I swore up and down that I'd never drive a minivan, but now that I'm expecting my third child - I can't believe I'm admitting this - I'm considering buying one. Gulp!
My minivan-driving friends swear I'll love it. Yet somehow I seriously doubt I'll ever love driving a glorified bus that screams, "I've given up being hip, cool and trendy for the sake of practicality."
They say minivans make life easier because kids can get in and out on their own, the doors magically open at the push of a button, and TV screens pop out of the ceiling the second a kid starts screaming, "Are we there yet?"
I'm as willing as the next mom to make sacrifices for my kids, but I'm dragging my feet all the way to the car lot on this one. It's not that I'm a car snob; my ride is a 2003 SUV with more than 150,000 miles and a couple of small dents on the passenger doors. Open the dinged doors, and it's downright disgusting. There are so many crumbs, food wrappers, school papers, and half-empty sippy cups on the floor that I once lost my cell phone under the rubble for four weeks. And the stench is enough to make a skunk run for cover. There's a lingering aroma of sour milk that will be baked in my nose until eternity.
But at least it's my kids' stink. Since we always buy used cars, I'm going to pay thousands of dollars to drive around smelling someone else's sour milk.
Before I'll concede, I've asked my husband to try with all his might to squeeze all three car seats in my SUV.
He probably knows it won't work, but he's agreed to spend his day off humoring me. I'll let you know the verdict.
As for other things I swore I'd never do, I found out the gender of my baby! This is uncharted territory for me; I didn't find out with my sons, and I would recommend all moms, especially first-time moms, let it be a surprise. There is something magical about the moment when the doctor exclaims, "It's a boy!" that makes all the labor pains worth it.
I loved the surprise so much that I swore I'd never find out the gender with any subsequent children.
But this time I had to know because our family is so boy-oriented that I felt a girl would be like watching the grand finale of a fireworks show - a glorious, yet unexpected surprise.
I would have to get mentally prepared for pink.
When I started this series of columns about my third pregnancy, I promised to share every detail with my readers, but I'm keeping my baby's gender to myself.
Giving away the surprise now would be like having the grand finale at high noon.
Shasta Clark is a St. Clairsville native who lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with her husband and two sons. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.