There is, of course, a baby on the way, and we’re now deep in the process of examining every aspect of our lives and trying to figure out what things we need to trade in for a bigger model. Naturally, tops on my list are a 50 inch plasma TV and a longboard; Beth is of the mind that we need a bigger family car.

I have to say that The Forthcoming Bundle of Joy # 2 Experience has been much less stressful than our first go-round. At least for me; I’m feeling a bit like Tom Sizemore inĀ Saving Private Ryan; I’ve been there, in The Shit – literally and figuratively – and when November rolls around, I’ll be ready. Once more unto the breach, etc. But the car thing has me vexed.

First, we have a fairly big SUV – the Nissan Xterra. It’s been great; its undisputable value as a surfmobile notwithstanding, there’s plenty of room for one kid, one dog, and all of the attendant crap that accompanies both. Those of you with babies will be happy to know that the attendant crap decreases expontentially with each month following the one year mark (really, one has to wonder how many parents go for #2 simply because they spent $800 on that goddamn Bugaboo and by Christ there’s gonna be a baby in that thing until the axles rot and the wheels fall off). The problem is this – the Xterra, which still looks and runs great, is creeping up on 90,000 miles. The clock is ticking.

Second, we’ve both decided that there will be no minivan. No offense to minivan people – but we are not minivan people. We’ve tried to want one, we know they get better gas mileage and have the sliding doors and seat 30 people and can go underwater and can turn into giant robots, but we are not minivan people. We are SUV people. Surfboards and tents. (Ok – that’s all me. You could probably talk Beth into a Nissan Quest, what with the cool multiple sunroofs.) That said, after much deliberation, we decided to give serious consideration to a pair of so-called CUV’s – “crossover utility vehicles”, namely the GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook. They seemed like a happy compromise – lots of interior space, folding third-row seats, better gas mileage than a full-sized SUV, car-like handling. What’s not to love? Oh. The price. A quick glance at the MSRP, a go-round with the GMC Payment Calculator, and I came to the decision that I’d rather deal with a prolapsed rectum than those monthly payments.

So the vexation continues. If there’s a bigger pain in the ass than the process of buying a new car, I’ve yet to experience it. I may have to reassess my stance on minivans; the rocket launchers, though, are a dealbreaker. I’d be remiss in my fatherly duties if the family ride was vulnerable to attacks by giant radioactive scorpions.