Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gross Out

Let me warn you that this post is aptly titled. If you are distressed at the thought of swishing messy diapers in the toilet or cleaning up child vomit, then perhaps you shouldn't read on because that stuff is sissy stuff compared with what I am about to reveal.

Why would I post something that makes my skin crawl? Well, for one, my eldest wanted me to; he thinks it's cool.

My eldest, the poor lad, has inarguably endured the most creepy, disturbing moments in our home. For some strange reason, they both occurred in our laundry room.

When he was but 7, my newborn daughter's shriveled up umbilical cord fell off. No big surprise there really. The problem was that we couldn't find it. We looked and looked in bed, on the floor, in the car seat, in the pack and play. Nothing.

A few days later, my very helpful son was moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer when he came tearing out through the kitchen, hollering and clearly upset. "There's something gross in the washer!" He half-whimpered, "It looks like raw meat or something bad!"

I reassured him that I would take care of it. When I laid down the baby, I went to investigate. At first, what I saw frightened me. Had a serial killer sneaked into our home and put his victim's mangled finger in my washing machine? And then it occurred to me; the lost umbilical cord had hidden in dirty laundry and found it's way into the washer where it was completely rehydrated and discovered by my dear son. At least it was better than my first unreasonable guess.

And then there's what happened yesterday in the laundry room. You see, our dryer has been on the fritz a bit. We've been having to put the clothes through more than one cycle for them to dry completely. In the afternoon I called my friendly appliance repair aunt who lives across the country and asked her if it was worth getting it fixed (since the dryer is almost 13 years old). She said it was simply a venting problem, and I should clean it out.

I found a wooden chopstick and started with the outside part of the vent. The dryer was running, and as I poked around, bits of lint flew out at me and landed in the shrub nearby. That's not all. Two Legos, two hair thingies, and an unidentified piece of plastic also fell to the ground. And a big clump of stuck-together lint. But not really anything that I felt was enough to keep the clothes from drying.

Phase two of fixing the venting problem involved me, my husband, and aforementioned brave and willing son. I looked on while strong husband pulled the dryer forward as far as possible without it hitting the toilet. Then nimble son (who could fit into the small space) climbed over the washer and dryer and began cleaning lint and such from the floor with the vacuum hose. Then he held up the dryer vent pipe, and we could all clearly see "stuff" inside. We worked together to insert the vacuum hose and start sucking. We heard all sorts of sounds like Legos being hosed up. Then I had to leave it up to my men to finish because the baby needed me.

Take a deep breath because the worst is just ahead.

I heard the fellows continue working. Then I heard, "Just stick your hand in and pull it out."

Can you guess what was pulled out by my young son?

Why, yes, it was a mummified mouse! You're so smart.

I was right, wasn't I?  Pretty gross.

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