Cleaning the Car for a Roadtrip: A Fruitless endeavor

Whenever we travel, I make it a point to clean out our minivan. Our minivan could stand to be cleaned every single day. We often eat snacks or lunch on the run since Lily has daily afternoon preschool and we try to get stuff done or see friends during our limited morning hours. It doesn’t take long for the kids’ snack wrappers, toys, various, receipts, socks, shoes, gloves, clean spare diapers, coupons, crumbs and mail to clutter the whole car. Often when I drop my daughter off at preschool, I’m embarrassed when a teacher comes to pick her up at the car because they can see the horrible mess– a mess that was often made in less than a week.

I worry that family members will judge me when they enter a cluttered car, so I always clean right before we leave. It is all in vain. By the time we finish an 8 hour car ride, the car looks exactly the same as it did before we left. In fact, it’s worse. In addition to snack wrappers and empty juiceboxes, there are Color Wonder Markers, books, DVDs, a fresh coat of dog hair from the traveling dog, new crumbs and discarded stickers all over the place.

So, by the time we get there, it looks like the car hasn’t been cleaned in years. In reality, it was spotless 24 hours before.

Why do I bother? To have less mess when we get there? I don’t know if anyone can see through the debris of our trip to know the difference.

I dream of a day when I have a clean car to present, but the reality is it wasn’t all that neat BEFORE I had kids. I just had less people looking in my car then.

But, because I’ve had to clean up after kids instead of just myself, maybe things really will be neater once the kids stop trashing the place?

A girl can dream. Or, you know, start picking up after herself better.

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