I’m Determined To Keep My New Car A ‘No Eating’ Zone

new carSort of exciting news, my friends! We just bought a new SUV thingy. I had held back on this for many, many months, since, while I like SUVs, I don’t necessarily think all SUV drivers are the best drivers (and I don’t think I will be one either.)

I had to give in. My fiance and I and our four children (especially the baby with the huge car seat) have not been able to take one car anywhere. When we visit parents or friends, or drive to my cottage, or just want to go for dinner, we always have to take two cars. I didn’t mind this, since I like quietness, but I finally gave into my fiance’s pleas.

”We can’t even go as a family anywhere together!”

And I will agree with the car seat and growing children, all who have long legs, no one was comfortable in either of our cars.

Children are messy though. When I bought my car a few years ago I was thrilled. It was black on black, shiny, and I had an electronic woman’ voice who talked to me like a friend (after I plugged in directions.) But, best of all, it SMELLED LIKE NEW CAR.

Who doesn’t get off of the smell of new car? Next to the smell of the shampoo my hairdresser uses, there’s no better smell. My mother-in-law got a new car more than a year ago, and hers still smells like ”new car.”

When I first got my new car, I made a rule that it was to be a ”NO EATING CAR” meaning my daughter was not allowed to eat in the car. That lasted about a week, until we went to my parents’ house and they handed her a cookie as we drove off. It just went down hill from there.

Before I could say, ”Super size fries!” she was eating McDonald’s in the back seat when I’d take her through drive-thru. She was eating banana bread from Starbucks, which trust me, is worse than eating French fries. She was even eating ice cream cones.

So, my ”new car” smell lasted about six months, maybe, before the stench of not ”new car” took over. I would find French fries on the floor and in between the seats, crumbles of banana bread everywhere, and, of course, give a kid a juice box in a car (or at least my daughter) and forget about it — it will spill. Then there were her schoolbooks, her dance clothes, her art work, her toys, markers —  the entire back seat looked like we were actually living in it.

It got to the point that I thought, ”Oh my god. RATS are living in this car. I swear, I think I heard something scurrying around!”

Because I’m not the most organized person in the world either, and somewhat lazy (”Ah, just leave your stuff in the car. We’ll get it tomorrow,”) my car became so disgusting that sometimes I would dread getting in. It got to the point that when I would occasionally get it detailed, my daughter would actually say, ”Mommy! Did we get a new car?”

Parents are understandably in a rush because of children. If you’re rushing off to after-school programs, sometimes the only time you can eat IS in the car.

I guess I really didn’t care so much about the NO EATING rule, because I allowed eating to happen. Even I drink coffee in the car, and it will spill. I eat a banana in the car and sometimes I’ll find the peel days later under a newspaper. Once, I was bringing home lattes for my fiance and I had placed the tray on the passenger seat. Of course it tipped over. I learned the hard way you have to wipe up milk IMMEDIATELY, or your car will smell like a four-month overdue carton of milk.

Following that, there were a few days of me actually gagging when I had to get in my car. (And what parent of a toddler has not found a 6-month-old dirty bottle under their car seat before?) It took a three-hour detail to get rid of the smell. I don’t even want to think what’s in my trunk. But let’s just say there are enough of my daughter’s clothes (after sleepovers, or dirty uniforms I mean to bring in the house but never do), that we COULD in fact probably live on old French fries stuck between the seats and the wardrobe in the trunk for at least a couple days without dying. I too keep my gym clothes in the car and there are numerous half empty water bottles on the floor.

My fiance, who drives a sports car (and gets a speeding ticket at least every three weeks), is no better. He has so much soccer equipment and kid stuff in his trunk he can barely open it. There are old Wendy’s bags, Taco Bell wrappers, and old coffee mugs all over. He is a definite on-the-go eating kind of guy, especially with his kids. So we made a pact that when we get our new car next week, it will be a NO EATING car.

Hopefully it better work this time. We joke that like in the old days, when people kept plastic on couches (never understood this), that that’s what we are going to do with this car. We too have a bet on who is going to get the first ticket, but that’s another story. For now, I just want to keep the smell of new car for as long as I can. It is actually enjoyable to drive with new car smell. More enjoyable than thinking rats have moved into your car, that’s for sure.

(photo: wolfmaster13 / Shutterstock)

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