Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hoarders: Minivan Edition

My children have a talent for sensing when I am running late to a very important meeting.  The more important our destination; the higher the likelihood that someone will need to poop, fall down and injure themselves, or be completely unable to locate their pants as we are trying to desperately get out the door.  They get this from their father, who when I was in labor with my third child went inside to find his wallet after we'd loaded all the other two kids in the van only to emerge 25 minutes later freshly showered and shaved.

Usually the thing that holds us up from reaching our destination in a timely fashion is my children's inability to locate shoes, which is why on any given day it is imperative that I have at least 13 pairs of shoes floating around my minivan.  I have tried to remove the shoes, and it always ends badly.  It always starts the same way.  I know I've cleaned the van recently, so I make an effort to ensure all of the children leave the house with shoes on their little feet.  I even do a visual inspection as they leave the house; however, inevitably one of my kids always manages to make their shoes magically disappear off of their feet during the 10 yard journey from the front door to the van.  Unfortunately, I'm never aware such a magical vanishing act has occurred until we reach our final destination and the child with that magic disappearing shoes utters, "Uh-oh," as he exits the van.  When you are a mother of small children, hearing "Uh-oh," when a child is exiting a car is about the same as being the captain of the Titanic and seeing a giant iceberg.  Your ship has just officially been doomed to sink.

I have no choice at this point but to do the mommy walk of shame and attend my important whatever with a barefoot child.  This is always fun because I know people are looking at me as I walk into the building and thinking, "Oh no! Look at that poor child without shoes on.  You can tell his momma doesn't love him.  I just hope she doesn't keep him locked up in the basement and this is his only day out this month." In the end, I always end up buying a cheap pair of shoes to get us through the rest of the day.  Last year, my middle son was late to school 3 times because we had to stop at Walgreens to buy him a pair of flip flops to get him through the day.

Even if we do make it to our final destination with the shoes for each child, I always end up screwed if we don't have a back up pair.  Last fall, I was taking the children in for their flu shots, and by some miracle we were actually running a little early.  I didn't want to spend any more time than was absolutely necessary in the pediatrician's waiting room, so I decided to stop by the park on the way.  Everything was going great until I loaded everyone back up in the van and noticed a god awful smell.  Colin, my oldest, had managed to step in dog poop.  I handed him a grocery sack, told him to put the offensive shoe in it, and we headed to the doctor's office.  When we got there, I realized we had a small problem.  Colin didn't have a spare set of shoes in the car.  At this point I had two choices: I could let him go barefoot or I could let him track dog poop all over the waiting room floor.  Not liking either of those options, I came up with option number 3 and made him wear his shoes with the grocery bag tied around the nasty one.  When we entered the waiting room, every adult eye in the room immediately focused on the bag.  Not wanting the curiosity to get the better of anyone, I rather loudly informed the whole room that he had stepped in poop, and went about my business as usual.  The kids got their shots, and then we headed home where I fumigated the offensive shoe.

So now I have simply made my peace with being the mother in car pool that holds up the line because she has to get out and retrieve all the junk that falls out whenever the doors open.  My children rely on that junk and unfortunately, it would appear, so do I.


  1. Too funny Rachel! I so know about those missing shoes and shoe purchases on the way somewhere! Your stories make me laugh. The chaos does get a little easier as the little one gets older, but I'll have to say, I have not reached the "easy" stage yet. I'll let you know when that happens.

  2. That happened to me just yesterday! (for about the 4 millionth time). The three pairs of my son's shoes that have been living in the van all summer miraculously migrated inside.