't realize what was happening. "Mommy I'm stuck". I thought her foot was stuck so I laid down the second row seat and lifted it forward so she could get out. She was still in the car. I was still on my call. With every move the belt tightened around her little body. I immediately hung up the phone. It was about 8pm so the sun was pretty much gone and I couldn't see, so I turn on the cabin lights to find that my child was unbuckled but twisted up in the seatbelt. And much like a boa constrictor as it strangles its prey, she too could not free herself from the continued tightening of the seatbelt around her body. I asked her how she did it and she gave me the universal "I don't know", which at this point didn't matter...
What I'll say next is this... Immediately I began to think what if I was driving and she slid down and strangled herself? While I was driving!?! Why was there no release button to stop the retraction process? What if she were asleep and it kept tightening as she moved? What if I was attributing her screams to mean she was just being cranky? What if we didn't have any scissors?
Have you experienced anything like we did? Please share in the comments if you have!