We had anticipated this and had banked enough to buy a Brand New Car. I know people who say it's a stupid move to buy a new car, but it's what we decided and we were happy with our choice. We bought a model right at the end of the year, and got a pretty good deal, but it was still a big investment.
Those first few months we were SO good. We never left trash in the car. We used Armor All wipes on the dashboard and vacuumed the floor mats regularly. And we didn't eat in the car.
On our first road trip that changed. But we were really careful.
When Jen got pregnant with The Bean I said that there was no way we would ever let him eat in the car. Well, before he was even born we were driving back to PA and Jen was having awful heartburn. She bought chocolate milk as it seemed to be one of the few things that helped. I, kind and thoughtful wife that I am, loosened the cap for her before placing it in the cup holder. Jen picked it up when we got back on the road and gave it a good shake. Chocolate milk everywhere.
It's kind of funny now, but it wasn't at the time.
Anyway, we should have taken that as a foreshaddowing of what was to come.
The Bean didn't eat in the car... for six months (i.e. while he was nursing). But that first big road trip after he had started solids, well, I couldn't pass the snacks back quickly enough. We're pretty sure that he now thinks of any road trip as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Case in point: Nachos. With salsa.