Downy comforters fluff out of the neatly wrapped Christmas boxes. Squeals, excitement and high fives fill the room. Relief sets in my stomach… it was a risky gift. “What if they hate them?” A blanket is not exactly the latest electronic gadget, but all is well. Their faces tell all. Expressions don’t lie. The kids LOVE their new comforters.
Our sons and daughters squeeze the soft feathers close, then each child abandons the room full of wrapping paper and boxes to nestle under the new luxurious bedroom additions. This gift calls for an early nap on Christmas morning. I feel “Merry” and the house is quiet again.
Fast-forward two months and the downy comforters remain faithful friends to the kids, inviting them each night to far away dream lands. Until the fateful day those sweet dreams turned to muddy nightmares of dog dander and mutt paws.
*The fresh-smelling fluff, now the enemy, threatens to wreak visions of slums and stinky dog sweat. “Mom, can you help restore my downy comforter to its original smell? That dumb dog dried his muddy paws on it,” my oldest asks.
I lightly spray each muddy spot with a stain cleaner, scrub the soiled areas, and then throw the cover in the drier. Half an hour later…just like new, the fluff and smell restored. I didn’t realize my younger son was watching and confused. He knows we don’t have to use detergent any longer and that in itself is incredible but… watching me skip the washer this time, he deduced that this new way to do laundry must be SO good that we only use it once a month on each item.
Clothes must stay clean longer, he thought.
He didn’t realize I simply did not wash the cover because down should not get wet. So the next time he washed his soiled laundry, he simply sprayed the dirty spots and threw the load in the drier, skipping the washer.
“Since we don’t have to wash as often, when DO we wash?”
I laugh out loud realizing his misinterpretation of the cleaning of the comforter and explained to him why I did what I did. He quickly runs into laundry room, retrieves his dirty clothes from the drier and throws them into the washer. Communication covers a multitude of mistakes.