Well, OK, it's a close second. It's time to clean the minivan.
There are people who refuse to own the typical family vehicle,
even though it is the most practical by far. Refusing to own one,
however, doesn't change the inside of whatever vehicle they decided
was cooler. It will look exactly like my minivan after my children
have christened it.
If you have kids, the inside of your vehicle has milk spots on
the back of the seats from the combination of a sippy cup and a
sneezing toddler. It has drool marks on the windows from a
combination of overactive salivary glands and a thumb-sucker. In
fact, the back seat of a typical family minivan could easily qualify
as a biohazard. The high concentration of bodily fluids coating
every exposed surface would make a germophobe drop dead if forced to
sit back there.
Fortunately, I am not a germophobe... except when it comes to
maggots in my trash can.
Also fortunately, my trash cans are larvae-free today, which is a
good thing because I know I'm going to fill at least one of them
with the fallout in my minivan.
Every parent knows that the best way to create the
just-got-hit-by-a-bomb look in the minivan is to provide your kids
with a fast-food meal while en route to a soccer game, football camp
or a Wiggles concert.
We know this. We will move heaven and earth not to do
this. And yet... Sometimes there is no way around it. Any parent who
cares more for their car interior than feeding their children before
a sporting event is not a real parent. They are merely pretending.
The formula has always been: hungry kids - time = a dirty car.
Furthermore, you may confiscate every wrapper, bag, straw and cup
you can find and place it in a convenient trash can at your
destination, but you will still find the remnants of a month-old
chicken nugget under the seat and petrified french fries in a cup
[to top of second column]
Putting a positive spin on a disgusting proposition, cleaning the
minivan could be described as a voyage of discovery. It is when I
What happened to
the other flip-flop we've looked for since our beach trip.
How impossible it
is to get melted crayon out of the carpet.
Where the six
hairbrushes I thought I had bought have been hiding.
That the library
book that was overdue so long I had to buy it was in the door
pocket all along.
That our minivan
could be considered a Happy Meal toy museum. If we stayed in one
place for more than a few minutes, we could charge admission.
10-year-old's last loose tooth got off to. Apparently, the Tooth
Fairy didn't actually steal it without leaving any cash.
Almost done now. At least the car smells fresh, thanks to a
melted deodorant stick I found wedged in the back seat.
I believe that "empty nest syndrome" might more appropriately be
called "clean car syndrome." Some of us would have something to look
forward to then.
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated
columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.