Kids: 3 Van: 0

My six year old, twin four year olds, and one year old are always eating on the run, whether they’re pokey over breakfast and have to take it to go, or we’re out running errands and need to grab lunch, or some doting and/or sadistic family member has the sweet, loving, never-owned-a-minivan-with-four-kids idea to give them giant lollipops and cookies to snack on. However, my husband and I now agree that it’s time for a policy change!

Submitted by: Melissa



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  • Patti O’Neil Fitzpatrick

    Looks like my SUV.  And I only have a 13 year old and a 2 1/2 year old.

  • CDWilliams

    Reminds me of my friend who said her van smelled funky and she couldn’t figure it out. After cleaning it out she found a half eaten sandwich under the seat that her 13 year old daughter had left behind! eeeew!

  • Michele Giacobbe

    Just line the next van in plastic sheeting. LOL

  • Kimmy Cleven

     Grandpa never lets anyone eat in his van. 

     I have 4 kids.

     I can’t say I blame him. LOL

  • Sandra Calhoun

    When I was n HS, my mother drove a station wagon.  For a week she accused me of being drunk every time she picked me up from school.  The culprit – fermenting McD’s orange juice in the WAY back seat, left by one of my little brothers.  She still apologizes LOL

    • P.J. Cornelius

      this is toooo funny!!!

  • Rachel Berry

    What’s worse is the fact that they allowed it to get this bad. When I was a kid my mom always cleaned the car out each time we brought food in it.

    • Melissa Tyler-Belmonte

      I have four kids and a husband who works 12 hour shifts. Oh, and this is our only car. Come on over and clean the car for us at your convenience in the short bursts of time that my husband is home (because I would rather spend time with my family all together when the van and husband are both here than OCD-vacuum the van!) we don’t mind 😀

      -owner of the van

      • Katarina

        If you didn’t insist on having 4 (!) kids in 5 years, perhaps your husband wouldn’t be forced to work 12-hour shifts. The two of YOU made that decision. 
        Don’t whinge now when people tell you that you’re a slob. If you didn’t want to hear it, you shouldn’t have posted the picture with the attention-seeking self-congratulatory message attached, for all the world to see. 

        • Amber

          W O W You have no sense of humour. When you have kids, you need to have a sense of humour and learn to go with the flow. Otherwise you are miserable and walk like you have a corn cob up the you know what…obviously Katarina, you do. 

          • Katarina

            On the contrary, my dear Amber. I even find humor in the fact that you have no identity of your own, which is showcased in the fact that you put your kid’s picture in your profile. Now all a resourceful pedo has to do, is check your profile, trace your IP and wait for an opportunity to grab that kid. 
            You were right; I feel better already 😀

      • Rachel Berry

        I have a 2 year old and a husband that works 14 hour shifts 6 nights a week so I can stay home. I understand wanting to spend time as a family. Our SUV gets bad sometimes too, I take 5 minutes to grab all the big trash and then on my husband’s day off we take a quick 10 minute trip to the car wash and get a nice wash and vacuum out the entire car for less than $5. You have to make it a fun experience for the kids to help clean the car. Or do it at night after they’ve gone to bed, take your vaccum outside with you. Or just start banning certain things from inside the car.

  • Cloi Rowley

    I have two young sons. I’ve often said that we could probably feed our entire family for a week on the Cheerios and M&Ms in the cushions of my car alone!

  • lje4747

    Get used to it. Its going to look like that for at least another ten years.  Don’t bother to buy a new car, just burn this one when they grow up.

    • Thom Hoyt

      Couldn’t agree more. But before burning, I would recommend GAP insurance =)

  • Audrey Taflan

    Mine looked like that. We had to pay a detailer $150 to clean it and re-stain the seats to hide the crud that was left by a 7 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old. When we got the van back we initiated a ‘NO FOOD /DRINK’ rule and laid down a dog mat over all the seats (the kid mats just weren’t large enough)!

    • Lauren Walker

      Good idea with the dog mats!  Mine looks like this, and I’ve been thinking about getting it detailed, but don’t want the kids to just ruin it again in a couple of weeks!

  • lje4747

    We were moving across the country and took the 4 kids for a road trip.  The floor was carpeting in trash, crumbs, books, games, cards, etc.  We got to an old school house and found a old lady who’s car had broken down.  We drove her to a service station but I was SOOOO embarrassed. However, she’d had 14 children so I hope she understood.

  • Rachel Wolfson Thomas

    Wait a minute – how did you get a picture of MY minivan?!!

    • Evgeniy Kolomoets

      ooo, minivan…

  • Kristen Rosado

    Simple Green… it will get out anything… including pop that has been soaking for two years.  No lie.  My inlaws cleaned my car out for me and I’m sure that we could have fed a small nation with the french fries they found stuffed between the back seat.

    • Suzy Parker Crawley

      Simple green is awesome! And safe for kids and pets, it works on chlorophyll.

  • Alexis Howell-Kubler

    Even the best efforts at no food rules, frequent cleaning, etc. is no guarantee.  My husband went the grocery store and didn’t notice that one of those large cans of frozen oj concentrate was missing when groceries were put away.  A week later, the darned thing exploded under one of the seats after fermenting there in the heat.  And it went everywhere.  It stunk!  Oh did it stink.  And then there were the fruit flies.  Several rounds of detailing later, including removing the seats and carpet, it was still awful.  Finally, after many repeat applications of vinegar, Kids’n’Pets, Bac Out, silver bullets and holy water, the winter freeze seemed to kill off the last of the smell…. and flies.

  • Venessa Mudge

    lol.. This is what my cars usually looked like. Its hard telling a young kid they cant have anything to drink or eat on long drives to places. But now I am super fed up of the constant mess. So I put my foot down and only allow water in there. I dont care if water gets spilled because it will dry. Now, if only I can get the husband to stop as well. He is just as guilty of the mess as our kids!!

  • Kevin Dado

    i would be embarrassed to post this… your kids didn’t ruin shit…  you’re just lazy! ha!

  • Andrea Verber Kendrick

    I so feel your pain.  I have mice in my garage that sneak into my van at night to nosh on the kids’ leavings, and leave their own little gifts…fun.

  • Vicki Wilcox

    I am so happy for those clean car owners with their strictly adhered to food and beverages.  But even happier for kids like mine, who know that they are loved more than the car…and thanks for the Simple Green tip – I am going to try some on the melted crayons!!! 🙂

  • Kimber Wilson Peterson

    Why did you post a picture of my van…oh wait that isn’t mine?? It sure looks like it!

  • Anonymous

    Oh gross. And I say that as someone whose car looked like that on a regular basis.

    Now we live in a city so it has really cut down on eating in the car, but we have been there. Sooo nasty to stick your hands in the seats. I recommend medical gloves.

    Shame on Judgy McJudgersons out there. EVERYONE I know who has the “clean it out after you eat” or “no food in the car” rule meets at least two, if not all, of the following conditions:

    -Lives in or within a 10-minute-drive of a city or the YMCA and school;
    -Has older children;
    -Has two parents in the home;
    -One of them works from home, either as a SAHP or WAHP.

    Seriously, lazy doesn’t even enter into it. Do you REALLY let your kids go two hours hungry at mealtime because of a schedule you didn’t set, or vacuum your car every night? Really? Those are two hours your child could have spent eating a meal and listening to stories read by you. Get over yourselves. It’s a CAR.

  • Samantha

    I have 2 kids and 4 nieces and nephews..NONE of them are aloud to eat or drink in the car..not even water in a sippy..and the oldest is 7. They are use to it now. lol.

  • Catherine

    The other day I told my 3-year old that I have to clean the car because of all the garbage on the floor.  He replied “That’s not garbage!  It’s snacks!”

  • Kelsie

    Dang… I feel bad for you lol
    My mom’s car NEVER looked like that– maybe because we weren’t allowed to have M&M’s or Cheerios and foods like that in the car lol
    And if we had McDonald’s cups, mom put them in the front with her. If we got thirsty, we had to ask her for the cup and give it right back.

  • Rachael Thomas

    this is a fact of life with kids but i feel your pain.  My car too looks like this and it drives my hubby bonkers but he doesn’t get it – he only has himself to look after during the day and he can wait to eat or drink -but not a 4 yr old and a 20mth old.  We drive a 35km round trip to get to daycare, we live a 60km round trip from the grocery store, and to go clothes/appliance shopping in the city – over a 100km round trip.  My car actually looks good considering some days we practically live in it….and to those who say you should clean after every trip- if i cleaned my car every time i got out of it, i’d never see my kids, what a waste of their young lives!  Its a car for goodness sake, it gets us from A – B safely!

  • Kimberly Ortman

    This is soo funny. I have only had my van for four years and my husband had been fussing at me to clean it out. Well I felt that my 17 year old and 13 year old was the mess maker and they needed to clean it out. Of course that never happened. When I decided to clean it out this summer I took the seats out and it looked like yours. The sad part is that the mess was from my older kids not my two year old.. Of course my husband sees it as being lazy because his truck stays clean but he never has them in his truck!

    • Melissa Tyler-Belmonte

      Cool story: We used to have two vans, we used my husband’s most of the time, and my husband’s was always FILTHY and I yelled at him constantly. I could NOT figure out why it was such a pigsty.

      He totaled his in two feet of snow, and now we obviously have to use mine. Cue my previously spotless van being a den of filth as you see above.

      So yeah, IT’S THE KIDS! 

  • Lu McNeal

    I am learning from this. My children will walk everywhere, and only color with Crayola color wonder markers.

  • Anonymous

    My truck looks like that and I only have one kid.  Life happens he needs to eat while I commute and I’m not going to let him miss a meal or not sleep.

  • Stephanie Sekellick Kelsey

    My car has crumbs all over the floor, stains on the seat, toys all over the place, and happy kids in it. When you value an object over your kid’s comfort, you need to rethink your mindset. There’s nothing wrong with limits, like I don’t allow milk (ever smelled old milk in a car in high summer? I have. Shudder.) or anything uber messy, but to never let any food or beverage in the car is a bit extreme. As for the cleaning queens, I worry more about how my house looks than my car. If I have time after running kids places, cleaning the house, cooking meals ad running my online business, I might clean out my car, if I don’t have appointments, playdates, or even if it’s time to play with my toddler. Priorities, peeps.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, some of the comments on here are a lot more mean than usual. With 4 kids, and two being twins, I can see how this could happen. I am lucky in that I only have one girl (people say having one kid doesn’t count, but they haven’t met my daughter), and my car does not look like this. I do compulsively clean it, but I do that with my house too. 

  • Lauren Walker

    Totally feel your pain.  I have 4 also, ages 8 and under. I recently discovered boogers all over one of my back seats, courtesy of my 6-year-old.  Yeah, time to get it detailed.

  • Anonymous

    Consider a “Leave no trace” rule. Or teach your kids how to vacuum the car, though that might lead to them vacuuming things they shouldn’t. Or even get your kids involved when you clean out your car. Mommy cleans out car and Mommy spends time with the kids. At the same time.

  • TheAnthillGoddess

    Melissa (AKA Owner of the Van)….THIS Melissa feels ya!  We bought a brand new SUV to “celebrate” our son being kicked from the NICU after a month there…at the time our daughter was 8.  My son just turned 4 and my SUV (“Car-car”) will NEVER be the same!  And ya know what?  I don’t care!!!  The seats are stained, the carpet is matted down, there are bits and pieces of every type of food imaginable alllllll over.  Add to that we live on a gravel road and haven’t had rain in 2 months so everything is also covered in dust!  Cleaning out my car is the LEAST of my concerns! xoxo

  • Amanda Bernard

    Looks like my mini van!! Glad to know I am not the only one! I’m with you, I’d rather spend time with my family then worry about cleaning my van that’s only going to get dirty again anyways. Besides, my van is a 1997 so I’m not too worried about keeping it spick and span.

  • Anonymous

    Been there!! My 3 year old likes to dump out the crumbs of his goldfish when he is done with them… on the floor and seats.  My 13 year old likes to eat those Nature Valley granola bars, and leave the crumbs in her seat.  My car only gets cleaned every 5000 miles.  The oil change place offers a free car wash with an oil change.  It get pretty yucky in between, but they even vacuume the car seat!  And then they get a pretty nice tip from me. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Been there!! My 3 year old likes to dump out the crumbs of his goldfish when he is done with them… on the floor and seats.  My 13 year old likes to eat those Nature Valley granola bars, and leave the crumbs in her seat.  My car only gets cleaned every 5000 miles.  The oil change place offers a free car wash with an oil change.  It get pretty yucky in between, but they even vacuume the car seat!  And then they get a pretty nice tip from me. 🙂

  • Gina Peyer

    Been there!!  My car only gets cleaned every 5000 miles.  The place I get my oil changed offers a free car wash with the oil change. 🙂  The inside gets really nasty in between.  But they even vacuume the car seat, and then they get a pretty nice tip from me. 🙂  

  • Anonymous

    And this is why bears break into minivans more than any other type of vehicle.

  • Eric Cox

    This is only dirty like this because you are too lazy to clean it. A couple minutes a day picking up in the back and wiping sh*t down would have prevented this.

  • Anonymous

    This made me smile!  So nice to not be alone in the disgusting van scenerio. And even if you spend an afternoon cleaning it out all perfect, carseats and all, it still smells like feet in ours.  There is no hope.  Drive it till it dies. You never get good trade in money for a van and I’m sure this is why.

  • P.J. Cornelius

    I thought my suv was nasty, but this make me feel like a clean freak 🙂

  • Anonymous

    What, no one subscribes to the ‘eat what you are given or starve’ at the table philosophy anymore? Inexcusable.

  • Katarina

    Oh dear! What a mess. You’re not really fit to be a parent, are you? At your age, you should have heard of something called birth control. 

  • GingerMae

    lol my car totally looks horrid like this and I cant even blame my 15mth old yet. It’s totally my husband who just throws crap on the floor and never cleans up after himself.

  • Mike Cui

    Looks like my parents van, except the cloth part in the 2nd pic is vinyl, so easier to clean. And pretty sure all the seats in yours is cloth – Ours is leather.

  • Vera Prunn

    We have 1 car, 2 kids and husband is the only one working so I can stay home. What works for me is every time we go to the gas station, I grab a small plastic bag from the glove box and fill it with as much trash as I can. Sometimes it gets it all, sometimes it doesn’t, but it doesn’t leave me spending hours to clean it and it gives me foot room. It’s not spotless, but a little at a time adds up just like nothing at all adds up.

  • Anna DeMars

    This looks like the minivans an cars my mom has owned over the past 15 years. At one point she put plastic covers over the seats! When ever mom would clean out my carseat in the summer she’d find melted m&ms and skittles, nerds, fries, etc.
    For the judgmental commenters, my mom did clean out the car after we ate and was still kind of icky. Get a sense of humor!