Its true. My car is a rolling garbage can. I don’t even know how it happens y’all. I have four kids so that is most definitely a contributing factor, but I know other people who have four kids and manage to keep a decent vehicle. What is this life? How can we just live in this day to day and no one even says anything about it anymore? Except my husband. He has plenty to say about it…. mostly, “What is that smell?” or “Do you really need to carry around an entire roll of paper towels at all times?” He is blissfully set apart from this transportation crisis I exist in.
There have been several times when it has proven useful though. Once, my kid’s flip flop broke and I told her to dig around on the floor and see if she had another pair of shoes back there – she did! Minivan miracle! And, if we were ever caught in a snowstorm or something and had to exist in our van for weeks, I’m pretty sure there is enough food in the crevices to keep us alive if we were willing. Also, since we have lost approximately 3,826 water bottles in there, we would probably be good on hydration too. That said, those are not really the criteria of cleanliness I generally aspire to, so what gives?
Its not because I don’t care. We regularly clean the car out; the mess just always comes back with a vengance. I definitely WANT it to be cleaner. What I lack is the follow through. I have actually given this a lot of thought, and I think I have at least part of the answer. My kids sneak stuff in the car: a snack in their purse, a small toy in their hand, an armful of activities when we are in a hurry. And often I just don’t notice; I don’t have the time to police them all. Then, somehow we all walk back inside empty-handed. You would think after over a decade of parenting I would have gotten into that habit of saying something like, “Gather your stuff kids!” and appropriately supervising this activity. But no. I haven’t. And I know why. I just want to GO INSIDE. After an outing with all of them where my youngest has no doubt peed in every. single. bathroom. we. encountered, and they have caressed (sometimes broken) every possible item in every single store, and have been generally loud (albeit good) kids for hours…. I’m just done. WE MADE IT HOME. NO ONE DIED. DCS WILL NOT COME THIS WEEK. Get inside so we can all go to separate rooms for a few minutes! At this point I just need to NOT try to keep them alive or quiet or un-kidnapped, and I need to decompress. I forget all about my trash hole car because we all just want to be free of it.