My Baby-Sporting Utility Vehicle: The Honda Element

Seven months.

Shortly after we moved to Alabama from Nashville, my friend Jon Kennedy and his wife, Amelia, came to visit us in our snowed-in cottage home. I remember Jon suggesting that I write about how a man’s car evolves once a baby enters the picture.  After all, some men really do have to trade in their sports cars for minivans.  If not, there are certainly some types of conversions that must take place to make a man’s vehicle “baby friendly” and “baby practical.”  That is, unless you’re me, and you drive a 2004 Honda Element- the best car ever invented!

(Except for maybe the Delorean…).

In my Honda Element, there is virtually no cloth or carpet; all surfacing material is rubber, plastic, or vinyl- even the seats.  So there is no crying to be done over spilled formula or leaky bottles.  The ceiling in my car is especially high, giving Jack the sense that he is not closed in- which is especially important on hour-long trips.  Facing the rear of the vehicle, he has so much visibility not only above him but around him through all the windows.

One of the most unique features about Elements is that the two rear seats fold up into the side of the vehicle when not in use, instead of just simply folding down.  This creates plenty of cargo space- say, for a Pack-and-Play crib or even a corn hold set.

Another great thing about the seats is that they fully recline.  This makes for a convenient diaper-changing station when Jack has a wet or dirty diaper after having just arrived at our destination.

And behind the rear seats, there is still plenty of storage space.  I can easily fit his Jeep walker back there without any grief.

That’s right; my Honda Element is spacious, versatile, and easy to maintain.  Those things are important to me as a dad.  Because ultimately that means I drive a very practical and ideal vehicle for hauling around a little bambino.

It’s no coincidence that in 2007, the Honda Element won the “Dog Car of the Year” from Dogcar.com.  It only makes sense that if it’s good enough for a baby, it’s good enough for a dog.

Sadly, 2011 is the final year of production for Honda.  So I guess that means eventually I’ll be driving a classic vehicle.  Because I just can’t imagine driving anything other than Jedi- that’s what I named my Element back in 2006 when I bought it.

That is, unless, this particular Dadabase becomes so popular that Honda decides to bring back the Element because the demand for them becomes so high that it would ultimately bring forth the…

Return of the Jedi!

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