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.”