A couple of days ago I was at home with my two little boys. My alarm clock went off on my phone informing me it was time to get in my car and go pick up the kids from school. Well shoot. The baby was still asleep in his crib and I hated waking him up from his nap. I knew that he was barefoot and it was cold outside and I didn’t have time to mess with shoes, so I grabbed a pair of socks out of his dresser and then woke him up and quickly put his socks on him and ran out to the car with him and his brother. I had the heater going full blast and eventually it was downright hot. I noticed in my rear view mirror that Noah was pulling his socks off and dropping them on the floor. I instantly thought : Mental Note, we now have a pair of socks for Noah in the car…This could be added to other mental notes like when David took off his shoes: Mental Note, we now have a pair of shoes for David in the car, or when I was cleaning up trash off the floor, found some clean diapers and stuffed them in a little cubby: Mental note, we now have some clean diapers in the car…
It occurred to me that I might have a problem. I believe I am a car hoarder.
- a stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded.
I hoard objects in my car so that I will always be prepared for any emergency. Why, you may ask.. Well, lets see. There was the time that I loaded up about 7 kids into the car to go grocery shopping, got to the grocery store, started unloading the kids and then found out that one of my boys had somehow “forgot” to put on shoes. BUT! I was prepared! Another child had left a pair of flipflops in the car and so I was able to take those abandoned shoes and give them to the shoe-less child instead of having to load everyone up again and go home to retrieve shoes. Or, the time, recently, when I took two little boys to a doctor’s appointment, went to unbuckle the four year old and found out he had wet his pants and not told me about it. BUT! I was prepared! I found not only a clean pair of jeans on the floor of the car, but also a clean pair of underwear! Or there was the time that we were waiting in the car line and the baby was fussy and hungry and I had forgotten to bring a snack, BUT! I was prepared! There was an apple sitting on the dash that had been left from a previous day and a previous snack time.
My husband does not understand or sympathize with my car-hoarding tendencies. When I open my van doors, I see Preparedness. When he opens my van doors he sees MESS. Allcaps. Every once in a while I will bend to his disapproval and send my kids out to clean the car, or let one of my boys earn some pocket money and do it by themselves. Inevitably, the day after the car is cleaned out I run into an emergency. Ack! I forgot the diaper bag and the baby has a poopy diaper. I HAD DIAPERS AND WIPES RIGHT HERE ON THE FLOOR!!! WHY DID THE CAR HAVE TO GET CLEANED OUT!!
This is why I rarely clean out my car.
My husband would be quick to point out that I could keep a stash of supplies in the car in a nice neat box in the trunk and thus eliminate the need to be stepping on shoes and socks and diapers that now litter the floor of the car. I would be equally quick to point out that my brain doesn’t work that way, I am neither organized or neat. The only reason my car hoarding works is because it happens naturally, organically. Like fruit falling from the trees to the forest floor.
Of course, I love my husband and so I try to hide my hoarding from him or at least make it not so obvious so that it is not as irritating to him. He only drives in the van on Sundays. If I happen to drive on Saturdays, you will find me grabbing a grocery bag and stuffing it full of trash, grabbing a handful of cups and random water bottles, tossing things back behind the front seat so that it’s not as noticeable from the driver’s seat. See. That is love. Or maybe just affection? Or maybe just trying to avoid arguments with the least amount of work? Occasionally we use our van to drive around other people besides our family members. Then I will clean out the car myself, vacuum everything, wipe down sticky surfaces…I figure this happens often enough to keep my car from completely turning into a dump.
So, now you know. Esther is prepared for all occasions. As long as she is driving her van.