Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toddler independence: A washing machine’s horror story

We were very excited when Luke successfully mastered the art of daytime potty training. One less box of diapers to buy, one less diaper to change, one step closer to toddler independence. A win for everyone!

Luke still needs a diaper at night, though. Kids typically can’t sleep through the night without a diaper or pull-up until they’re about 4. But just around the same time that Luke started to be able to sleep through his nap time without a diaper, he started fighting us when we put on his nighttime diaper.

He realized quickly that we weren’t going to let him get away without a diaper at night. So he still fights us at night, gives in and goes to sleep with it on, then wakes up at the crack of dawn to remove his diaper and pajamas, and use the potty. Then he gets a pair of underwear and asks for help to put them on. Aside from the whole crack of dawn part, this seemed like a good thing!

Luke is clearly from the Baldauf gene pool, because as soon as those pajamas come off, he MUST put them in the hamper. They CANNOT be on the floor. So just to recap – he gets up, takes off his diaper and pajamas, uses the potty, put his dirty clothes in the hamper and then partially dresses himself (though he’d be happy if just wearing underwear were his whole outfit for the day… but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!). Sounds good, yes?

In order to tell this story completely, I need to make two points:

  1. Diapers these days are less bulky because the disposable diaper companies have moved away from filling their diapers with layers of cotton, and fill them with an absorbent grain silicate material that expands when it gets wet.
  2. Although I know it is wrong, I do not separate my laundry anymore. The goal in the house is to do laundry, do it quickly, and get it done! So I no longer separate colors from whites. We do towels and sheets separately, but for the most part, when the laundry basket is full, the laundry basket gets dumped in the washing machine. What do you want me to say… I am allowed to slack somewhere!

Can you see where I am going here??!!

We realized a little too late one day that when Luke puts his pajamas in the hamper, he also puts his silicate-saturated diaper in the hamper too! And because I don’t separate the laundry and am typically pretty sleepy when I start a load of laundry, I never saw the diaper go into the washer! Never noticed as the washer filled that those silicate grains were getting larger, and more and more water-logged…

But I sure did notice when the spin cycle stopped and the diaper had ripped open at the seams. Water-logged silicate grains EVERYWHERE – in all the little nooks of socks, in pockets of shorts, in all the little fibers of the washcloths… And another fun fact… those silicate grains are sticky when wet!

Talk about panic. What a frickin’ mess.

As Nate tried desperately to shake the silicate grains out of all the wet laundry and onto the floor, I searched the internet for how to get them out of the washing machine basin. Thankfully there are other people out there who have made the same mistake that I did!

Nate swept the silicate off of the floor. I ran a load of water with OxyClean (which scarily dissolves the silicate material… what is it made of??). And thankfully, everything dissolved. Then we washed the same load of clothes again, only they were much cleaner and less silicate-covered this time.

And now we have learned a lesson, though I suppose we could have learned two. I now check the laundry for diapers (and found one yesterday!)… but I still don’t separate the colors.

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