The inside of our main car, the car that we predominantly ferry the kids around in, is foul (the outside is not great either). The festering, subterranean, cesspit that serves as an interior has such a build up of noxious substances that I feel almost resigned to the fact that the average mortician’s table smells better than the inside of our Golf.
We do sometimes have a mini moan to other parents of small children, and they nod sagely, agreeing that their cars – also – are as disgusting as ours. But when people actually see the inside of our car, you can hear the sharp intake of breath; this is a big mistake, as our car is actually starting to smell quite bad. So bad, that Fabreze won’t even make an impression. Fabreze. I thought Fabreze could take away the smell of murder.
Periodically, one of us decides to clean out the car. Sometimes this involves a hoover. It always involves two bin liners and the bin liners always end up full. The reason that our car becomes so unspeakably squalid is because – and we know that we only have ourselves to blame…and we shouldn’t do it because of safety concerns…and other issues that I cannot remember – we give our children snacks in the back of the car. I know! Naughty Daddy. BUT…when you have two children screaming as if their molars are being ripped out with rusty pliers…and you are doing 90mph on the M4 (which we never do, we always stick to the speed limit…) you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, this is what we end up fishing out of the interior of our car (in no particular order):
- Rice Cakes. I bloody hate rice cakes. They are like the nail bombs of the snack world and in the hands of any human under the age of 5 will end up in a billion pieces like an asteroid being blown apart in the video game of the same name. Then, when you think that they cannot get any smaller, the crumbs can be crushed into a dust so fine that it can penetrate any known element off the periodic table. When armageddon comes, all that’ll be left will be a cockroach, sitting on a Toyota eating a rice cake.
- Raisins. Raisins are great snack foods for urchins because the little Sunmaid boxes make the extraction of said raisins a time consuming yet all consuming activity that can last literally minutes. The downside is that raisins can be ground into carpets and seats leaving an oily residue and when cleaning the car they can be mistaken for far, far worse substances.
- Socks. The first thing a human being learns – before speech, eating, walking – is how to take their socks off. Once this skill is mastered children will just do it again, and again just because they can. I think that if socks were outlawed child development rates would go through the roof. We’d have invented time travel by now, if it wasn’t for socks.
- CDs. Remember them? Rainbow reflective discs that contain music. They do, however, become strangely fascinating to young children and can occupy them for literally…seconds, before they lob them disdainfully on the floor like a chicken bone sucked of flesh. Their famed resilience turned out to be a myth as CDs can be scratched just by thinking about sharp objects, so a few seconds in the hands of a child render them useless.
- Mud. It’s everywhere, out here. Naturally (see what I did there?) it ends up in the car.
- RPC (Random Plastic Crap). RDC just gravitates as if drawn by tides, towards the car so that eventually the car becomes full of plastic cars, little men, lego bricks and whatever else is grasped in the unyielding paws of our children.
I remember once going on holiday to France when we decided – insanely – to drive when our son was 1yrs old. It took seven hours. When we arrived at our hotel in Bordeaux it was like we had been living in the car for months, like Romanys.
The bottom-line here, is that we need to clean our car more often.