My car, the family truckster, is a cross between a trash can on wheels, a lost and found, and roughly 75% of the SKUs found in the Lunchbox/Snack aisle of Target. There are parts where it’s difficult to see the floor anymore. Cup holders have become a 7-layer dip of various pieces of garbage. If something is missing and I can’t find it in the house, the next logical place to look is our car.
A fine layer of Goldfish/Cheezit/Veggie Straw dust covers most surfaces. Each time I open the door, an old receipt from a fast food chain falls out only to be carried off into the wind. Sort of like my desire to make dinner or lunch that day did, too.
It is unapologetically messy. Given the massive effort it takes to wrangle two children into their carseats and rush them home, or to school, or to any place we ever go to because we can’t seem to get our shit together enough to leave with plenty of time to be on time, I can’t be bothered to clean the car. I’m barely keeping my house clean and honestly, that’s really only happening when we’re having people over. The car is on the lowest priority level possible.
The car could probably be cleaner if I instituted one of those “no eating in the car” rules. I’m not sure what parent has the iron will to uphold something like this, but each time my kids plop down in their carseat they are ravenous. It must be some sort of undiagnosed medical condition they suffer from because if I don’t pass back that snack ASAP, they will go ballistic. So I Stretch Amrstrong my arm to the back seat and hand them the finest of toddler delicacies and enjoy a moment’s peace before the music demands begin.
Without fail, there is usually an “uh oh” if AJR drops food or a frantic “MOMMY! SHE’S DUMPING IT EVERYWHERE!” as I check in the rearview mirror to see Olivia making it rain processed food with unparalleled gusto. I do make a half-hearted attempt to clean it up once we’ve parked – the big pieces anyway. But those crumbs that are ground into the fibers of the car mats? Yeah, those will be there for awhile.
I’m guilty of contributing to the mess myself. I’ve been staring at the same Nature Valley Oat & Honey crunch bar wrapper for five days now. The crumbs – because have you ever eaten anything so crunchy in your entire life? – fill up at least half of my front console cupholder. I’m so desensitized to driving around in garbage that I don’t even flinch. Momma’s got things to do!
Well, today I finally cleaned my car. Next Tuesday is Trunk or Treat at my kids’ school and I figured “haunted garbage dump” probably isn’t a very fun theme. I didn’t take a vacuum or ArmmorAll Wipe or anything to it. What am I, my husband? However, I did attempt to clean out some of the hot garbage and clutter before it began to fester. You know that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the leading lady has to reach into that hole with all of the bugs to pull some lever and save Indiana Jones from being smashed by a stone wall? Well that’s sort of how I felt reaching into the overflowing cupholder landfills.
Here is a picture of the aftermath:
I found winter hats from last year along with flip flops. An infant moccasin shoe that hasn’t fit Olivia in 14 months. Two matches to socks that have eluded me for the last three months. A half-eaten granola bar that God knows how long its been there. An entire library’s worth of books. One of which is an actual library book that I probably need to return before I rack up even more late fees. A cape, because you never know when you’ll have to jump into action. Oh and trash trash trash. Wrappers, baggies, receipts.
Things that did not get picked up: crumbs and stickers from Trader Joe’s that are now one with the car.
The car looks like less of a disaster but it won’t stay that way for long. Maybe not even until tomorrow depending on the snack choice that day. I’m fine with it. I’m a busy mom. Something has to slide through the cracks like that smoothie that spilled between the cracks in our car. How are your cars looking these days?