Swagger Wagon

By: Tanya Pimental

When we started our family six years ago, I embraced owning a mini van. It seemed like a logical purchase, since we needed a second car. My husband and I were sharing a car and I was commuting to work on the train. I had only been driving for a few years; my husband taught me to drive when I was 23. I grew up in the city with parents who were unable to teach me how to drive, so I had little reason to need to know how before that.

If you too are a mini driving parent, it is likely dirtier than you care to admit.  It amazes me how much garbage and extra stuff collects in the car every week. However, I recently saw a few organization ideas on Pinterest and decided it was time to take action.

The first idea is to use a cereal container as a trash can. Genius and easy. I actually had a spare container that we kept on top of our refrigerator. So far, it’s really been helpful and the kids have even embraced trying to keep things a bit cleaner.

This next idea can be credited here in this blog: using an extra lunch box to create a kit of car essentials. Here is a quick list of what I’d like to include:

  • Mini first aid kit, this needs no explanation
  • Scotch tape for impromptu wrapping and the like
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Tylenol/Ibuprofen for both adults and children
  • Tums and/or other stomach remedies
  • Tissues for Jack’s ever-running nose
  • Lollipops for the times when a treat or distraction is needed
  • Pen and a piece of paper for that time when you need one (or both) of these

For a brief time before having our third child, we actually downsized to save some money.  During that time I longed for my lease to run out so that we could get another mini van.  It truly makes my life so much easier! I am not the least bit ashamed to admit it, either. In fact, these particular Toyota ads have become staples in our house.  When my middle-man was little he told me at bedtime that he loved me “to the swagger wagon and back!” My kids can sing the Swagger Wagon song with some real pizzazz. And recently when we were at the dealer for routine maintenance, my son even proclaimed (in his typical elevated voice,) “Look at these Swagger Wagons, Dad!”  I think it’s awesome and the sales guys got quite the chuckle!

4 thoughts on “Swagger Wagon

  1. I finally broke down and bought a new car. While it was not a mini van, I did go with the one that has the most compartments to hold all the kids stuff. And proud to say, there’s not a french fry to be seen in the car (so far)

  2. I had a small car for years until I had my daughter. I noticed I had to get a new car when I couldn’t get her stroller in my trunk. I finally bought a bigger, roomier car, just for her and I. I can agree with you on how a car clutters up fast with children. I can find small baggies of wipes, toys, shoes, socks, and extra (unused) diapers in the back seat. I am pleased with one thing about my car, the leather seats. I’ve had countless spills and a few upchucks not just from my daughter but from taxing my nephew around. I do like your idea for the trash can. I’ve been trying to come up with something. Walmart sacks just get kicked around or tossed around if I have to pick up other passengers.

  3. Tanya, having no kids of my own, I still love reading your posts! Course I do have those three kids every other weekend so I can apply some of your wisdom! ❤

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