The pristine condition of my beloved new minivan inspired me to do something I have never even attempted before: I banned all eating in the car. It's been over 3 weeks, and the prohibition stands. That's not to say it's been easy; it's not every woman that could listen to her 6-year-old daughter shriek for 20 minutes and still not hand her the (sealed) box of granola bars in the front seat. But 2 decades (almost) of child rearing has toughened me - I managed to quell any motherly guilt that tried to seep through and remained stalwart in my determination not to let the kids trash my beautiful new vehicle.
So, you can appreciate the irony yesterday of my dropping a full Coke (with ice) when I lifted it out of the driver's cupholder, as my 4 youngest children gawked with horror. The car filled with the sound of their shocked silence (which, as I have discussed before, can be a very loud thing) as 12 ounces of caramel-colored liquid dispensed itself all over the center console, the floorboards and the driver's seat (but not over the knitting, thank goodness - it missed the knitting). And then, someone piped up, "Hey, Mommy, I thought you said..."
"Look," I interrupted. "I'll give you all some candy if you don't tell Daddy."
Their lips are sealed. Accomplished hypocrite that I am, I have retained the ban on food in the car. I don't need no stinkin' moral authority to run a dictatorship.