I need professional cleaners for my mini-van disaster

Editor July 5, 2015 Comments Off on I need professional cleaners for my mini-van disaster
I need professional cleaners for my mini-van disaster

When we first bought our current minivan, it was lovely. As lovely as a minivan can be.
It smelled nice, and it had shiny surfaces. There was no goo on anything. Nobody had thrown up inside of it, and there were no splatters on the ceiling.
It stayed that way for about four days, give or take.
For nearly two years I’ve been driving my four children in our current van (they’re now 9, 7, almost-5, and 2), and I’ve learned a lot about myself–and my family–in the process.
This is what I have learned: we are disgusting people.
It’s not a comfortable subject to discuss, but I’m putting it out there because if you have small children, you are probably disgusting, too.
You don’t have to feel alone anymore.
We’re about to take a road trip with the children, so I decided to clean out the van. Because, I don’t know, why not? It just seemed like the right thing to do.
In order to clean out the van, I had to venture into the deep, dark belly of the vehicle–the last row. I don’t often go into the last row because it’s dark and scary back there. I prefer my sunny spot in the driver’s seat, where I can turn up the radio and pretend like nobody is fighting behind me, and certainly nobody has gotten hold of a ketchup packet.
But every so often one must shake off the cloak of denial and visit the way back of the van, if only to remember why one shouldn’t visit the way back. Because lurking in the way back are…things. Unidentifiable things. Is this a banana or a handful of mashed potatoes? Either way, disturbing.
Some things are easy to identify, like the french fries or chicken nuggets tucked underneath the seats, because they look exactly the same as the day they were purchased. Which was about five months ago, but whatever, kids don’t care. To them it’s a hidden treasure, an unexpected jackpot–“Hey, look, a snack!”
If you have small kids, and you’ve ever purchased food in a fast food drive through, chances are this has happened in your vehicle. No need to worry–thanks to preservatives, those fries will be edible for generations to come.
Also discovered in the back of my van: one and a half burritos, a container of milk (age undetermined), and some graffiti (curlicued hearts and peace signs on the back of the headrest–why?????).
I ignored the graffiti, threw away the food items, and tried to forget what I had been through. But some things can’t be unseen. Like a glob of banana/mashed potatoes on the floorboard of your car.
My advice: if you’re foolish enough to let your kids eat bananas in the van (or mashed potatoes), start saving now for a full-on detail service. You won’t regret it.
Happy road tripping.
(Betsy Swenson can be reached at sliindelife@gmail.com.)

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