What is that smell?

I’ve had it.  I can’t take it anymore.   I’m tired of sticking my head out the window and getting a mouthful of bugs. Today, I’m cleaning out my car… because it smells like a heaping bag of poo left in the backseat of Old Man Clemen’s Buick–a real Billy Madison-esque prank on Ma.Old-Man-Clemens-in-Billy-Madison

Why does it smell so rancid?  I have a couple guesses, but in cleaning it out, I’m learning a few specific things about this foul odor, and from whence it come.

  1. Milk.  Eww, I know, right?  Yes, I have given my kids milk in the car.  Yes, I shouldn’t do this.  Yes, they have spilled milk in the car.  And, yes, it has baked in the scorching Texas sun.  Yes, I try to refrain but there are days when I lose my will and give into making them happy with their juice or chocolate milk.  I know it will spill and that I’d rather them spill water but there are just those days when the milk and my sanity win.
  2. Applesauce pouches.  Who would have thought these little buggers would smell so horrendous.  I mean, they are so sweet and cute and it’s essentially just mashed up fruit in an easy-to-squeeze pouch.   Some of them even have cute little dancing apples or Despicable Me characters on them.  Not harmful for the car, right? Wrong.  They lose all cuteness and sweetness when one gets trapped behind the car seat and is left to decompose.  This is when they begin to smell like death.  This is when the cute little yellow minion transforms into psychopath purple.
  3. Urine.  Guess what this stuff does when the little girl falls asleep for a nice long car ride nap?  It soaks through a diaper and soaks into the car seat itself and eventually, it also contributes to the general smell of “who the hell locked the cat lady in the car for 17 hours?”

I’m tired of my car smelling like sh*t, so here are some simple replacements I’ll try.  I put this out there with the warning that I’m sure every pediatric dentist in America would guffaw at me for speaking of suggestions 1 and 2 below. But it is what it is. So I’m all ears if you have other recommendations.

Here are mine:

  1. On liquids: If your kid just isn’t a big water drinker and the juice or milk gets too stinky, try something water-based and sugar-free, like Crystal Light.  If it spills, it won’t be sticky because it doesn’t have sugar in it.  This makes it easier to clean up when the inevitable spillage occurs.
  2. On snacks: Stick to dry carby food in the car.  Goldfish over applesauce pouch.  I know those little smiley-faced tadpoles also make a mess when spilled.  But, trust me, vacuuming crumbs is way more pleasant than scrubbing up caked-on death.  Dry carbs don’t turn putrid in the sun.
  3. On urine: Wash the car seat regularly.  That’s all I’ve got on this one.  Just take it apart, put a little elbow grease into it and scrub it down.  You can’t potty train a baby, so don’t try.  Enjoy a shower and a glass of wine after doing so.

That is all for now.  Back to cleaning up the putrefaction so I can move onto the wine.

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