The Mom Van

Originally Published: 

Growing up, I had a friend whose mother drove an old, beat-up minivan. The fact that it was old and ugly wasn’t the problem. The fact that I was afraid I would catch a disease every time I stepped foot in it, however, was. I came from a neat-car family; the stains and juice boxes strewn everywhere in hers were completely foreign to me and more than a tad revolting. I would never drive a car like hers. Who lives like that?

Well, me. My car is everything hers was and perhaps even worse. From the outside it looks like every other slightly abused minivan. But inside? It’s bad. Beyond what you can even imagine.

Yesterday, I performed an inventory on the contents. Please know that I’m not proud of what I’ve become. I’m hoping recognition is the first step towards recovery. But I must admit, it’s also kind of convenient, living like this. I’m prepared for almost anything. I could practically live out of my car, if need be.

Are you ready? Here’s what I found:

• Two separate halves of a peanut butter sandwich, along with four crackers, a scattering of popcorn, half of a breakfast bar, a hardened clementine and two half-filled bottles of water. (Mid-ride snack, anyone?)

• A sock, two mismatched mittens and a sweatshirt that no longer fits any of my children. (Should we see a cold infant on the side of the road, we can totally come to the rescue!)

• Five empty zip-lock snack bags. (Truly, you can never have too many of these. For what, I’m not sure, but they’ll come in handy somehow.)

• Two hair elastics. (If Lily or I suddenly feel like sporting pig-tails, we’re golden!)

• Sand and two shells. (We live hours away from the ocean and haven’t been to the beach since last winter, but there’s nothing like a reminder of sunny skies and ocean breezes.)

• A tube of Neosporin and a band-aid. (And, you thought I was kidding about potential car-disease.)

• Countless gum and granola bar wrappers. (Where else are you supposed to put chewed gum?!)

• Three dollars in change. (And, to think, I thought I was broke. Score!)

• A library book that has been missing for 3 months. (I knew I looked everywhere in the house.)

• A small plastic pumpkin, an old airline ticket, a bunch of art projects and colored-on restaurant menus and three matchbox cars.

But, the crème de la crème has to be a Bodine box laying on the floor. It has now come to be known as “the boogie box.” Why you ask? Well, Evan has a lovely habit of picking his nose in the backseat. He is too far for me to reach over with a tissue and all hell broke lose last week when he threatened to use Ben’s jacket to wipe off his finger. Faced with a fight of epic proportions, I improvised: See that box over there, on the floor? It’s a boogie box! Use that! So, he did. And I forgot to throw it away.

I told you. It’s bad.

And before you ask: Yes, I’m getting a car wash today.

And also, taking several disinfecting showers. You might want to do the same after reading this.

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