Now that school is done and carpooling is over for a few months, I decided to clean out the van.
It was lots of fun.
I expected to find a few wrappers here and there or maybe a lost toy. And I did. Next to lots and lots of things that I never wanted to find.
Let's start with the bread crumbs in the backseat. Not just on the seat, in the cracks of the seat or on the floor. But, also piles on the side of the van, in the cupholder and on the arm rest. Apparently, when my daughter is eating a sandwich on the way somewhere, she leaves the crust there and neglects to tell me or throw it out when we reach our destination.
Seriously, Abby? Just throw it out of the window and let the birds eat it.
Moving on to the wrappers on the floor. Not just on the floor, but underneath the seats and in storage pockets. My favorite place to find wrappers? Under the back seat, perfectly positioned so that I cannot reach them from under the seat or from the back of the van. They just sit there, mocking me.
Now this one was one of my favorites. A half-eaten sandwich from Caleb's carpool friend. Want to know what happens to an uneaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich after it is hidden for awhile? No, you do not want to know.
I also found some random things that had been missing. A marble from Hungry Hungry Hippo. Some of Nick's baseball hats that he is always looking for. McDonald's toys. The Three Amigos DVD.
And of course, the crayons. I found some melted ones which immediately went into the trash. I also discovered some artistic work by my precious preschool riders. I had caught them in the act of drawing on the windows a couple of weeks ago and immediately shut down that project. However, I discovered that their handiwork extended to the walls and ceiling in the back of the van.
I made Caleb clean the windows (which of course he found fun, thus making the punishment worthless), but I am still at a loss as to how the crayon is going to come off of soft material. I may have to break out the magic eraser and give it a try.
My van is now clean (as clean as it will ever get after living in it for five years) and I can now enjoy riding in it without wondering where that smell is coming from.
I know I am not alone. Thankfully, I carpool with two other moms who have similar looking vehicles. I think we find comfort in knowing that none of us is perfect or a super-mom. We do know super-moms, though. While driving for a school function, two of us had students who looked around, turned up their noses and made comments about how dirty the vans were.
Clearly, they are the only children in their family.
Now, on to the summer where I am sure my van will stay perfectly clean. Vacation, camp, King's Island...all of these adventures will leave my van looking spotless and new. And after that is soccer season and school-what a breeze.