If I had a time machine I would go back to this morning. I know what you’re thinking. Surely there are plenty of more noble things one could do with the power to travel through time. Perhaps you might choose to prevent something terrible that happened in the past. Maybe you would skip a few centuries ahead in an effort to avoid future mistakes. Not me. I would go back to early this morning. That should clue you in on just how shitty my late morning was.
It started out like a typical Friday morning spent tidying the kitchen, starting a load of laundry, and attempting to tackle the growing to-do list posted on the fridge. I was just about to transfer a load of my children’s laundry from the washer to the dryer when I noticed something was off. Sticky bits of what looked like some kind of gelatin clung to the tub of the washer as well as every piece of clothing in that whole goddamn machine. It looked like a science experiment gone wrong.
I continued to sort through the wet clothes covered in this jelly-like dandruff until I found the source. An overly-stuffed disposable pull-up diaper that was quite literally bursting at the seams. Suddenly I realized I had absolutely no idea how to clean up this hot mess express. But surely I wasn’t the only one who’d made the unfortunate mistake of running a disposable diaper through the spin cycle.
I quickly did some internet research and discovered a fix on a parenting website called fatherly.com of all places (score one for Gloria Steinem). Upon further investigation I uncovered another helpful article on a different website called theantijunecleaver.com (genius name) and I immediately felt guilty for not clicking on that one first. Feminism is tricky.
The solution, it seemed, entailed taking out the load of laundry and wiping down the washing machine tub to remove as many of the super absorbent polymer crystals as possible, which felt a little like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. Next I was supposed to run a cleaning cycle to clear the machine of any further debris. It’s worth noting that I have one of those high efficiency washing machines that uses 3 teaspoons of water and takes nearly 6 hours to finish a load. So, I had plenty of time for the next step which was to “take the clothes outside (the importance of this was emphasized) and give each item a vigorous shake – as if you were cleaning a rug.”
It had been less than a week since I last did my daughters’ laundry which meant there were approximately 342 individual articles of clothing in the washer, half of them being pajamas because God forbid my children wear the same pair twice in a week. And not just cotton pajamas. No, I’m talking about those fleece pajamas that have enough static electricity to attract hairs from across the room like a magnet. The kind that sometimes come out the dryer with tiny fuzzies all over them because you washed them with that new sweater and you decide to just throw them away and say that you lost them even though they’re your daughter’s favorite because you just…can’t…even…deal.
I obediently took the basket of soiled laundry outside in the 40 degree weather and shook each individual piece of tiny toddler clothing, watching as the gelatinous diaper flakes fell on the lawn like freshly fallen snow. Every last fucking sock. It hit me that this little setback would cost me nearly an hour and a half of time I did not have to begin with. There’s nothing that screams motherhood more than getting angry about cleaning up an unexpected mess during the time you had set aside to clean something else.
On the upside, my 3-year-old did not once interrupt me in all of my wrath. It made me wonder if she had been in this position before. I could see the little wheels turning in her head, “Hmm, Mom looks pissed and she appears to be cleaning…Nah Imma stay here.” I would have to make a mental note of this trick the next time I needed a break. Just start angrily cleaning and watch your personal bubble suddenly double in size. Then again, maybe I’m giving her too much credit. She did have her t-shirt on backwards, which is ironic considering it said “girl genius.”
Finally, the dust had settled. I mean that literally. After the gelatin crystals dried, my hands felt like they were covered in fiberglass. It occurred to me that the only reason my fully potty-trained 3-year-old still wears disposable pull-ups to bed is to prevent me from having to wash her sheets were she to have an accident overnight. I think I’ll take my chances from now on.