Yesterday, it took me five minutes to locate my son’s carseat in our car. It took another two minutes to find him in the carseat.
Among the detritus:
*nine petrified french fries (Upon inspection by qualified food archaeologists, two were determined to be from McDonalds, while the remaining seven seemingly originated from Wendy’s, as evidenced by their slightly larger girth.)
*A green frog umbrella–the kind with eyes protruding from the top–that I hid in the trunk so I wouldn’t have to look at its ominous, artificially cheery froggy grin anymore
*147 used kleenexes, miraculously stuffed into the three-inch well in the door handle next to my daughter’s seat
*several of those little sheets of stickers that grocery store checkers give to kids to keep them from emptying the magazine rack, ripping open a King Size bag of M&Ms, and tipping a gallon jug of milk onto the floor to see if it bounces (It doesn’t.)
*a cd-rom with an invitation from AOL* to enjoy 10,000 free hours of web-surfing bliss
*a letter from my sister in Georgia, saying how much she loved visiting Idaho and how she’d like to live near us someday (She moved here six months ago.)
*a receipt for a home pregnancy test, probably the one that delivered the good news of Caleb’s impending birth, the one I saved in my dresser drawer until, in a moment of realization, I remembered that this was something I had peed on, and threw it away.
*a Smoky the Bear button with a rusted pin
*hair ( I won’t go into too much gruesome detail here, but when I was finished vacuuming, I thought about contacting Locks of Love to make a donation. I shed like a Pomeranian, apparently.)
*A goldfish cracker from 1999
It was only after I threw the last bag of trash into the dumpster in our parking lot and was looking around the sparkling interior of our like-new car that the thought occurred to me. It was accompanied by a sinking sensation in my gut and a sudden, sharp sense of grief: I could have saved that stuff for my scrapbook.
*Household Geek interrupts to rain down curses on AOL in leetspeak.