Buying a new car before we had kids went something like this:
Commence the exciting adventure the moment our finances allowed. Spend hours driving from dealership to dealership comparing prices. Discuss options over a light salad and a glass of wine at a bistro for lunch.
Drive off the lot blaring our favorite music, stopping at Starbucks to celebrate. Then drive the new car around town, taking time to program everything and familiarize ourselves with the new features.
Stop at a friend’s house to show it off. Retrieve every single piece of trash, and all other belongings from the vehicle upon arriving home.
Buying a new car after kids went something like this:
Put off the exhausting ordeal for months because we couldn’t line up childcare. In an act of desperation, brought on by lack of sleep, decide to just bring all the kids with us because I might lose my mind if I have to hear them fight about touching each other in the car one more time.
Drive to the one and only car dealership that we are positive has the one and only car model we’re considering.
Decline the test drive because OMG could you even imagine trying to get 3 carseats in there while the kids keep putting their filthy hands inside the complimentary popcorn machine despite the half full bags of popcorn in their other filthy hand. And no, one of us is not leaving the other all alone to test drive the car in silence.
We are all suffering through this together, dammit.
Rapidly nod and “uh huh” and smile while the extremely patient and kind salesman tries his best to walk us through the paperwork. All while reassuring him that, really, we are totally ok with not test-driving the car. We promise we really want that one. Yup. It’s perfect. We’ll take it. Please let us buy it. Now.
Meanwhile, our 2 year old fills the sink in the playhouse in their kids’ area with water… from her mouth.
Briefly and quietly discuss if we think we could negotiate any more money off the price of the vehicle after the salesman steps away. Mutually agree that WHATEVER. We are DONE. It is WORTH a few thousand dollars to just get the hell out of there in a new vehicle as soon as possible.
Make our way to the finance office where we will take turns signing 1,547 papers while keeping kids from climbing the walls, taking them to the potty 11 times, and stopping them from scribbling over our signatures with crayon.
Head outside, elated to retrieve our new Honda Pilot, and positive the kids will be thrilled that they now have their own seats that not only keep them from touching each other, but also prevent them from even making eye contact. Not to mention the ability to watch any DVD at any time on a TV in our car.
Listen to our 2 oldest cry about how the new car is a “stupid car” and how sad they are to say goodbye to the old car. They are sobbing like our dog died. The baby chimes in because, bless his heart, I haven’t fed him in hours.
Blast children’s music the entire ride home in an unsuccessful effort to console the traumatized children.
We’ve had our Honda Pilot for over 2 months now, and I still have no idea how most of it works (beyond, like, the driving part). We left all the kids coats in the car the night we got home, and within a week there were bits of paper tossed around the floor boards.
Okay, if I’m being honest, there are also coffee cups and half eaten fruit snacks in there, too.
While I certainly don’t recommend shopping for a car with kids. EVER. I do think we still came away with a great deal on a car we love.
Don’t worry. We already did a 2 week test drive of the exact same model we purchased. So it’s not like we just randomly chose a car and drove off the lot with it. You can read more about our Honda Pilot test drive here. There’s a video there, too. We thought back then this would be a great car for a family of 5.
We were right. It’s wonderful.
I’ll try to take more pictures and do a more detailed post (maybe video?) in the coming weeks on how we all fit in there with plenty of room for everything else if y’all are interested.
HUGE thanks to David McDavid Honda of Frisco for patiently working with us on this process for nearly the last year, and for so gracefully handling the traveling circus that is our wild and crazy young family.
And don’t feel too bad for the kids. As you can see above, they eventually got over it.
I was going to title this Adventures In Car Shopping With Kids until I realized that was misleading. It’s just the one adventure. Just once. One time. That’s all the adventures we could handle.