Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring is here!

You know how I can tell it’s spring? Whatever has been rotting in my van all winter long begins to thaw out and smell. Very bad. And the longer the winter the worst the smell. So I’m sure you can imagine my van is very “ripe” this season.

Unfortunately there’s been more hibernating in my van than a foul odor. The floor is littered with backpacks, winter coats, Happy Meal toys, fruit rollup wrappers, empty DVD cases, and dirty, wadded-up socks, to name a few things I can identify. I won’t ruin your day with descriptions of what I can’t.

We could travel across the states and my children would have a set of clothes, a lap full of toys, and enough stale French fries to make it to Nebraska. Not to mention each time the door would open and close we’d leave something behind, a sorry cross between the Clampetts and Hansel and Gretel.

And I’ll blame it all on my seven-year old son who sits in the backseat alone, eating leftovers from his Superman lunchbox and apparently wadding up his dirty socks and throwing them on the floor. Is he the only culprit? Of course not, but do you think I write this blog to take ALL the blame?

It’s not as if we haven’t tried to clean the van. In fact, to our credit, it’s been clean on several occasions. It’s stayed clean all of two hours, but it has been clean.

Sadly we are not the only ones who have had to tolerate our messy van. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I babysit my friend’s daughters who are expected to clear themselves a seat and endure drives to and from the elementary school. One of the girls has taken to asking her mother everyday if she’ll be traveling in my van because she needs to mentally prepare for the ride.

My friend informed me that my vehicle isn’t the only one that disgusts her daughter. But does that really make me feel any better? Okay, maybe a little.

I find that after I clean my van I become militant mom, ordering kids to leave their little toys and treat bagies at home. But once a fight erupts I’ll allow them to drag anything in there, short of a llama (and even that’s negotiable), to ensure a peaceful drive.

And lest you think the inside of my van is the only thing lacking, let me explain to you what one cold winter did to my bumper. The poor thing cracked and then started dragging on the ground. For an entire year we had the only minivan in Idaho Falls with a bumper held into place with duct tape. You remember that, right? Thankfully I ran over a really big rock (ahem!) and the bumper fell off. My friends and family all agree my van looks much better without it.

So in our family we celebrate spring by fumigating our minivan. And this year we were able to cap the celebration by burying our bumper.

Maybe next spring I can drive the whole thing to the dump and leave it there.

Really. Will they let me do that?

In my defense, this post was written before I cleaned out my minivan. My family is visiting this weekend and I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother feeling obligated to clean it while she was here. And it’s sad, really, how accustomed my children had become with minivan squalor. Since cleaning it out last Friday, every time Kaleb gets in he will pet one of the seats in admiration and say, “Mom, the van is so clean,” almost with the same reverence as “Mom, it’s a miracle.”

20 comments:

Erin said...

That is on my list of things to do today. That and everything else in the world...so it will probably get bumped. My kids are amazed when they don't have to walk over things in our house--they are used to it in the car! Congrats on getting it clean! I wish I could wrap the inside with plastic and once a week just gather up the plastic and chuck it. So much easier!

Spammon said...

I think the van sounds like a wonderland! You have toys, movies, food and clothing. Sounds to me like you have a full blown 72 hour kit on your hands! And its mobile!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

We cleaned ours last month. And my kids were awed by the miraculous tidiness of it, also. Sad, really...

Tari said...

Boys and their socks! Why is it they think they need to take them off and shove them in every nook and cranny?
I have cleaned out my car before and found full outfits for two of my children and enough papers to fill a note book. How does it happen?

Gustogirl said...

Isn't it amazing how dirty one car can get? Kids are professional mess makers! I love it when it is freshly cleaned, it usually stays that way for about a day!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

LOVE that the girl has to mentally prepare to ride in your van - mental preparation is a skill she'll be called to use MANY times in her life! You're just preparing her! Take an A!

shawn said...

Minivan squalor???
What a great and apt description ... the minivans that accompanied my three children - ALL three vans - the Aerostar, the Lumina and now the Sienna have all been in the exact state you've described ... repeatedly ... and costantly ...

It's ALL part of being a parent ... who has time to clean the van any way??? A little squalor never really killed any one ... at least not yet ...

Come to think of it, we could start an "unidentifiable bits left behind in minivans" Blog and see what people can come up with ... admit it - we've ALL be there !!!!

Rosie said...

I had this exact same problem last week! I posted a picture of all the stuff that came out of our car.

I just want it to stay clean for more than 2 hours hhttp://mylittlecornerofchaos.blogspot.com/2008/05/car-or-garbage-truck.html

Eileen said...

When my kids were little, my mini-van was so gross. I remember cheerios and french fries embeded in the seats. At the time, my friend and her 2 teen girls, went for a trip. They clean out my car and swore they saw mold. They only cleaned it, so they would ride in it for the ride home. Anyway, now that my girls are teens, I am happy to say....the van is not any better. Same old mess. Instead of Cheerios, it is all kinds of crap (rings, earrings, candy, chips, chocolate milk cartons, etc.) and of course still fries. I gave up a long time ago. I think it is a mom thing. I really do. I am just now gonna sweat the small stuff.
Very, very funny post Shauna!! Thanks for the laughs and memories.
Love you!!

Anonymous said...

I always tell my husband, it's not a car, it's a large rolling purse, (a line which I stole from a nameless columnist). But it's true. Everything I might need is in the back seat. It's very handy. It LOOKS messy to others, but I know where everything is. :-)

Thanks for the post, Shauna! You made me laugh at 6:30 in the morning - not an easy feat!

Mary

Janice said...

This was a funny one for me, cause.... I hate cleaning my car out, I feel like, what is the flipping point? Tha is how I feel about laundry, dishes, and any house work... ;) I need to email you about girls camp.. i got released

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shauna said...

Thank you all for making me feel more "normal." I always considered my minivan a dirty little secret. And I love spammon's take--I'm just going to look at it like a 72-hour kit on wheels(or a rolling purse--thanks, Mary). I'm not a slob, I'm just prepared for any and every situation!

Kristi O said...

Once again we meet on commonground. Today the mystery smell is covered up by wet dog smell, yesterday in the big Lew it was 99 today 60 and downpour, I mean raing! I had the take "duke" to Clarkston vet clinic and now we all smell like wet dog. It is covering up the mystery smell no one can seem to uncover, for now anyway! I for some reason have been hauling around Christmas decorations and a roaster in my van, it clinks on every corner. I have a whole dress-up wardrobe there from the last wedding we attended and changed in the Target Bathroom, and of course misc things. Maybe in a past life I was a hoarder. Who knows, at least I am not alone. Tell me you are still drinking diet coke, it is zero points you know, along with pickles, tomato juice and polar bear wow cow yogurt, if the get the kids size!!!

shauna said...

Kristo O, I'm back on diet coke. Sigh. When I have a tough WW day I'll get a Route 44 (w/lemon). Yum. That'll be the vice I tackle right after all the lbs. :)

Crazed Mom said...

Pretty funny. I thought all of Idaho was like that......hehehe.




JaniceNW

jen said...

I had a great time this weekend hanging out with you. And I must say, I didn't see the inside of your van the whole time so I'll take your word on it. love ya, jen

Melodrama Mama said...

Most mothers suffer from a 'mom car'. I recently gave a child a ride home from school and he told me that my car was 'sure messier than his mom's car ever was and maybe I should clean it sometime'. You can either look at it as a messy car, or as some sort of emergency preparedness vessel.

Rhonda Barnes said...

OK...I MUST SAY I NEVER SAW THE INSIDE OF YOUR VAN EITHER!!! AND AS FAR AS I AM CONCERN....YOU ARE DOING DANG GOOD WITH 3 KIDS CLEAN VAN OR NOT! WE HAD A FUN WEEKEND! YES WE NEED TO LIVE CLOSER SO I CAN BABYSIT YOUR KIDS AND THEY CAN MESS UP MY CAR ANY DAY! LOVE YOU ALL MOM

Chris said...

Are there truly mom's cars out there that are clean? I have to believe not. :-) We try and try, but they are always overrun with stuff. It seems to get messier faster than it takes to clean. I guess van spring cleaning is in order on my end. :-)