Trey and I only have one car that will carry our entire family at once so, inevitably, it's always the dirtiest and stinkiest in our fleet. Our fleet of two; so only a fleet in my mind.
Over the past couple of weeks of scurrying from school, to baseball, to gymnastics, to dinner, to school and back again, my car had become, let me think of a word, um, wait, let me check the Thesaurus, pigpenish and unsanitary. I think those words should paint a sufficient picture for you.
I was driving into the sun and literally couldn't see out the windows because of all of the fingerprints so yesterday I splurged and took the beast to a carwash. They promised to send me away driving a spotless car smelling like apple blossoms in the springtime. Or, maybe New Car Scent, but either way, better than crushed up Cheese Nips, socks, and stale Diet Coke.
They totally delivered. Best $18.95 I've spent in a long, long time.
When I picked the kids up from school I quickly established two new rules. 1. No touching the windows - which should last until the first time the windows fog up and everyone wants to draw stick figures picking their noses. 2. No eating in the car. I'm serious about this one. For a brief moment, I tried to figure out a way to have a 'No eating in the house' rule. Would that be going too far?
Anyway, here's my dilemma: Graham is home sick today. He's got an upset stomach and a headache. Classic symptoms for the stomach virus. We're fine now but in a couple of hours, I've got to go pick up carpool and he's going to have to get in my car. My. Clean. Car.
I love that little booger but if anyone is going to throw up in my car, it's gonna be him. He'll run past two bathrooms to find you and tell you he's sick just before he throws up on your shoes.
What, as a loving parent, can I reasonably do to love on him and keep my car clean at the same time? I know I can't tie him to the roof, I mean, if he got sick up there, it would still get all over my car. I also can't make him drive with his head sticking out the window, that would be plain cruel. I think I'm just going to have to dress him in a trash bag and have him hold a garbage can in front of him the whole time. That way, if he does get sick, it's somewhat contained; at least until I have to slam on my brakes because the lady in front of me is talking on her cell phone and almost misses her turn.
Or, maybe, as I'm sitting here looking at his pitiful-self about to spill Gatorade all down the front of his shirt, I just need to realize that a clean car was not in the cards for me when the Lord gave me four, and now six children. I'm pretty sure there will be a time when my car won't be covered with fingerprints, my couch won't have Sharpie on it, and my front yard will actually grow grass.
For now, it seems as though I'm supposed to work on growing children instead; ones that have my fingerprints all over them and the Lord's Sharpie on their hearts.
But mark my words, when they get older, I'm riding shotgun in their cars with a strawberry milkshake in each hand.