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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dad's Car

My car, which isn't my car, really, since I don't have a car but instead have a truck that I don't have because I sold it but in my heart I'm still a truck driving guy and the car is my wife's car but it's the only vehicle we have now that we sold the truck and we couldn't put a car seat in the truck anyway so maybe I'll get an SUV or a minivan or a station wagon or a Corvette, is a mess.

It has lots of Goldfish crackers (which I stealthily keep in a Cheerios container so that people will think I'm a good dad and am not, in fact, giving my daughter baked cheese every hour on the hour), and raisins, and Gorilla Munch (which only costs four times as much as regular corn puffs but it's organic and I totally fall for that scam) on the floor and stuffed away somewhere in Erin's car seat. She is a messy eater.

Today when I picked up the mail I had two presents. One was a DVD preview of the new Signing Time series that I was totally asked to review and I totally said yes because Erin is totally addicted to Signing Time and I figure if I say yes often enough to their marketing people they will send Erin an autographed picture of Alex and maybe Rachel will dedicate an episode to "Backpacking Dad Signs" and they will mostly involve winks at the camera that I know will just be for me.

The other was a sample of Multi-grain Cheerios that I received because Safeway peeks in my windows at night, or is monitoring my every cereal purchase and they know about the Gorilla Munch and they thought "this guy is totally a sucker and he's totally going to fall for this 'multi-grain' and 'weight-management' crap the same way he falls for the 'organic' crap so let's send him a little something and then we'll be like the Dealer who gives you the first one free and soon he'll be peeking in our windows at night wondering where we're hiding his Cheerios."

I don't eat Cheerios, but I looked at the floor of my car and at the raisins and Gorilla Munch and Goldfish crackers scattered about and I thought "well, just because she's thrown everything else on the floor doesn't mean that she'll throw these on the floor, because as Hume noted the only proof we have that the future will resemble the past is that the future has always resembled that past, but that's a fact about the past and not the future so maybe this time things will be different, so I'm going to go ahead and open this small box and give the entire thing to Erin while she sits in her car seat and she'll eat them very patiently and not scatter them all over the floor and this will give me some time to read the mail before we go home and I put her down for a nap and jump online to avoid cleaning all of the raisins and Gorilla Munch and Goldfish crackers out of my car" so I handed them over to Erin and I read the mail and then wouldn't you know it she didn't spill a single one.

I was about to start the car and I thought "she is going to spill them all over if I start driving because she has great timing and she'll know I won't pull over to take away the Cheerios if she starts flinging them around once the car is in motion" so I asked for the box and she gave it over very reluctantly because she thought "dude, that is the only thing making me happy right now so you'd better have a good replacement for that multi-grain goodness, because I totally fell for that crap" and I didn't have a replacement so she started demanding that I give the Cheerios back to her and after a dialogue with myself that involved myself saying "Self, she's going to make a mess" and myself replying "Yeah, she's totally going to make a mess" and Erin interjecting "Just give me the flippin' Cheerios already," I relented and told Erin to ask for them politely and she said "Please" and signed "Please" and so I turned with the box in my hand to give them back to her and bumped them against headrest of the passenger seat and

spilled the damned Cheerios all over my car.

The End.


Susie O said...

This is PRETTY MUCH the story of my parental life. Rinse. Repeat.

Auds at Barking Mad said...

Um yeah, my Jeep pretty much looks the same way. It's equally my fault and the Little Imps. Except with us, it's Annie's cheddar bunnies and Cascadian Farms whole grain cereal squares. I think I'm just going to let the dog loose in the car to get the bigger bits and then attack the rest with a vacuum.

Jenni said...

aww, poor backpacking dad. one day she will surpise you. and it won't be long before you can give her five buck to clean the car our for you.

Aunt Becky said...


Yes. Yes. Yes.

Shireen D said...

ah, it happens every time doesn't?

disneyland_grandma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyddryn said...

Yep, that's about right.

Shade and Sweetwater,

disneyland_grandma said...


Mary Beth said...

For god sakes, man, BREATHE!

amelia said...


Xbox4NappyRash said...

One, I suspect you didn't say 'flippin'...

Two, I've got a lovely clean car, and no reason to live...Waaaaaaa

Goldfish said...

Ha! of course she did....
Those are some very funny run-on sentences, you know.

Mommy Melee said...

Oh yeah.

I bought a big box of Breton Minis for S since he needs some peanut-safe snacks for snack time at school. So I'm opening the package to put them in a tupperware thingy and I guess I pull the bag too hard because the f'ing things go cascading around my WHOLE KITCHEN. Like a fiery rain of whole wheat.

Stupid snacks.

Redneck Mommy said...

I always tell my husband when he grouches at me about how messy my car is that a messy car is the sign of happy children.

When really, I just toss food at them to shut them up, turn up the music and then forget to make them clean it out until I open the door and food containers and french fries tumble out at my feet.

One day my car will be clean. Just in time for my grandchildren to mess it all up again.


Ashlee said...

I gave up on my car a long time ago. Not worth it til the kids move out.

Jennifer said...

aaah parenthood. A constant exercise in futility :)

My car is a craphole too. It's okay.

for a different kind of girl said...

Remember that time on my blog when you were all, "Longest. Blog. Post. Ever. To. Get. To. A. Pun."

Except maybe you didn't use quite that many periods because perhaps you are totally stingy with the periods?



Longest blog post ever to find out you're messy. Or something deeper and more philosophical. I don't know. I'm totally swept away with the totally's.


Wendy said...

Yeah. Karma's a bitch, baby. Sounds like you shouldn't have taken them in the first place. lol

Swirl Girl said...

Erin is one flippin' smart kid.

what was the verdict on the whole grain goodness?

My younger love fruity cheerios (whole grain goodness Froot Loops) and apple cheerios(whole grain goodness sub for AppleJacks)...

the older one knows a scam when she sees one ...

Rachel Coleman said...

Wow and now you don't even have to wait for your own "Backpacking Dad Signs" DVD - here are the winks! ;) ;-) ;0) How's that? ;) Those ARE just for you!


Heather said...

Yeah, that's what my car looks like too. It really drives my husband nuts, but oh well. It's my car and if I have to give the kids food that they'll spill all over the floor of the back seat so that I can drive without having to turn around and get M out of a headlock from K, well, I'll do it. Besides, the cheerios and whatnot really look nice next to the pen on the leather seats. Doh!

VDog said...

You *totally* sound like a Californian, and not a Canadian, hate to break it to ya.

Trysha@Toasted said...

You just described half of my car. I have two sons and one is much messier than the other. You can totally tell which one is the neat kid. Don't even ask what happens if they switch seats. It's apocalypse now.

Sandi said...

Wow! How lucky are you and Erin to get to preview Signing Time! My kids love that show! I'm going to use their Christmas money to buy a few episodes. Nathan is *this* close to being able to sign "Signing Time" when he wants me to play an episode and Tasha gets so excited when it is Hopping Time. I'll have to check Rachel's site to see when the new episodes start.

My husband has a "no eating in the car rule" that has worked so far but the kids are starting to be more demanding and we may need to start offering snacks on longer trips. Your story has reminded me that I want to buy those plastic snack cups that don't spill easily.

Well, I didn't mean for my first comment on your site to be long and rambling but it is. Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Effing brilliant.

My husband literally throws up when he has to get into my car. Understandably.

AEA said...

I don't own a car. But I do like Cheerios. Hello big Fatty Redskin!

Backpacking Dad said...

susie o: I need another car. This one is full.

auds at barking mad: I wish I had a dog.

jenni: I can't wait for the bribery days.

aunt becky: yes.

shireen d: well, every time so far...but that doesn't mean it always will. Or so says Hume.

kyddryn: Shade and Sweetwater?

disneyland_grandma: doh indeed. And take your phone out of your purse so your daughter can get in touch with you :}

mary beth: Don't need to. I took a deep breath yesterday.

amelia: Cheerios are funny like that.

xbox4nappyrash: No, she said "flippin". In my head, anyway.

goldfish: one does one's best :}

mommy melee: I'm done with snacks. She can eat air in the car from now on.

redneck mommy: Erin is very very happy.

ashlee: or at least get their own car.

jennifer: Sysiphus.

FADKOG: the "totally"s were totally for you.

wendy: I never learn.

swirl girl: here's the verdict: the box is empty, and not just because I spilled them all over.

rachel coleman: Holy Crap! Winks from Rachel!!! I can officially stop blogging now because there are no more goals. Don't mind me; you just turned me into a gibbering fan-boy on my own blog. I think you just made my wife jealous. :}

heather: a good citrus cleaner will take the pen out with a little friction.

vdog: this time. Next time I'll throw the "u's" around again and say "eh" and clip my dipthongs.

trysha@toasted: If I had two I'd finally crack and buy one of those Dirt Devils.

sandi: Erin has been demanding Signing Time for months, in sign. I think she thinks Rachel is related to her.

blisfullycafffeinated: as long as you don't have a wet dog who lives in the back of your van you're fine. That is the most disgusting smell I've ever experienced in a car.

aea: well Hello Baldy Turk!

Leanne said...

And you think we'll believe it was Erin who spilled the goldfish crackers and Gorilla Munch.

I shouldn't laugh, but it's funny.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Cheerios ... there are the poor man's Apple Jacks, no?

Cindy and Co. said...

I parked behind Hubby so he took my car to the store with TC #3. When asked for cheerios, as we regularly snack in the car, he informed the small one that we were out till he got to the store. To which she replied "No we're not. Theres a bunch back here." On the bright side: I got the "pigs would pass the sty to get in your car" lecture..but I got it after he cleaned it on his way home!!!!!

kittenpie said...

Ah, a fine ironic twist is a good ending to any short story... But still. When it happens to you? D'oh!

adria said...

SO glad to know that my messy van has everything to do with my kids and nothing to do with my laziness.

Enjoyed your post.

Backpacking Dad said...

leanne: it was TOTALLY her. The one time I....

always home and uncool: the very poor man's. especially when they are free in the mail.

cindy and co: kids rat us out all the time, don't they?

kittenpie: word.

adria: enjoyed your comment!

Anonymous said...


So glad to see i'm not the only one who has those moments.

BabyShrink said...

Just say, YOU turned us on to Signing Time? It's barely on over here for some reason, so I never caught it, but after hearing you rave about it I found and the kids LOVE IT. Thanks for adding to our "TV-repatwa"...and you get to REVIEW it? How cool!

The Lewis Family said...

Ha, seriously, you are quite the prolific blogger. I enjoyed the reads, thanks for sharing!
~ "random blog roller :)" C