Friday, November 30, 2012

Cleaning day

I had been wanting to clean out the cubbies in the schoolroom, and do it with bleach in order to make it as inhospitable to bugs as possible. So one day I brought a bunch of cleaning rags, a jug of Clorox, and some rubber gloves, and I set to work scrubbing out each cubby.

The kids helped me, and I was amazed at the quality of their work. I honestly have to admit, I expected to have to do the job entirely by myself, but they wanted to help, and when they did, wow! they were far more effective than anyone I've ever seen! They scrubbed with true elbow grease and got everything not just a little bit better, but perfectly spotless! I was so blessed by their efforts! What I expected to have to be a big fight where I would have to be the grumpy one turned out to be a very pleasant day. We were singing together as we worked, and we all felt triumphant at the good results of our labor at the end.

The only victim of the day's work was my pretty dress. Before I left for the creche, I had an inkling that I should wear some junky cleaning clothes for this job, but for some reason I dismissed that idea and said to myself, "I won't get that dirty."

Then, as I was pouring the bleach in the bucket, I gulped. "Oh. Right. This is bleach water."

I very gingerly immersed my cleaning rag into the bucket, squeezed it out carefully, and walked over to the cubbies with the cloth at arm's length.

Then, without thinking of the fact that I needed to explain about bleach water to the kids, I handed out cleaning rags to the ones who wanted to help. They splashed the rags in and pulled them out, dripping everywhere, flinging their hands carelessly in every direction.

"AAh!" I yelped. "This is bleach water!" I tried to explain what it would do to our clothes, but all to no avail. By the end of the day, my dress was liberally sprinkled with random white polka dots of all shapes and sizes.

When I got home, I said to myself, "Well, the dress is unwearable already, so I might as well just see if I can rescue it by bleaching the whole thing. I don't have anything to lose." So I immersed the whole thing in bleach, and it instantly turned white, except for the thread that it was sewn with, which remained lime green.

I threw the dress in the washing machine with a few other white things. I came back later and opened the washing machine lid. The whole center post was uprooted and tilted sideways in the machine. Taken aback, I dug my clothes out and discovered that it was my dress's fault. One of the ties had gotten wrapped so tightly around the middle that it broke. Three strands of braided fabric just ripped in two, and the machine got all topsy-turvy, and somehow a good-sized hole had gotten rubbed into the fabric right in the front of the dress.

Alas for the dress. It would have looked pretty as a white dress. Maybe I can still sew the tie back together and add a creative floral applique to patch the hole.

But at least the cubbies are really clean!

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