Invested in a #GoPro for our adventures. Which we tested on the school run, as you do.
Invested in a #GoPro for our adventures. Which we tested on the school run, as you do.
We’ve been doing a bit of camping lately, yes I know with six kids, clearly we are insane. But they love it (don’t ask me what I think), and we found a 4WD with eight seats!
The school run can be a frazzling experience with my crowd, and slightly insane. I decided to make a note of what goes down in my mummy van. It starts the second they get in.
Henry, “I’m a good master chef.”
Austin, “I want donut, we go shop” (this is not a request, it’s a statement). No
Austin, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww (crying) I want go shop now”
Charlie, “Yay let’s go shop! Donuts.”
Henry, “Mummy did you see that I’m a good master chef? I didn’t hear a yes?” Yes
Henry, “mummy what’s master chef?”
A show about barristers that dream about being baristas Honey. Henry, “what’s a barista?”
The lady at shop who makes mummy her coffee.
Charlie, “mummy look at my keg”
Austin, “no no no leg”
Charlie, “Mummy look at my leg. It’s broken it needs a doctor. Doctordoctordoctor!” Your leg is not broken.
Charlie, “you look at my leg”
Georgie, “mummy did you have a pet contest at school? You have to put our fish in a container for me.” Uh huh. We’ll see.
Charlie, “I ate the cheese.”
Henry, “Mummy does Amy’s house have a front door?”
Henry, “is it red?”
I can’t remember.
Henry, “is it blue?”
I really don’t know.
Henry, after a pause. “Mummy is it brown?”
Charlie, “doctor doctor doctor doctor” (chanted like a siren)
Austin, “mummy how you do that?”
Austin, “do that?”
Um. Like this.
Charlie, “Doctor doctor doctor”
Georgie, “Mum how do you do the dugong?”
Georgie, “the dugong, like this!” I spy hands waving in the air in he rear view mirror. Yep like that.
Charlie, “go shop. Wah.” He actually said the word ‘wah’
Charlie, “wah” with added smug grin.
Henry, “what does Jordons name start with?”
Henry, “you’re a liar it does not start with j!”
Ah here we go, the after school rage is coming out.
Don’t call mummy a liar. Do you know what liar means?
Henry, “you said a bad word! Don’t say that bad word to me!” What word as the bad word?
Henry, “That one! Can we have pudding?.”
I think you’ve had enough pudding. I mean, mummy doesn’t have pudding in the car.
Austin, “I want pudding” proceeds to bawl his eyes out.
Henry, “I didn’t hear a yes?”
Charlie, “pudding pudding pudding!” Again chanted like a siren. Sorry after dinner. No pudding in the car.
Georgie, “I’ll be good. Can I have pudding?”
Henry, “mummy did you eat the pudding?”
Austin, “A dogs doing a wee!” At least the tears have stopped. Henry “whys that dog doing a wee?”
He needed to.
Charlie, “I want to wee in the garden!”
Austin, “Mummy can I go toilet?”
No. Nearly home.
Charlie, “hey look at my wee wee”
Leave your pants on!
Austin, “can I go toilet?”
Do you really need to go?
Georgie, “if I’m good can I have pudding while the boys are not allowed?” Ah no.
Henry, “me too.”
THERE IS NO PUDDING IN THE CAR. THERE MAY NOT EVEN BE PUDDING AT HOME. YOU LOT ARE NEGOTIATING FOR SOMETHING I DONT HAVE! Silence
Georgie, “but I’ve been good.”
Sigh. Let’s go get pudding. I need some pudding.
Henry, “but I will get cold”
For the love of…
Everyone always asks me about my car. What do I drive that can carry all these kids, it must be a bus? Until two years ago it was, we had a Toyota HiAce minibus, a huge beast that could fit nowhere but could carry a dozen people. Upgrade time came along and we decided we needed a safer vehicle, given the travel we do. Now remember I am writing about my particular model of iMax which is a 2012, they may have changed a few things by now with the newer ones.
The good stuff about it…
It is safer, air bags in all the usual places, and an engine and bonnet between me and the world. Because previously the engine was under my seat. The size of the boot (or trunk) is massive. It looks nice, everyone comments on it. It seats eight, and I’ve seen some models with a ninth seat in the front. It can fit in most car parks, mini bus drivers will appreciate that. You don’t have to get out of the car for mcdonalds, yay drive through lanes I can fit in! Reversing sensors are great and probably compulsory when driving a rectangle vehicle.
Technology, it talks to my iPhone, love that. I can make/answer calls from the dash without touching the phone. I can listen to my playlists, and get siri to do my bidding. Separate climate control for the rear if you want, or you can flick it over and the kids can’t change it. The front row of seats are comfy and lots of leg room, there is two glove boxes and cup holders. Huge pockets in all doors which hold a lot of crap, I mean books/drink bottles/toys. Cup holders for the back row too. It’s price isn’t bad for the size of vehicle you get either, especially compared to similar vehicles at the time. Servicing only has to be done every 15,000kms instead of ten.
And the bad stuff…
Big big HUGE blind spots, you can lose a whole intersection behind the windscreen pillars. You will need to lean forward and look around them at roundabouts. And don’t get me started on what you can’t see behind you.
Baby seat anchorage points are limited to the middle row, a pain in the arse given the new laws mean more kiddy carseats for longer. And its very hard to do the seat belts up once you have the carseats in place, I am still swapping my kids seats around trying to work out a good configuration a year later. Oh and you enter the rear seat by moving the whole middle row, so if you have a few seats that the seat belt goes through as well as the anchor, be prepared to have to redo the belt through the back of the kiddy seat every time.
While not a big deal, colours are limited. We had a choice of silver, silvery blueish, black and white. I am still yet to own a red car. If you are thinking of getting the fitted floor mats, don’t bother because they catch up under the chair runners which are constantly in use, even though they velcro to the floor. You will get the shits with them and take them out in a week trust me, so glad the car yard threw those in because at two hundred bucks a set I’d have been annoyed. The petrol version is a bit gutless with a full load, and can’t tow anything bigger than a trailer. The rear window openers, a pop and prop open deal, which cracks them open well just a crack. Which is what I expected on a van as we’ve had them before, I didn’t expect them to rattle so much I’m scared to drive with them open, the dealer says he fixed it. Uh huh. I know I know a rattle isn’t a big deal, but it does sound like the window is going to fall off. And another reason we went for a van instead of another mini bus was noise, you simply cannot have a conversation in a diesel mini bus, this means children get louder too.
There are so many tiny things that irritate me about this car, I could write pages, little things like there is no handle for the front passenger to pull themselves up into the car as there is for the driver. The aircon seemingly has only two settings, hot and cold. But even though I’ve said all this, I still love the car, simply because it is decidedly better than any other car we’ve ever owned, but remember we owned a Kia that the engine died in before getting to 100,000kms. So you know, for comparisons sake I’ve got some low starting standards.
UPDATE: Come November 2013, I smashed it. My beautiful black mummy van with the dark windows was no more. I now have a silver one, the same colour everyone else in town bought too, last week I stood in the supermarket car park trying to open someone else’s van. Children have accidentally jumped into the backseat at school pick up, thinking it’s their mums van, I think I need some kind of big sticker down the side of it.
You will be pleased to know it took the head on hit very well, I wasn’t injured nor where the small men in the back. Written off, our insurer gave us a new one. So, we now have a new model and it has only a few differences (a few buttons inside are different), but the squeaks remain and here I was happy about finally sorting that rattle issue. And this particular van has more glitches (more than the old one, my reversing sensors don’t work in the cold weather) that again nobody can find on service days, can you believe it 😉
So in a couple of years we will part with this van, hey Toyota have you got a 4WD people mover on the cards anytime soon?
Sadly a friend recently lost her cat after being hit by a car, and it reminded me of my unfortunate vehicular run ins with a cat or two. While I’m not proud of any of them, there is one particular incident that I feel compelled to share, especially for those who enjoy seeing Karma in action.
I was around twenty something and a proud holder of a provisional licence, and owner of a spanky little green hatchback I’d bought myself. One morning while running so damn late for work I may as well have given up and tried again the next day, I backed out of my parents driveway and zoomed up to the end of my street. It was at this moment the neighbours cat decided to appear out from under a tree, and dash across the road like lightning and under the wheels he went. Smooshed, flat. I couldn’t believe it, I felt terrible. I scooped him up and went to my neighbours home to tell them, but they were not home. I couldn’t leave him there on their front step, imagine coming home to that?! God no. Cradling the dead cat awkwardly trying not to get it on my office wear best, or start breaking out in hives because I am REALLY allergic to cats, now what do I do?
In my addled running really damn late by this point way of thinking, I decided to put the dead cat in a bag and place him in the boot of my car. Yes I know not the best idea. To this day I still don’t know why I didn’t just head home and leave him safely at my place. Off to work I went, dead kitty in the boot wrapped in a Grace Bros bag. On the way my boss calls and asks me to pick up something from the shops, thankfully she is oblivious to my lateness (turned out she was running even later than I). Errand done I head back to my car with bags and open up the boot to put it all in (yes with the dead cat). I decided to rearrange things in my boot and find better packaging for the cat, so I lifted the bag out and sat it on the roof of my car while I hunted around in the boot for something better to contain him. What was I looking for, a cat coffin? Jayzus.
I rummaged through my car full of crap only a 20 something would have, and was contemplating whether an empty KFC bucket would be good kitty coffin, when a young man sprinted between the rows of parked cars and dashed by me. He grabbed the bag containing Kitty from the roof of my car and ran off, and he was looking a little triumphant at his bag snatching success. On instinct I started to give chase and I was two steps forward when my brain gave me and uppercut, what are you doing you moron you’re chasing a guy with a dead cat in a bag? Well now what to do? I got my but out of there fast is what I did, beating the boss in by mere minutes. Again not proud of this, and to this day I feel bad about that little cat.
A small part of me wanted to chase the guy just to see him open it.