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.

Today, I cleaned out the car.

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.

8 responses »

  1. do you ever think about changing your name? i mean i would, of course i’m from new orleans. doesn’t it suck that they name hurricanes people names?

  2. well, katrina, all I can say is that because of your devotion to a smaller car (and the fact that the van thing didn’t work out), rejoice! for far more menacing objects may reside in the depths of a 7 passenger mini-van…

    and oh yeah, be glad Katie is using kleenex instead of sniffing (or using her sleeve, not that MY kids do that, ahem.)

  3. Yep, I’d have to agree with Kathy…my minivan has who-knows-what in places that I dare not go. The other day, before leaving town (see my recent post) I found an old cheeseburger and a few petrified fries! Yuck!!! Don’t even get me started on the cupholders by the kid’s booster seats. I think they’ve got a few science experiments growing back there!! I keep telling myself that tomorrow I will get out there to clean it. It didn’t happen today, so I guess I’ll try again tomorrow 🙂

  4. You know, I had that same realization about my two pregnancy tests that foretold the coming of my daughters. They were sentimental and significant – like maybe I was planning on putting them in a scrapbook or something – until I realized that it might be some kind of hazard considering they were things I had peed on.

  5. Wow – the car cleaning ritual. My most recent expedition was after my son spilled a whole gallon of tropical punch Koolaid. The van is clean, but my carpet is forever pink now. Since my husband tries to keep the van clean, the worst we usually find in it is two day old strawberry milk. I usually realize it’s there when I look in the rear-view mirror and see my daughter drinking it. Loved this post, Katrina. So vivid!!

  6. There’s something cathartic about nakedly displaying one’s disgusting car debris to the blogging public and being met with affirmation. Thanks for sharing the filth!

  7. Don’t throw those used kits away just yet! If I know Katrina (and I think I do), ask her what the best way to display such an artifact on a scrapbook page is and she will regale you with a lengthy oration filled with words that I do not understand.

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