The M.U.V.

Frederico Escapé is a mess.
Let me qualify that statement, actually. The INSIDE of Frederico Escapé is a mess.
For realzies.
The depth of the disaster hit me full force recently when “Corporate-y me” found herself feverishly pitching Scholastic order forms, hordes of napkins, junk mail, bobby pins, paci-covers and gah-knows-what-else into the back seat so my colleague from the Boston office could get a lift. (lucky him, eh?)
He is one of my faves, and has witnessed the special horror that is my desk, so he was a-ok with the sitch, but seriously, yo, it’s getting pretty thick in there.
The thing is – 99.99999999999% of the time the Keri-mobile is transporting Jr. and Mommy. Nobody else.
My beloved U.U.V. (Urban Utility Vehicle) of my city-dwelling, self-centric days has given way to the unintentional, unavoidable metamorphosis of suburban parenting:
The M.U.V. (Mom Utility Vehicle.)
Deceptively clean and serene in outward appearance : blueish gray, shiny, windows free of grime.
But crack open one of those doors fitted with the extra sun screen to protect tiny eyes and ZOMG!
Who pulled the pin out of the mom-supply bomb!?
Wet wipes and tissues, blankies and pacis, tiny baseball caps and T-shirts…. All mixing together, ever-churning as the car stops and starts and turns and takes on new layers.
A suddenly-yellow light produces an almost-impossible-in-size forward wave of sippies and goldfish “cackers” and school newsletters from below the seats. It is surreal, even to me.
Don’t misunderstand me here – I am not going down without a fight. I have all kinds of equipment designed to keep everything I could ever need in my M.U.V. organized, tidy, and available with no digging below the seat required. There is the handy cargo bay organizer wedged next to Binky-the-wonder-dog’s collapsible crate in the “way back.” It houses extra coats/layers for the whole family, picnic blankies, balls, and other “outdoorsy” items any Colorado native feels somehow compelled to drive around with at all times. It is stuffed full. I never remember what the hell is in that thing. It does make a nice wedge to keep Jr’s City Mini stroller from sliding around when I stop fast with it back there. (Stopping fast seems to cause a lot of issues for me. Maybe I am not the stellar driver I think I am. Nah.)
In the seat pocket in front of Jr’s throne car seat, an industrial-sized container of wet wipes, a box of tissues, and a trash bag for keeping the used versions of those paper products contained. Mostly. (Again, see “stopping fast” references. Damnit!) Below his feet a bin for toys and pacis and cloth books (no paper when I can’t reach him – he is a paper eater, and the freeway is no time to attempt to break that habit.)
In theory I have everything in place I need for the M.U.V. to be as shiny on the inside as it is on the out.

Except Life.
Except when 2 nights of barfing makes it MANDITORY for me to cover every square inch of interior in the burp-cloth collection I am relieved to say I still have pack-ratted away in the basement just to drive the 5 minutes to the doctor’s office. (Which end up not being barfed on, and living wadded up on the floorboard for months, because that third arm I keep asking for seems to be on backorder.)
Except that a toddler with a snack trap full of cheerios is happy as a clam eating away and singing along to Veggie Tales until that moment when he isn’t – and the cheerios become some sort of anger confetti, whipped around the interior of the vehicle to express his unease. This never takes place on a side street when pulling over might be possible. Not offering snacks at all IS a possibility; however it may result in said toddler deciding that the carseat is, in fact, the portal to hell, and the firey flames are creeping up his backside as I attempt to pilot Frederico safely to our destination.
The Mr’s reaction to this, er, situation, ranges from a mild side eye when I rush after a minor crumb explosion in the garage (“ants, Keri… you will cause ants,”) to recoiling in horror at the idea of actually riding anywhere in my rolling preschool.
Whatever – I’d pit my M.U.V. against his Jeep that he treats like a Bentley in an end-of-times sitch any day.
Blankets, water, books and games – hell our family could eat like kings off that floor board for WEEKS and be fat and happy. (Kings eat ground up teddy grahams and goldfish, right?) Crisis AVERTED.
What do you suppose The Mr. would do in the same situation in his ride? Keep warm with that tiny little shammy he cleans his sunglasses with? Gnaw on a floor mat?
Mmm hmmm.
(Seriously though – what’s that smell?)


Filed under musing

4 responses to “The M.U.V.

  1. Jes

    I’m laughing so hard I have tears. Not at you, my friend, but with you. I can commiserate about the MUV. (Can I still call mine a MUV? It sounds so much cooler than acknowledging a drive a mom-van)

  2. Julie

    yesh, totally! kid gear x3 – one who has to have an entire box of books at all times, one who has to have her whole art supply closet with her at all times, and one who has to have something different every 5 seconds, plus his music and his snack, thankyouverymuch. and all the emergency, you never know when you’re gonna need it stuff … all crusted over with a thick layer of old snack detritus. theoretically it is all very well organized … but really that is only for the first 5 minutes after i’ve cleaned it all out. yep. i am driving all sorts of cool, baby.

  3. Pingback: Reluctantly Suburban

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