Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Wherein I give up my eco-principals for convenience

For a week, we're a two-car family. We're watching my parents dog while they're on vacation, and my mom loaned me her car for the duration. It was my intention to leave the car in the driveway except in case of emergency, but I was going to take the opportunity to switch out the boys' full-sized car seats for booster seats. (If you've ever installed car seats into a two-door, pre-LATCH system Sunfire with bucket seats, you'll know the pain of which I speak. But we got new CARS booster seats for the boys - Granny is going to be the coolest of the cool the next time she takes them for a ride.)

I'd toyed briefly with the idea of taking my mom's car to work (shades of high school) but decided in the end to take the bus, as usual. However, when the bus showed up this morning, I walked on and realized that there were no seats. No seats. It's a 40 minute ride, and I would have had to stand the entire way. Not going to happen.

So I pulled the bell and got off at the next stop and marched righteously back to the house, muttering to myself the whole way about how I pay a premium fare ($81/month) for my express pass and I'm three months pregnant and I'll be damned if I'm going to stand up the whole way to work at six friggin' thirty in the morning and what the hell are all these people doing on the bus anyway because it's July and shouldn't they all be on holiday or something?

It was a gorgeous morning to be driving with the sunroof open, hot coffee in my hand. I didn't get to read the morning paper, but I listened to CBC the whole way in. My route of preference brings me first through pastoral countryside, where I can wave to the cows, then along the full length of the Rideau Canal. On the early side of seven o'clock in the morning, there's no traffic to speak of.

No rude person tried to take up more than their half of our shared seat, no crazy driver lurched to sudden and unexpected stops, nobody's oversized back pack bonked me in the head as they shifted back and forth in the aisle. It cost me a whole $7 to park half a block from work and the most traumatic part of the commute was choosing between the sketchy elevator and the even more sketchy stairwell in what must be the world's scariest parking garage where I tried hard to not touch any surface with my bare flesh.

I've long acknowledged our days as a one-car family are limited, and I'm proud that we've lived in the suburbs for four years without a second car. But there simply isn't room across the back seat of our Focus wagon for three car seats, and I absolutely refuse to spend an entire year of maternity leave stuck in the house at home with no car and three kids while Beloved drives back and forth each day.

And after years and years of subjecting myself to the whims of OC Transpo twice a day, I could get used to driving downtown by myself. It's still a bargain at twice the cost of the bus.