Creating A Survival Vehicle
Handy Tips to Primp Your Ride
By: Mary Fagan on: Thu 20 of Sep, 2007 [01:45 UTC] (1611 reads)
Got enough French fries and burger bits in your backseat to survive a famine? Learn how to equip your "home away from home" to survive carpooling with comfort and style.
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For a lot of us, our vehicle is a home away from home. Why not make this alternate home as comfortable and functional as possible? This can be easily accomplished with the unnatural selection of some items to outfit your vehicle for survival.
How did the survival vehicle originate? It was the discovery that I had enough French fries, bits of bun, candy pieces, nuts, cheerios, etc. on the floor to survive being stranded in my van for some time, and then things just evolved. I suggest these adaptations for your needs and comfort while spending time in your mobile home.
Purchase a sturdy organizer/storage caddy for the area between the two front seats. (Some cars come with them – lucky.) Be sure it has duel cup holders, one for your water bottle and one for tissues. Kleenex now makes a handy car dispenser in the shape of a cup.
Inside the organizer, divide it into two areas: food and medical. Stock the food section with nuts, hard candy, gum, protein bars and baggies of cereal – can’t forget something the kids! I prescribe filling the other section with something for a headache – no need to explain that one – antacids for meals on the run, and car sickness medicine for long trips. Your kids may not get car sick but this brings on a nap like a charm. Throw in some hand sanitizer for when the kids touch each other and then scream. Rub some on and the cooties are gone.
Keep your spare change of underwear on the top of all these items to keep others from entering this restricted area. If your little passengers ask if your “watchdrawers" are clean, be vague for an extra deterrent factor. (Remember when moms worried about you having clean underwear in case you had an accident? Accident – it’s such a vague term.)
Next stop is the glove compartment. When have you ever seen a pair of gloves in there? Neatly tuck away the obligatory insurance card, registration, and owner’s manual to make room for your trial-sized deodorant, plastic bag(s), emergency feminine item, preserved MapQuested? routes of infrequent trips into unfamiliar territory, otherwise known as “away games," real maps and duct tape.
Duct tape is a universal item and should be a part of any survival kit. Its merits include strength, durability and the ability to break off without a scissors. I have used it for car repairs, fixing school projects damaged in transport, fastening items to the top of my car and for momentarily soothing an agitated child. No, I didn’t tape her mouth. She chewed on it and I was amazed with its ability to withstand saliva and sharp little teeth. It was kind of hard getting the adhesive off her cheeks though.
Hang a plastic shopping bag for garbage on the arm rest. Change it when it bulges and burps out items when going over bumps.
Your visor organizer holds your sunglasses and CDs of your favorites for waiting between runs, and some Disney classics to soothe the masses. (Warning - this might bring on a case of choral singing.)
I finish with a Yankee candle air freshener hanging from my rear view mirror. The ride home from football practice is just a bit sweeter. I tell the kids it’s how I "primp my ride."
If you are lucky, there will be room in the back for jumper cables, a blanket, a few extra water bottles, a flashlight and your spare tire. If you have them ready, chances are you’ll never need them.
You now have a survival vehicle. Nothing can stop you. Unless it has a flashing red light on top. Then you’re on your own.
If you care about style, you will have to make some modifications to these retrofits as I only have enough time to come up with their basic form. I am confident some clever parent can make them classy. They would have no school-aged children because after that you are simply driving yourself crazy.
Now, where did I put that MapQuest? to the nut house?
Mary Fagan has an M.S. in Education and is the mother of three children. When not restocking her glove compartment, she offers lighthearted parenting humor at http://motherwise.us.