Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Car Nasty

I don't consider myself an extremely clean or terribly messy person.  I can definitely be compulsive about being organized, but what that usually means is that if I find myself on the wrong end of the sanitation spectrum I'm apt to just give up.  Hence the state of my car near the end of last week:

I know exactly how it happened.  

Say it's a random Tuesday morning and our pantry is bare.  The grocery store isn't necessarily Owen's favorite place, so I throw him a bone and tell him to grab a few of his favorite toys to liven up the experience.  We get ten steps toward the car, and that's when Owen decides he really does want to finish his breakfast after all, but I'm already too far into mission mode to shut things down and take him back to the breakfast table, so I tell him to just bring his toast with us in the car.  But of course he needs his sippy cup too.

When we finally make it to the car, I get so focused on the back spasms I now have from of the way I just twisted to get Owen into his car seat that I don't realize I've left my shoulder bag within arms reach of him.  

En route to the store he helps himself to its contents.  

Once we arrive, I manage to locate my grocery list in the pile of rubble that was once my purse, and we head inside, where I buy at least twice as much as I originally thought I needed, including about 37 pounds of various liquids (regular milk, soy milk, regular Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi...).  And as we check out, the nice man who suffers through the excessive wad of reusable grocery bags I've just handed him decides to win brownie points with Owen by giving him a coloring book and a pack of crayons.

We arrive at the car, and the same nice man unloads the cart for me, which includes a seemingly unreduced wad of empty reusable grocery bags.  When I go around to put Owen in, we discover that he's left his sippy cup upside down in his car seat and there's been significant leakage.  So I use a combination of items at hand- Kleenex and old receipts that used to be in my purse- to swab the puddle of lukewarm soy milk.  But Owen is still afraid his pants will get wet so I absentmindedly grab one of those black plastic rectangles that's supposed to be reinforcing the bottom of one of my grocery bags and slide it under him.  

We have an uneventful trip home, but I later realize that's only because Owen has been quietly consumed by the task of stripping all his new crayons naked. 

If you're still with me, here's a summary of what I will now need to remove from my car:

32 pound boy, 37 pounds of liquid + other groceries, the disassembled contents of my purse, toys, sippy cup, toast crust and crumbs, soy soaked receipts and Kleenex, coloring book, crayons, 19 various sized pieces of crayon wrapper, and this weird random piece of black plastic

But the sad truth is that I often just grab the boy and whichever groceries require refrigeration.  There have been a few times when I forgot the groceries completely.  Fortunately, I've never forgotten the boy.


The only way to fix a mess this bad is to just take everything out.  And, yes, I learned that from Peter Walsh.  Owen thought I was the coolest thing ever when I put him in the back of the car and told him to start chunking stuff.

Here's just a portion of the pile.  Makes you want to play a game of I Spy doesn't it?  Feel free to start one up in the comments section.

When Owen went up to his room to rest, I got to work vacuuming and scrubbing.  And it only took about 1.5 hours to get it to this point:

I am happy to announce that should any of my friends or family members find themselves stranded on the side of the road, I will now gladly pull over and invite them into my clean car haven.  Last week I would have totally driven on by.


Grandma DD said...

Super commentary. It made me chuckle and smile. All I can say is ... been there and done that with THREE girls!!!

Coach said...

These are some of the items I thought I could pick out in all of the stuff: head rest, umbrella, security cover,reusable grocery bags,egg carton, books, a check book cover, crayon box, coloring book, tissue box (tissues) and what I thought looked like maps. Once again, you turned what most parents would have considered a disastrous day into something fun. I will bet it is one of Owens favorite days.

Aunt Pam said...

You know I did that with two boys and now doing it all over again with Grandkids!LOL
You are a super Mom! You made it a game to clean up....how fun!

Shelley & Scott said...

My apologies to all 3 of you if I ever trashed your cars like this!

Anyone spot the black plastic rectangle reusable grocery bag bottom reinforcer thingy? Does anyone else have the same problems I have keeping the darn things where they belong?

Christine Osborne said...

Love the story! Unfortuantely, hard as I try, my car always looks like that. Three girls of my own plus 3 in carpool tends to undue the cleaning/organizing I try to do! Is that an ice scraper I see?!