I had been feeling under the weather for the better part of a week when J decided to take our son to his dad’s for the weekend last summer. I was alone for TWO DAYS to rest, catch up on reading, watch Netflix and do whatever I wanted.
It was like Christmas meets Mother’s Day meets every other holiday I’d rather be gifted alone time over chocolate or flowers or sweatpants. (Who am I kidding? I love new sweatpants.)
By the middle of the first day, I felt like a college freshmen with no idea what to do with all of this time on my hands. As I walked around the house, I marveled at the fact that even though I had not been at 100% all week, I had managed to keep the house in decent order, C’s tee-ball shirt had been clean for both games this week and the dishes were mostly done. I was pretty much nailing life.
So, after baking away the remains of a common cold in my lawn chair with a good book (Outlander*, actually), I decided that it couldn’t hurt to just throw in one quick load of laundry. Without 100 other things to do, it might actually be fun, I said. FUN. Plus I had gotten a new washer and dryer around the New Year and, surprisingly, the novelty had yet to wear off.
It was decided. I scooped up my son’s clothes, my sweats and pajamas, my husband’s t-shirts and threw them in. Easy peasy. Less than an hour later, I heard the happy tune that my washer plays to let me know it’s done (because a normal buzzer is obviously so 2010).
That’s when I saw it. It was like the cheetah from Wild Kratts who waited until its prey least expected it to pounce. I washed a Pull Up. It exploded. Gel shit everywhere.
My poor 5-year old was 100% potty trained by day and had been for years. Just not at night. It wasn’t just here and there. He slept like the dead and woke up wet nearly every night.
We did the physical therapy circuit (a traumatizing disaster), the “if he’s wet enough times he’ll magically realize what’s up and knock it off” method (a soggy disaster) and the “you’ll never have a sleepover in your life” tough love strategy (a shameful disaster).
Back to the washer. Ok, stay calm. This gel is not going to ruin my new washer. (RIGHT?) I can clean this up in no time. (NO, YOU CAN’T!) It’s not really stuck to all of the clothes. (YEP, IT SURE IS!)
Seriously. I can’t have nice things.
So, I did what any other head cold headcase would do. I washed the load again, and hoped for the best. When that didn’t work I threw everything in the dryer, crossed my fingers, poured a glass of wine and prayed that gel confetti would not melt. Or combust.
I’m now realizing it was probably a good thing any loved ones were a few counties away. They’re much safer there.
I am not sure exactly what Pull Ups are rated for in terms of water units held, but this bad boy was comparable in weight to a soaking wet newborn, and damn near as slippery. And that was just the part that was intact. What kind of scary superlab is this stuff made in, anyway?
Three laundry caps full of sparkly gel crystals and a microfiber cloth that went straight into the trash later, I had the washer somewhat under control. The dryer even melded the gel dots into one nice lumpy goo-ball, which was helpful. The fact that the sticky mess was also all up in my hair was not.
So, what did I learn from this ordeal? That all problems must come to an end.
That night I purchased TheraPee*, a system that claimed to be the #1 bedwetting solution. And, it really was what we needed to help C stay dry. Within a few weeks of using the alarm and online training program, we were on our way to being nighttime accident free. Multiple years of going in and out of pull ups, washing sheets in the middle of the night, and feeling like a failure were finally over.
And that’s a good thing…. Because I may have told C he couldn’t go to Kindergarten until he stayed dry through the night. How’s that for a less than stellar mom moment.
I really hope you were not looking for an actual tutorial on the proper way to clean such a mess up in your own washing machine. If you were, you can find actually helpful posts on Ladybugs Landing here and Anti-June Cleaver here.
C just saw me finishing up this post and said… “Hey, I don’t need that mat anymore. Are you selling it on eBay?”
No, child, I am not selling something you peed on. And with that… to all a good night.
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