34 Things I Found While Cleaning Out the Minivan

Parenthood means the end of a lot of things. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning. Last-minute date nights. And a clean house. As soon as one room is clean, the other is a disaster. Finish cleaning up from lunch, and it’s time to make dinner already. Expectations of a clean house vanish faster than you can say “stepped on a LEGO.”

Cleaning the house, it seems, is a pointless endeavor. As Phyllis Diller once said, “Cleaning the house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

The same might be said of the family car. Well, the same can be said of our family car, at least. I try to alleviate the guilt and shame of my messy minivan by telling myself that all parents have cars as messy as mine. But every once in a while, I roll up my sleeves and sink into the abyss and clean the damn car.  

Image Source: Christine Organ

Without fail, whenever I endeavor to clean the car, I find an alarming amount of random things, which never cease to amaze me:

  1. A can of tennis balls even though no one plays tennis
  2. Half-eaten French fries from last month
  3. 57 baseball cards
  4. A way overdue library book
  5. 67 cents
  6. A set of cutlery
  7. More LEGOs than I can count
  8. Half-finished homework assignments from last year
  9. Dental floss
  10. A pink highlighter
  11. 11 pieces of already chewed chewing gum
  12. A broken umbrella
  13. First aid kit that’s missing Band-Aids
  14. A tube of lip gloss that’s oozed out
  15. Matchbox cars from 1973
  16. Sunglasses I’d been looking for forever (now broken)
  17. A mixed CD from 2003
  18. One library book. (Past-due, of course.)
  19. Broken Happy Meal toys
  20. A crumpled up McDonald’s food bag
  21. Chuck E. Cheese game tokens
  22. Multiple baseball hats
  23. A handful of sand
  24. 14 sticks. (FOURTEEN.)
  25. A box of clothes to take to Goodwill (three months ago)
  26. Dried-out markers
  27. A clay pot my kid made in art class
  28. Expired grocery store coupons
  29. Approximately 713 lollipop sticks
  30. A half-eaten Snickers bar (which I promptly ate)
  31. Some kind of tool from the garage that I have no idea how to use
  32. An earring
  33. An unmatched dirty sock
  34. A lunchbox from before spring break

 So you know; just your typical clean-up haul.

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