WAV-ing goodbye to the family car

Katrina Dorrian by Katrina Dorrian Additional Needs

Katrina Dorrian

Katrina Dorrian

Hi! I'm Katrina, I have 8yr old triplets; one who has spina bifida, hydrocephalus and epilepsy. I also have MS, so we've a busy (but happy) house!

When we found out we were having TRIPLETS one of the big considerations was a car.

What car would take three newborn car seats with isofix bases along with two adults?!

Being totally disinterested in cars, if I’m honest, I left this to my husband to sort out.

I still remember Ryan driving home in a dark navy Citroen C4 Grand Picasso as I stood in our driveway gently stroking my massive bump.

We’re “those” people who name their cars (I had a little corsa called Molly that got me through uni) so we had to decide what to call this beast.

My brother in law actually suggested “Megatron” which stuck since I could shorten that to Meg.

Ah the adventures Meg and I had in the early days while I had to load up three newborns and a tank / buggy.

One of our triplets has additional needs, which is a fairly obvious “twist” to the story since I’m blogging for Firefly!

Anyway, he got a wheelchair when he was two which needed a boot that could carry it.

Good old Meg was up for the job for many years.

We decided though to add another car to the troop since Jacob was eligible for this under the motability scheme.

Again, my husband picked that car which was a Peugeot 5008 in an emerald colour.

Yip, it was actually called emerald and it took me a long time to love that car.

He was a big brute so we called it “Bruce Almighty”, shortened to Bruce.

I am fairly fussy about the kid’s seats so we took them to our local car seat safety centre to get their third stage ones.

With two cars and Ryan doing the preschool “drop offs” in Meg, we had to buy SIX seats.

I feel sick typing that, it was a pretty dizzying cost to be honest!

For whatever reason, in both Meg and Bruce, the seats had to be fitted in such a way that Jacob was in the middle.

This made it harder to get him in and out, especially as I have MS and am definitely not as physically able as other people might be.

This did mean I got to drive Bruce the most since he had more space in the back for me to navigate Jacob into his seat, so I’d all the mod cons (sorry Ryan!).

Bruce and I were good chums by the end.

Sadly, we had to make the decision to start looking at WAVs (wheelchair accessible vehicles) because Jacob is six now and over 17kgs.

There’s maybe some car enthusiasts who would be totally mortified having to drive around in one, but I actually welcomed the change since it would mean Jacob would be seated properly in his chair and I could just push him on.

We opted for a Peugeot horizon, which Ryan tells me is a car essentially remodelled to be wheelchair accessible.

We were assured the seats in the middle row were Isofix.

A long wait later, they took Bruce back and the new car arrived. Jacob has called him “Hector” after the skeleton in the film Coco (very odd, I know). Sadly...it turns out the seats are NOT Isofix (I’ll not get started on that) and there were a few other problems with Hector, so we had to start the process again.

Can I just make clear, I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t use Isofix at all.

I have personal reasons for wanting to use them, which I don’t need to get into.

This time we have gone for a Ford Turneo Custom Family.

It hasn’t arrived yet, and won’t for months yet, so we are having to compromise and put Ben and Chloe in the back row with just their seats secured by the normal three point seatbelt.

The new car will have the huge benefit of the kids still being able to sit beside each other with two Isofix seats for Ben and Chloe then Jacob fixed in his wheelchair in between.

How lovely is that! They don’t tend to fight and will keep each other entertained on car journeys so it’s a win all round.

It’s also got a spare seat behind the kids that we are calling the “nanny chair”.

It is absolutely huge and while I am terrified of learning to drive it, I’ve come to accept that it really is the best move for our family.

Yes...I’ll probably look very uncool driving in our custom bus...but how lucky am I to have a family to fill it?!


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