Perpetual Plan B

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Preschool Graduation and Another Annoying Mess

Last night Austin graduated from preschool. We are all so proud.

They had a cute little program, which was not too long, only about a half hour.

Each child had a little two line part and they sang lots of cute little songs. Since Austin is my third kid to go to this preschool, I pretty much have the whole program memorized by now. His teacher, Jean Hunter, said she was going to make a new program for parents like us, but I kind of like knowing what to expect. (And did I mention that it only lasts about a half hour? Why mess with a good thing?)

Aren't they cute little crayons?

Well, anyway, to celebrate this rite of passage, Austin did something he has been doing a lot lately. He stole a crayon. Or, to be more specific, an orange crayon.

It started one day when he came home from preschool with an orange crayon in his back pack. Orange is his favorite color and he usually drags along a toy or two in his backpack to preschool, so I didn't think anything of it until I realized it was a whole crayon, not one of the broken ones we use around here. And it still had the paper wrapper around it. Definitely not one of ours.

Upon further questioning, he confirmed that it was, indeed, one of the crayons from preschool. I told him to take it back, end of discussion. Until I found another one (or maybe still the same one) in his room later. This one I returned personally.

So now, the day after preschool graduation, I've done a load of white and light colored laundry. Guess what I found in the dryer, along with lots of ruined clothes? If you said a half melted orange crayon, you'd be right. (With the paper still halfway on it, so I knew where it had come from.)

Usually it's only Ally's pockets I've had to be really careful to check well. We've had more than one half eaten candy bar wreak havoc on the laundry. So far Austin's pockets have usually only held rocks, which are annoying, but not destructive.

So, I frantically searched the web for advice on how to handle this particular catastrophe. WD40. Darn, there was no WD40 to be found in the garage. I called Hal and asked him where it was. He said he'd run to one of his workplaces and get some. In the meantime I filled the tub with water, borax, detergent and the stained clothes, most of which were some of my favorite summer clothes, one of Hal's good church shirts, Austin's church pants and Ally's favorite school shirt. Then I checked the shed out back and found the WD40. I then checked the website again for the specific directions, only to find that WD40 is not so great to put in the dryer because it is flammable. (I know it probably wouldn't happen if you wash the clothes a few times, but with my luck....)

Anyway, I found another post that recommended De-Solv-It. I happened to have some of that from when Morgan was in preschool. She had fallen asleep one night with gum in her mouth that (of course) magically transferred itself into her hair. I sent her to school for two full days with the gum in her hair until I found a solution that I trusted would take out the gum without ruining her hair. (The things I do for these kids!)

So, anyway, after LOTS of scrubbing I've successfully gotten most of the orange crayon out of most of the clothes. Hal's white church shirt is the biggest casualty so far. I think it's because the weave is so tight and doesn't really have any "give". Also, it's hard to tell which side of the fabric the orange is on because when it's wet it looks the same on both sides. At least his shirt is replaceable.

I finally remembered to call Hal to tell him not to worry about the WD40 but he was already on his way home, which was a good thing because he was able to get the big fan down and run it in the bathroom for me so I didn't asphyxiate myself. De-Solv-It has very potent fumes. I had a killer headache after just a few minutes of using it and the open window just wasn't cutting it.

One great tip I learned on the Internet was how to get the melted crayon out of the dryer. Magic Eraser. It worked like a charm.

You know, while I was scrubbing I had a lot of time to think. My kids are pretty thorough when it comes to a lot of things. Unfortunately it is the wrong kinds of things. Thorough is good when it comes to cleaning your bedroom or editing a paper for mistakes. Not good when it comes to making messes, like ruining a whole batch of laundry. I need to work on this little problem that we have. I'll add it to the list of things I'm planning on teaching the kids this summer.

In the meantime, does anyone know where I can find a box with only orange crayons in it, so I can give them to Austin's teacher for a thank-you gift?

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