The Ultimate Mini-Van

I LOVE my mini-van.

There was a time before children that I felt that mini-vans were for unfortunate losers lacking any coolness or style who had sold-out to the stereotypical mom-jean image we moms were expected to fulfill once we popped out a kid.  How life changes for most of us.

This is THEN.

And this is NOW.

Like I said, I proclaim with great pride that I love my mini-van.  When I go to a store and I have two cars parked on either side of me well over those very-easy-to-see-but-I-don’t-care-I’m-an-inconsiderate-parker lines, I don’t sweat it because I’ve got sliding electric doors.  My friends with gigantus SUV doors park at the far end of the parking lot because they’d never squeeze a car seat out of the 3 inch crack between their opened door and the clunker next to them.

There are a few more amenities I’d like to see incorporated into my beloved vehicle.  I’m hoping car engineers take note.  Incorporate these ideas, and you’ll be paying us all back for the Bail-Out in no time.

Baby Food Amenities

  • Bottle Warmer and Food Cooler between the driver and passenger seats.
  • A robotic double-breast pump that emerges from a hidden compartment in the steering wheel.  A “Smart” Van would have windows that auto-tint to provide discretion to pumping moms that lighten upon retraction of the pumps.
  • A non-judgemental formula dispenser by the glove compartment for non-nursing moms.

Cleaning Tools

  • Compactors for trash and recyclables between the captain’s chairs in the back that fold back into the floor.
  • Hand sanitzer dispenser above the diaper changing station behind the passenger seat.
  • A programmable vacuum that spontaneously sucks up debris, cheerios, and breadcrumbs.
  • A hydraulic wet-wiper that descends from the ceiling above each car seat to wipe boogers, chocolate milk, puke or any other foreign substance from your child’s face and neck while driving.
  • Vinyl dry-erase headliners for easy chocolate milk and coffee splatter removal.
  • Handheld door-mounted blacklight device to help you identify which body fluids you are wearing that do not actually belong to you.

For Beauty And Comfort

  • One of those over-priced Brookstone Foot Massagers to use at stoplights and extended parking sessions.
  • A make-up applicator to apply powder, blush, and lipstick while driving.  Safety first, Ladies.


  • A GPS with kid destinations pre-set:  all parks, pools, libraries, museums, and zoos.
  • iTunes pre-loaded with Imagination Movers, Fresh Beat Band, Laurie Berkner, and The Doodlebops.
  • For us unsaintly parents who allow some TV, a voice-activated drop down television with Barney, Blues Clues, Little Einsteins, Super Why, Dora, Special Agent Oso, Batman, Super Man, Cars, and Toy Story.
  • A pacifier dispenser and cry-activated insertion device.
  • A Mantra Whisperer “Patience. Patience. Don’t Wound With Words. Patience.”
  • An iFriend who validates your irrational reaction when you smash the Mantra Whisperer, turn around, and scream “KIDS!  I MEAN IT!  STOP IT!  STOP IT NOW!  STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!”


Boy, do I love my kids and the chaos of motherhood.  I also love my mini-van, even without the upgrades, because it helps make traveling with kids even less chaotic than it could be.  And, they’re pretty safe.  A couple of years ago, I traveled 4,000 miles in our mini-van alone with a 1 and  a 3 year old on a 1-month cross-country trip.  I don’t think I could have done that impossible trip in any other vehicle.  We had an accident on the last leg home and a beam on the highway ripped our tire rim in half.  It was like we hit a speed bump.  I love my mini-van.  It kept us safe and got us home.






Pin It

35 Responses to The Ultimate Mini-Van

    • Lisa- That is a good one! I’m sure this post will evolve as my children do! Good to know what to expect! Thanks for the comment….

  1. This might be the best thing I’ve ever read!! I too love my mini-van. I’m like a car salesman trying to get SUV friends to buy one.

    One upgrade: A slide up glass partition. Because sometimes the kids are just too damn loud.

    • Bridget- thanks so much- I hope you’re getting more sleep! I hear the mini-van is good for that, too. haha! Thanks for tweeting it out, too!. 🙂

    • Well, that’s brilliant, Jennifavor! My daughter is 4 and has already figured out the 5 point harness. 🙁

  2. Maybe also a sanitizing compartment for when pacifiers, toys, blankies, etc. For when things get dropped in the germ infested store floors or parking lots.

    • You know, I had a paci sanitizer on the list and opted to not put it out there- not sure why- It makes total sense. It sure beats sucking a paci clean after it hit an oil slick in a nasty parking lot. haha! Thanks!

  3. Love the diaper changing station idea!! It must have a mini diaper genie that hold in all toxic fumes. Oh! It needs a grenade/diaper launcher, so at the press of a button it can launch a diaper at the jerks that pull out in front of you while you’re doing 60 on loop 20!!

    A ventilation system would be great so you don’t have to roll down the windows during the time before you find a place to stop and utilize the cool diaper changing station. 🙂

    • I actually made a diaper changing station behind the passenger seat in our mini-van. I laid down one of the play yard inserts that folds on the bottom and keep a diaper kit next to it. I do not, however, have a diaper grenade launcher. I plan to fix that tomorrow. That is genius, Kelly. hahahaha!

  4. I outwardly love fast foreign cars, but my secret love is the Honda Odyssey. In that snazzy midnight blue color. One day, it will be mine!

    Hilarious post, Trisha! 🙂 I want to hear more about that road trip with your toddlers – wow!

    • The Honda Odyssey is the cadillac of mini-vans. Although, the Sienna is a nice one, too! Midnight blue is pretty….we pretty much had to take the silver because I couldn’t take another day in the SUV we had bought. I swear, we bought a white Infinity FX35 and were so proud of ourselves for buying SUCH A HUGE CAR for the baby. And it took one visit with the in-laws to realize that the thing has a hood that takes up 2/3 of the car and there’s barely room for a stroller. That thing was gone. One day, I’ll write about the road trip. That was a gut test and a half. hahahaha!

  5. Hilarious read, I’m with Bridget on the glass partition. I LOVE my Honda Odyssey (minus the fact that we had to replace the transmission at 65,000 miles). Nothing beats automatic doors!

    An automatic seat belt buckler for my ever so reluctant 4 year old would be nice. And an extendable arm to hand the kid in the very back a drink when a 5 minute wait is just too long.

    • Hahaha, Brooke! The seat buckler and extendable arm are awesome ideas! I hope the car companies are taking note. haha! Thanks for commenting…. 🙂

  6. Voice activated door openers. Even with remote openers, my hands are usually too full to use them. But the voice needs to know when I’m talking to the van and not yelling at the kids. 🙂

    Or maybe include another adult, or responsible ‘human’ to entertain the kids. Can that come with the van?

    • Voice Activated Door Openers! Smart! Why didn”t I think of the entertainment? At least, something other than music and TV? Smart. Smart. Thanks for posting this on your page! 🙂

  7. I decided that here in Laredo we need a cooling system in the trunk for groceries so that your food doesn’t melt before you get home.

    I love my mini-van, too. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Monday Listicles: My Christmas Wish List | | critters and crayonscritters and crayons

  9. Pingback: Happy Road Tripping With Kidscritters and crayons

    • Shelly- Yours don’t? The Hyundai Entourage back windows do roll down! Hmmmm……Thanks for your comment!

  10. A “Rock-A-Bye” button. Press, and the kids’ seats start rocking them as they play sweet soothing lullaby music in their ears. Adjustable tinting for rear windows. and a turbo powered heat evacuation button for us Texas moms with a button on the keychain for remote activation… so the ridiculous heat wave in our car doesn’t kill us upon entry.
    A stink detector might not be bad either… to catch those dirty diapers on road trips to keep the little one from suffering to the point of diaper rash. 🙂 Then again, my almost 5 year old would be setting that thing off all the time, so maybe selective seat control on that!

  11. I would love to see those little lap trays like on the plane. That way they can color or have somewhere to actually set their food. Also, some one mentioned the glass partition, like in a limo…there should be partitions that pop up between the seats so that the NEVER ending s/he’s touching, bugging/looking at me could be avoided. I currently drive a 9 passenger, full size, 1992 S.U.V. (aka Super Ugly Van)and have to keep the 3 and 5 y.o.’s separated by putting one in the very back seat and the other in the middle seat. Which sucks for me when I don’t have a fellow buckler. It’s a p.I.T.a climbing in and out of the van. But I LOVE the space. But, NOT the gas guzzling properties. I do keep an ice chest in the back for carrying groceries home that have to stay cold. I live 30 minutes from the store and these HOT 100* temps suck for bringing home ice cream!

    • Oh, Man, Tori- That van sounds like a beast! But you are Buh-rilliant! The partitions are a must, for sure! Maybe we should add the iBuckle- butt-activated buckling device? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *