Airing dirty laundry...

{My job title}

You know I love a good idiom. So what does to "air your dirty laundry in public" mean? Roughly speaking, it means talking about private issues to others who are not involved or don't need to know. I hope this is not TMI. I'm writing this as a public service for unsuspecting moms who send their children to sleep-away camp. 

A few weeks ago I was out with some friends whose daughters had just returned from a week at Girl Scout camp. They reported that both girls came home with tics either on their heads or in their laundry. Gross. One of the girls reported that there was a swimming hole that many of the girls took a dip in and came out with leaches on their bods. She matter-of-factly said they were easy to get off. Tough girl.

I knew that tics and leaches would not be a problem for my son. First, because there's no swimming hole at his camp. And, they do lice checks before releasing kids to the custody of their parents. If my kid had tics, I was sure that the lice eliminators would take care of it. It's a good thing the nurses clipped their nails too.They no doubt looked like claws. Frightening.

Here's what I was dreading: washing two body bags full of laundry. The camp does laundry twice. Doesn't matter. The clean clothes are mixed in with the filthy stuff.

{My laundry room. Notice the trash bag full of bedding.}

Before you get started, have the following on hand:

1) lots of laundry detergent
2) lots of bleach
3) lots of Fabreeze
4) disposable gloves
5) gas mask
6) trash bags

For scheduling purposes, do laundry for all other household members before campers arrive home. Once is not enough. Plan to run camper's loads several times. This chore could tie up your laundry room for days.

My son's bags smelled especially putrid this year. I was not the only mom who noticed. An email thread on the subject:

Mom #1: Just opened all the duffels. Gagging. Gonna hock up a hair ball soon.  ICK.

Mom #2: Can't breathe...the smell of two boys is killing me!

Me: Why is it so bad this year? I had to put the bags outside.

Mom #3: Maureen, it's the nonstop rain they had ... and having begun to deal with the rank stuff that emerged from a girl's bunk, I don't want to imagine what the boys' laundry was like.

Mom #4:  Ditto. And they are fast asleep while we are toiling.

Mom # 5: The boy's laundry, at least in our house, was worse than the girls. Son told me all of his stuff was clean because they did laundry 2 days ago. HA! Virtually every item of clothing in his duffels was wet, or at least damp, and upon shaking, produced a lovely shower of dirt & sand. But his underwear was nicely folded! That said, when we picked him up, all of his belongings were packed. When we got to our daughter, she had stuff everywhere!

Mom #6: Had to wear gloves!!!! And have already thrown away several things because I wasn't going to defile my machine! But I did get an 'I don't know why but I'm sorry.' I will be using the sanitize setting for all the bedding/towels that survive the next round of throw-aways.

Mom #7: So am I the only one that left the bags by the front door and watched recorded episodes of America's Got Talent with the home-comers? I guess I'm in for a rough night.

She got that right. 

1 comment:

  1. Same here! Still working on round three for some of the clothing victims. I am sad to say, some things were ruined beyond my laundering skills. We even had to throw away his pillow- I could actually SEE the mold- ACK! Rainy years are the WORST! I don't know how the child is still breathing. One whiff, and I am not sure how I'm still breathing...


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