Thursday, August 26, 2010

riding in cars with boys...and a girl

I have a little car.  Bought it when I was working in Birmingham and needed dependable transportation, because I was driving 64 miles a day round trip and working twelve hour shifts.  So I did some research and discovered the best buy for the mileage was a KIA Rio.  So we went to the dealer, I picked one out and that was that.  No electric windows, no cruise control, no electric locks on the doors.  It had air conditioning and a cd player/AM FM radio and that was it.  I have never been the type of person to identify with my car, or even bond with it gets me from point A to point B, end of story.

Only that isn't the end.  We have three 5 year old grandkids as you know, 2 boys and a girl.  At any given time, and with some creative squishing of booster seats, we can cram them all in the back seat at the same time.  When we bought the car we didn't consider that these three would grow bigger.  Or that they would begin to fill the space like marshmallows cooked in a microwave.

The thing is, they can reach everything from those booster seats.  Nothing is sacred.  At various times I have had to tell them to stop kicking the back of the front seats. And they love to roll those manual windows down, which they can reach....I can always tell they have without looking around because the temperature suddenly changes in the car, and my ears pop.

Then there is the eating...we are McDonalds connoisseurs of every gourmet food they offer for kids...unfortunately said kids haven't mastered the fine art of eating and riding.  I found that out tonight.

We were getting the car ready for our trip to Memphis and I was in charge of cleaning the back seats.  Where the kids ride.  OK no problem.  I take the upholstery cleaner out to the car, take out the booster seats which are pretty stained and need the covers washed...throw those on the ground, and look around at the seat.

There is a green towel covering it.  Steve tells me it is to protect the seat. OK. I lift the towel to take it out's stiff...and has this big brown stain on it...that would be the gourmet chocolate milkshake.  I turn around to throw the towel down on the ground and there is our 100 pound lab, Gabe, staring at me with a grin on his face and a gleam in his eyes.  I tell him to step back and chunk the towel down... then turn to start scrubbing what should be minor dirt.

WRONG.  There are enough food remains to make at least two full Happy Meals in that back seat.  I am giving Steve the evil eye at this point while he is merrily vacuuming the rugs and beating them out.  I think he plotted this but I am in for the whole hog, not just a pork chop, so I dive in.

And scrub.  And scrub.  AND SCRUB... I see mystery foods, sesame seeds, and as I am finishing up and have sweat running in my eyes til I am half blind, I see IT.

It is a purple stain.  I scrub and scrub and end up with a mostly purple rag.  I have discovered the resting place for the Purple People Eater.  I think I found a bit of it's horn and part of an eye, but I can be sure because most of the stuff I am finding is petrified.  But the amount of purple I am cleaning up can only be that....there can't be any other answer.

Then I look around behind me and there is Gabe about 15 feet away, with my towel.  Trying to lick dried chocolate milkshake out of the stiffened terry fibers.  And I have an epiphany...

Next time I decide to clean the seats, I will grab Gabe, shove him in the back and leave him in overnight.  That will make me sweat less, and he will get all the petrified french fries and dried up chocolate milkshake he can hold.

But I won't tell Steve.  Let him think I did it.

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