I'm so ecstatic to own a car that has no fingerprints or nose prints
on the back windows and no footprints on the windshield. It has
clean cubbyholes with no gum or used Kleenex stuffed in them. The
cup holders have nary a drop of some sugary, gooey stuff left over
from fast-food cup leakage.
There are no bits of popcorn, or candy wrappers, or pieces of
crayon, or Legos, or Polly Pocket parts hiding in the crevasses
between the seats. In fact, it's perfectly clean
(hallelujah!) and I've been able to keep my baby that way for a
full week ... with constant vigilance.
"You don't need to take the straw wrapper in the car with you."
"But, Mom, I want to play with it!"
"No, you don't. You want to stuff it into some nook or cranny
where you can see it, but you can't get it out!"
Is it any wonder, then, that when my husband decided to have a
"Boy's Night Out" with two of my boys, my brother and my
immaculately clean car, I balked.
Don't get me wrong. I would never stop my husband from going
somewhere he wanted to go. I just didn't want him to take my baby.
Take a car that already has gum in the door handles and footprints
on the windshield. Between him and my brother, they had other
I mean, they're going to the races, for Pete's sake! A bastion of
male bonding over sloppy food, dusty bleachers and loud, greasy
engines, punctuated by the sound of testosterone-induced "Hoo-ah!s"
after each collision. A place where it is almost mandatory to spill
a 32-ounce drink on one's jeans and wipe it off with a corn dog
[to top of second column]
My youngest boy is 6 years old and loves cars. It would not be
humane to leave him home with me, but unfortunately he cannot hold
his liquids. Thirty-two ounces in his bladder is a recipe for
disaster because my baby has cloth seats and my husband has an
unreasonable aversion to pulling to the side of the road for little
boy pee elimination.
"We're almost home, buddy. Can you hold it for another hour?"
Plus, my husband is directionally challenged. If he doesn't bring
his GPS navigator with him, then there will be at least two missed
turns, which always involve pounding on the steering wheel to invoke
the direction gods, and a U-turn at 90 miles an hour. The 32-ounce
drink sitting in the cup holder, if it hasn't done so already, will
bite the dust at this point.
If he brings his GPS, that will involve slobbering on the suction
cup so it will stick to the windshield, and when the suction cup is
removed, it will leave the windshield with a permanent spit circle
that will not be removed until the day the car is sold.
This would also be the maiden voyage of our new in-the-headrest
DVD player we had installed for our children's' entertainment and
their continued existence. This means that my husband, who is a
hands-on kind of instructor, will be fiddling with it while he's
driving, until either it works or he crashes ... whichever comes
first. Unfortunately, I am not a gambling kind of girl.
My car is so new it doesn't even have a trash bin in it yet. Not
that a bunch of "boys" on a joyride to the races would ever consider
So, no, I just can't do it. It's too new. It's too clean. It's
too ... wonderful.
Don't worry, baby, I won't let them hurt you.
[By LAURA SNYDER]
You can reach the writer at
Or visit www.lauraonlife.com
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