There is no better family rig than a minivan.
No, seriously don't even argue with me. My kids have not opened a door into a brand new, very expensive truck since I got the minivan. One push of a button and in and out everyone goes. I can put BOTH my race bikes and wheels in my van without taking the wheels off. I can change clothes comfortably in the back. Fold the seats down and the kids could sleep back there, like a camping trip, all the way home from Seattle. That was hypothetical of course. I would never let my kids do that. Ummmm, yep thats a lie. Hey, don't judge, we did it when we were little and lived just fine! PLUS, my baby sister married my minivan salesman and they have given me seriously cute nieces.
All that said, I am "that one mom" who will not let her kids eat in the car. No offense to y'all but have you looked in some of your vehicles lately? Oh my word! So, my minivan is clean as a rental car right? Um, not so much! My kids do not eat in there but they seem to shed and fling clothes around in there like a couple of exotic dancers. I could seriously do a load of laundry just out of the car.
"Kids, bring your laundry baskets downstairs and grab the load out of the car too!"
Well, a couple weeks ago my baby sister was headed to a convention with other medical care nurse people who have jobs that get to go to cool places for conventions. (I am petitioning for a stay-at-home mom convention in Fiji, who is with me?) She posted on Facebook about her "nanny car" needing the carpets shampooed. Side note, I am a sucker for all things that have to do with my baby sister. I began to ponder the idea and this is what came into my highly ADD, channel surfing head. No editing and no joke...
* clean cars rock
* I should clean her car for her while she is gone
* If I detail my van then I won't want a new one, that doesn't rattle for quite awhile
* I wonder how bad her "nanny car" is with those two little girls in it?
* I'm thirsty
* My kids are both gone when she needs this done.
* I forgot to change out the laundry, crap (yep, sure did get side tracked on the way to do that)
* If I rent a carpet shampooer then I can do her car AND mine, sweet!
* Josh is going to tell me I am crazy to clean out "the nanny car" on my one day without kids
* I should call Dad and go cycle for awhile, wait, Dad is with my daughter at the lake.
* I love a clean mini van.
* I love my mini van. period.
I turn on my phone and find the green text message sign.
"I'll clean your nanny car for you, what do you want done?"
"Can you just make it not smell so bad?"
"Um, sure, that car is tiny, how bad can it be?"
Yep, it was stinky and full of goldfish, I shampooed that car interior 3 times!
Then, I did mine, 3 times! How does that happen? There is no food allowed in the car. For the 4th time around, I took out all the seats, all the seat panel thingies on the floor and the step thingie where you get in.
Quote from Josh, "wow you are really getting serious now."
"Yes, yes I am"
My friends, when I was done, it was the most beautiful grey with a hint of 4 years of dirty that you have ever seen. I decided then and there, there will not be any seats returning to this vehicle. If we need one, I will unfold one of the ones folded down under that plastic thing in the back. Then, I figure if we are going to have ALL THAT SPACE, the least I can do is move the center console back for the kids to have. Yes, this is lovely, I will call it...clean mom car! Can I get an amen to this?
"Looks great hun, but are you going to leave it like that?"
"YES!!! Look how clean it is!!!"
He is a good man.
Our daughter arrived home the next day and asked if we could go somewhere and I told her, quite matter of factly, "sure, just take your shoes off before you get in the car." Well, not sure how many of you have a ten-year-old girl but she gave me that stare with the eye scrunch that creates creases between your eyes and said "what?" The my-mom-has-lost-her-mind look continued as I nonchalantly placed myself in the drivers seat and put on my sunglasses. I looked over and she is still standing next to the door! SO, I hit the "open sliding door" button and said "well, get in?" Oh the looks that come from a tween girl.
Emma: "Why are we taking off our shoes in the car?"
Me: "Duh, because the carpets are clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness love bug"
Emma: "Maaaauuuuummmmmmm I need shoes?"
Me: "You don't need shoes, your Papa J didn't wear shoes, in Texas, when he was little, kids in Africa don't have shoes, plus you stock pile shoes in here anyway so you don't need shoes, plus end of story."
Emma: "So, we just aren't going to get out of the car?"
Hmmm, she had a point there.
It has been two weeks now and the seats are still not in the van and it is still clean. What? What? Who is the cool mom with the clean mini van parked in the garage here? Yep, thats me! Hey, it is summer, lets savor clean before the snow hits again. We even had a bible study meeting in there when it was too windy at the park. I didn't make them take off their shoes since they already think I am crazy!
Now, with both kids back home, the question tends to arise of if we can go to town. Well, the answer to that is simple.
Sure, just call one of the Grandmas and see if she will drive us in her car, mine is clean for at least one more day!