Menu Close

Life, Laundry and the Pursuit of Cleanliness

Now you have to understand, in my house you have to reach a certain Age of Accountability or Maturity or Something before you are helping with laundry. You know that moment when you’re driving your 15 passenger in the van rain and your twelve-year-old son says, “Mom, I finally popped out that loose tooth” and then hands you his bloody molar?

What? That’s never happened to you? Then I bet this has never happened either:

Yesterday, a certain older child came and told me there was mold in the bottom our towel/sock/underwear laundry basket. Now, before you go off and call the Health Department or Child Protective Services or the Department of Fish and Wildlife (or better yet, call a cleaning service for me), let me point out that we live in a very damp climate. Damp towels + damp climate + damp laundry room = lots of condensation and the occasional mildew. No, it’s not a common occurrence, but it happens every once in a while. K?

When I received the news I frowned appropriately and told this child to: “put the laundry basket in the shower, add about two inches of hot water and then pour in a bit of bleach; that will kill the mold“.

Those seemed like straightforward instructions to me.

The child frowned a bit and seemed confused. I repeated myself, stressing the bleach would kill the mold so it didn’t grow back, and add that I would come in and scrub the basket. The child still seemed confused, but wandered off to do my bidding.

Now you have to understand, in my house you have to reach a certain Age of Accountability or Maturity or Something before you are helping with laundry. And you have to practically be married with three kids and a mortgage before I’ll let you touch the bleach. This particular kid seemed up for the job, so off the child went.

Imagine my surprise an hour or so later, when I opened the shower to scrub out the laundry basket and I find the basket still full of laundry.  I stood there puzzled and blinked a few times. The bathroom smelled bleach-y, but I had scrubbed the toilet and floor earlier, so thought perhaps the smell came from there.

Just then, Child walks in.

Um, what did you with the laundry basket?

Child: Exactly what you told me.

Me: Wait, you filled it with two inches of hot water, then added bleach?

Child: Yes.

Me: And the basket was full of laundry?

Child: Yes. That’s why I was confused.

Me: Oh….You said the bottom of the basket had mold. I thought it was empty.

Because really, what more was there to say?






  1. Liz

    So was it bleach bleach or color safe. Did it ruin all the clothes or was it mostly socks? Just curious do u have a dif river loader? I’m about to get a too loader. I’m so over the moldy smell. My friend got a top loader that her mom bought. Speed queen. Made here n Michigan I think. A bit off topic. Just curious what type washer u use. More than 1?

  2. Sue in NJ

    as I was reading this. and got to the line.. “When I received the news I frowned appropriately and told this child to: “put the laundry basket in the shower, add about two inches of hot water and then pour in a bit of bleach; that will kill the mold” I went to my self.. she never said to take the clothes out of the basket.. Oh no.. I know where this is going..

    LOL.. sue in NJ

  3. Melpub

    Oh, once my very well-meaning daughter, then five, watered the cotton-branches that are supposed to be dry and sit there decoratively in their little blue vase that matches the bathroom rug. I had no idea she’d taken it into her head to water the plants and wandered around muttering, “What idiot did this?” (assuming it was the once-a-week cleaning lady). The poor kid got very pale and I had to back pedal a lot: “It was really thoughtful of you! It’s wonderful that you watered the flowers!”

  4. Renee on Whidbey Island

    This reminds me of one of my biggest parenting “fails”. When my son was about 10-12 he was so careless about urinating he would get it all over the bathroom instead of in the toilet. Tired of bleaching down the entire room, I complained and said, “If you don’t stop this I’m going to make you pee outside.” Empty threat from me, but apparently it got to him. Years (and I really mean years – like 5 or 6) I noticed there was a long, yellow strip of dieing grass in front of our back porch. I mentioned it at dinner one night and said I couldn’t figure out what was killing the grass there. My son, who was about 17, sheepishly admitted that he had been peeing outside off the porch for many years, since he thought it was a good idea to follow my comment about peeing outside! Thankfully, we live way out in the country and there are no neighbors to see it. My son (all grown up now) gives me a bad time about this whenever he remembers it!

  5. Herdog

    Oh, there is something about bleach and a teenager. Many years ago, my 14 yr old saved her money to buy Guess Jeans (yes, it was that long ago) but couldn’t get the “acid washed” in her size and wouldn’t be caught in the new looking jeans I made her buy. You see where this is going. If she had only used a little bleach but sorry to say, she learned from me “more is better”. Lets just say neither of us were happy with the end results. Couldn’t even use them for rags.

    Thanks for bring back the memories and I’ll be sharing with my 38 yr old daughter this weekend as well.

  6. Erica

    I love it.

    Seriously, if we had a dollar for every time we did’t quite make that connection with our kids…well we wouldn’t have a mortgage anymore, that’s for sure!

  7. Kate @ MGR

    Is it bad to say at least if was only socks and towels and underwear?

    Going to church or somewhere with an entire family wearing half-bleached sunday clothes just sounds more… fun 🙂

  8. Tanya Redfield

    This reminds me of one son’s kindergarten teacher…I volunteered to go on a swimming field trip with the class. The children all had their little book bags and backpacks loaded with swim suits and towels and were very excited to go, but they had to take attendance and such first…finally the big moment arrived and the teacher announced, “I want everyone to get in line with your swimsuit in your hand!”. Moments later, from the coat room, I heard her saying, “What are you all doing? Leave your things in your bags!”. It hit me what happened, and I quickly went out to tell her that she had TOLD them to get their SWIMSUITS in their HANDS, and that is exactly what the dutiful children were trying to do! 😀

  9. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Oh no! Oh my. So were the clothes completely ruined?!

    You have the funniest stories. Your 12-year-old popped his molar out?! Ouch! You think that would be excruciating!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thankfully, it was just towels, socks and undies. So we have a few pink items, but it could have been so much worse!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.