I came home to find an entire load of BigBrother’s laundry ruined. By a red crayon. One of his friends gave him his “favorite crayon,” and of course it was red. And of course BigBrother put it in his pockets. And of course my amazing husband did the laundry while I was out of town so I didn’t come how to a mountain of laundry. I FaceTimed him while I thought he was just “doing laundry,” but no, he was cleaning crayon out of the dryer.
Note: I would not have checked the child’s pockets. I should check pockets. I do not. If I had been home, this same scene would have played out except that I would have blown a gasket all over the laundry room. Or the entire house.
It’s really much better that it happened this way.
I left the basket of ruined laundry sit in the dining room all weekend. Jet lag and Easter didn’t leave much room for dealing with a basket of clothes that, if ruined, would require a large chunk of change to replace. Today I spent the day catching up on all the email I couldn’t answer when I was at the conference, taking the boys to lunch as they were home on spring break, buying the crayon-kid new socks, dropping off the iPhone I smashed on the garage floor the day before I left at the Post Office, panicking about things I can’t control, and visiting with some friends this evening so the “kids could play.” (Or, you know, so adults could talk to each other.)
While I started working on dinner tonight, I sorted out all of the socks to throw away. And by all of the socks I mean all of the socks that he owns. He’s genetically my kid and socks float around the house, hide in couch cushions, end up at the end of his bed stuck in sheets, and suddenly all end up in the laundry at the same time but only because I go hunting for them because he suddenly has no socks despite having all the socks. In this particular laundry load, all the socks were being washed. Thus, all the socks were spotted with some kind of cross between orange and red. I didn’t care to fight the color white and orange/red. Goodbye, old socks. Hello, six pair of new socks.
He’s nervous about only having six pair of white socks. He took them off before his shower tonight and immediately placed both socks in the laundry basket. And told me about it. Progress. Silver lining. Something.
I looked up some tips on getting dryed-on crayon out of clothes. By the way, it’s always a red crayon. No one ever washes a purple crayon. It’s always red.
I came up with the following set of steps.
1. As I mentioned, throw out all the white socks because ain’t nobody got time for that.
2. Toss some Oxi-Clean into the tub of the washer.
3. Toss in all the clothes. Say some kind of prayer or chant. Cross yourself.
4. Add in a little less laundry detergent than usual. Add four tablespoons of Dawn directly to the laundry detergent section.
5. Put 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the pre-wash section.
6. Select HOT and HEAVILY SOILED. Make a face that says, “These are more than heavily soiled.” Nod. Wink at the washer. Maybe offer it a drink.
7. Choose pre-wash, extra rinse, and press start.
8. Walk away for over an hour and a half. For real. We even left the house. Anxiety level: Red/orange Crayon.
9. Check all the clothes. Find two items with orange/red left on them.
10. Marvel. Celebrate. Throw a parade. Give yourself beads.
11. Rewash your clothes with a little less dawn, a little more detergent, still 1/2 cup of vinegar, your softener, HOT and HEAVILY SOILED, with a pre-wash and extra rinse.
12. Check clothes to find absolutely clean, soft clothes.
13. Make yourself a drink because you, my friend, are a freaking laundry genius.
One shirt still has an “orange tint” in a small circular area. I’ve decided it can be LittleBrother’s “art shirt” last year. Didn’t we used to have art smocks when we were in elementary school? Is this another way that Kasich has screwed education for Ohio students? Whatever. How he has an arty art shirt. Crayon friendly. Ahead of the game.
All I know is that I don’t need to buy seven pair of new underwear, replace three absolutely well-loved and frequently-worn sweat/casual pants, two long-sleeved t-shirts, three short-sleeved shirts, a button up shirt, and like all the winter jammies. And like having to set up my replacement iPhone as a new phone instead of restoring from a backup, life goes on. It’s not the end of the world, even if the crayon hadn’t all come out.
But of note, that iPhone replacement, even with insurance, cost more than it would have to replace most of the clothing. So, you know, I feel you, BigBrother. Accidents happen. I’ll try to stop dropping my phone if you stop putting crayons in your pocket. Let’s win together.