Friday, September 18, 2009

On the road again. In a stinkmobile.

I don't have time for this today. I shouldn't even be writing in my blog right now, but I couldn't resist. I need some downtime. What I should be doing is preparing for the couples' baby shower/cocktail party that Bill and I are having tomorrow night, here at our home, for my sister Colette and her husband Brian. 25 people. I'm making all the food myself. I'm not complaining, because I love planning and hosting parties, and I get myself into these messes. But I could use a 36-hour day.

Since I practically live in my minivan every day, mostly during the week, carting kids around town to school, back from school, to pre-school, back from pre-school, to errands, to sports practices, to appointments, my car can get a little messy. Alright. It's a dump.

Word of advice: tan leather seats + four kids = big mistake

Yes, I know it sounds like a princess problem. Ooh, my leather seats are full of dirt, crayons, and other identifiable stains, and it's so hard to get them clean! Some people don't have leather seats, Clare. Some people don't even have cars, Clare. So I should shut up, right? But this is my blog, and my way of venting. Bear with me.

Anyway, like I said, I have been getting ready for this party tomorrow night, so I have been to the grocery store not once, not twice but six times this week. It's errand city, baby. And I have no time to clean the car. But really, who am I kidding? We usually only clean the car out when a.) we are about to embark on a long trip, or b.) it starts to smell do I put this delicately?...butt. Or does poop sound nicer? Whatevs. Something stunk like pure rotting rancidness, and I couldn't stand it for one more nanosecond.

Really, in my defense, my house is usually clean and presentable. My bathrooms aren't always perfecto, what with little boys pissing everywhere but in the porcelain bowl, but I try. However, my purse and my car are my two dumping grounds. There is just no time, with all this running around. That's my excuse. And believe me, I'm full of them.

I took you on a journey of my purse a few months ago, and now, fair readers, welcome to my car, aka, "Garbage Can on Wheels".

Too bad my blog doesn't have Smell-o-vision.

I'd like to say I was surprised at some of the things that I found in the car today, but alas, I'm mostly un-shockable when it comes to my kids. (I'm blaming them for this whole thing. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

Further proof that this job is so random because it's like, hey, I found a mini bobcat? cougar? in my car. No biggie. Not sure where it came from, or the purpose it serves, because it just is. To all you twentysomethings driving your sleek, clean, sedans, are you jealous that you don't have one of these in your car? I know you are.

Between our three boys, we have about 2,472 Pokemon cards in our house. I always find a stray one somewhere and I'm so tempted to throw it away, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm always worried one of the boys will be all, "Where's my Chimchar card, mom? I need that one card to achieve the ultimate Pokemon-ness in Pokemon world!" Whatever the heck happens in Pokemon world, I'll never know. And I'll have to be all, "It's in the garbage, dude." And then crying will ensue. I threaten to throw these cards away plenty of times, but I haven't done it yet. The boys are mostly responsible with them, save the random stray card. But this one I will throw away. I promise. Believe me? Watch me. I'm going to the garbage can now. See?

Check out my pharmacy in the car. Benadryl, acetaminophen, and what's this bottle all the way to the left? I'll tell you what it is. It's the one political statement that I make in my car. I'm drawing a hard line in the sand. I'm Anti-Diarrhea. Those Pro-Diarrhea lobbyists are always trying to get me to come over to their side to see their point-of-view, but I'm all, no thanks Pro-Diarrhea. I'm Anti-Diarrhea all the way. These Anti-Diarrheal pills help me prove my point. Would Congress just get to work on a bill banning diarrhea forever?

This is a common find in our car. Food wrappers. EVERY time Bill cleans and vacuums out the car, he says firmly, "Absolutely NO eating in the car from this day forward, kids!" He's such a funny daddy. We usually ignore these silly mandates. By the way, Henry saves his Tootsie Pops wrappers because I once told him that when I was little, I used to save the wrappers that featured an indian shooting a star in order to redeem it for a new Tootsie Pop. These days we should say Native American shooting a star, and it's all a big lie. An urban legend. I even looked it up on, right here.

Dirty socks. Ugh. As if I don't have enough of these scattered throughout the house and in random places like our pantry, I have to find them in the car? Of course, when the kids are looking, they can never find a clean pair of socks. And here is why.

Unread newspapers. I bring the newspaper in the car with me every day, hoping that I'll get a chance to read it while I'm waiting for the kids to get out of school. It's makes me feel much more intellectual than getting my news from Yahoo. But most days I don't have the time. Alas, to the recycling bin they go. It's about 5 steps from where I park the car in the garage. It's really simple. But yet so complicated. They're still sitting on the floor of my car.

Sorry, but it's another picture of this chick. But I swear, this is the last time. I promise. Annabel brings her almost everywhere, including the car. Somehow she didn't make it back inside the house today though. Could Barbie be the source of the strange smell in the car? Yes, she smells, but she smells of failure. My poop-training failure. It's not the same as pure rancidness.

Both of these movies are permanently, irrevocably scratched. They no longer work in our DVD player. The kids left them on the floor of the car, and they were stepped on a few hundred times. You would think I would have thrown them away by now. Like I said, you would think.

When I found these Speed Stackers, I laughed. Henry brought these along on our last car trip thinking he and Charlie would be able to play them while we traveled. Only, they are cup stackers. And they need to be stacked. On a flat surface. Not a moving car. Nice travel game.

Of course, what minivan would be complete without a sippy cup lying haphazardly on the floor? But this is definitely not the source of the car smell. I learned my lesson on sippy cups in the car long ago. This cup is only a few hours old, and as soon as I spot one, into the kitchen it goes. A few years ago, a lone sippy cup rolled under a seat sometime in the winter, and it grew hair but didn't really make its presence known until it assaulted my nostrils once the spring thaw hit and the weather got warmer, thus baking it in the car. Yuck.

I found it. The source of the smell. Charlie ate yogurt for breakfast in the car on MONDAY, and I just discovered this container today, on FRIDAY with about half an inch of yogurt still left in it. Throw in some 80-degree weather this week and we have a recipe for a stinky disaster. I'll say it again. Stin-ky.

Please don't judge me by my messy car. I only embarrass myself in my blog so you don't have to. Hopefully you can relate.

I tell myself that some day when I'm in my 50's and driving a sleek sedan once more, that I will miss these days. Sometimes my days are exasperating that all I can do is laugh and write about it. I will miss these crazy carpooling days. Some day I'll be leisurely driving all alone down the road to some place of my choosing, and I'm sure I'll miss the DVD player blaring the same movie over and over. I will miss turning the corner and having the messy contents of my car roll from one side to the other. I will miss playing, "What's That Smell?" as I clean it. Well, maybe that's going a bit too far, but you get the point.

I'm off to get my work done now. Thanks for letting me share.

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