City living

LOOK, Mom! Our car!!!!

priusApparently the law of diminishing returns does not apply to 3 and a half year olds. I could cite 20 examples, but you would probably find each one less interesting, so I will stick to a few.

For Easter Robin’s grandmother hid a couple dozen plastic eggs around their house for him. Each was filled with roughly the same number of M&Ms. Robin’s response on finding each one was the same–complete and total awe. He was as dumbfound on discovering the last as the first. Simply could not believe life’s abundance! And not just at finding each egg, but he sustained his excitement each time he opened a new egg to reveal its identical contents.

“LOOK, Mom! M&Ms!”

Dinner times on the deck are peppered with the same announcement, repeated incredulously. “Look, Mom! A plane!” One after the other after the other. He has such a low threshold for enthusiasm.

So his elation about the Prius should come as no surprise. “Look, Mom! That’s like our car!”

But in the 7 years since we bought ours, the Prius has become the most popular and common car model in our progressive zip code, completely overtaking the Subaru Outback as the unofficial car of Mt. Airy. We can’t drive a block without hearing ecstatic observations from his car seat. “That’s like OUR car!”

prius 2I am so over the hybrid. We love ours and recommend it highly, and I am glad to see so many on the road. But it is surely not novel. When any other passenger unknowingly chuckles as I pull up to another Prius at a stoplight, I roll my eyes and hiss. Two Priuses in a row is a non event around here. (Priuses? Priai?)

I used to say it was only worth a comment when three or more Priuses pulled up to a stop sign at the same time. That’s what I called a Prius Nexus.

But even that had grown unremarkable. It’s commonplace, really. Three of the same color in one place arouses no response from me. There are now four Priuses that live on our block. Two of them are dark gray, just like ours. I keep waiting for the day when the parking universe aligns and we all end up parallel parked in a row–three gray hybrids bumper to bumper to bumper.

That might raise my eyebrows. It would no doubt throw Robin into seizures of euphoria. It would be like his Happiness Rapture, really. He might simply disappear from the intensity of his joy. One person’s saturation is another’s (three-year-old) jubilation.

I wish I could muster Robin’s euphoria over the situation on our block. But most mornings I just try to not get into the wrong car.