January 31, 2007

Halfway Through the Bag Already

One day short of 2 weeks with no car, and I have the car back. To celebrate, we went to the mall, because what says "Oh my god, that stupid truck cost us $900" better than going out to spend more money? This is an outing I don't usually attempt since William has to be back for kindergarten after lunch and the mall is 35 minutes away. But I had such a high cabin fever, this seemed like exactly the sort of emergency mega-outing that could bring that temperature down.

This plan makes the morning a little challenging, but I managed it: two children showered, four children dressed, four children breakfasted, one child to the bus stop, diaper bag packed, three children jacketed and in the car and on our way by 8:25. We were in sight of the driveway of the mall when I heard an urpy sound from the back seat. Elizabeth had thrown up all over her coat, her hat that fastens under her chin, and her car seat.

For a brief moment I thought maybe we could still go ahead with the outing. We were so close. I have a roll of paper towels in the minivan; I could clean her up and we could just go on. Then the smell hit me and brought me back to reality like the world's most vile smelling salts. I did clean her up somewhat, but of course we had to turn around and go right back home. With the windows open.

So! Instead of spending the morning shopping for clearance stuff and having lunch out, I spent 1 hour and 10 minutes driving, with a 10-minute break in the middle to wipe up barf with paper towels. Then I spent half an hour washing barf off a car seat and spritzing Febreze everywhere, and although I'm grateful I noticed the barf had seeped way down into the inner workings of the car seat, I...have no end for this sentence. Then I spent half an hour bathing Elizabeth, letting her splash, bathing her again--remembering the last time she threw up, when the smell lingered in her many-times-shampooed hair for days. (Until I finally put Febreze on it. What?) Then I put Elizabeth's coat and hat and clothing and also my coat into a washing machine of soap and hot water to soak for awhile, and berated myself for not buying the Febreze-laced fabric softener I saw a few weeks ago at the store. Oh, fine, so it was expensive, but just think how glad I'd be to have it right at this moment, with a washer-load of barf-scented clothing and the memory of previous times when the clothes had to be washed again and again and again before the smell was gone--and in fact one sleeper still emits its subtle cologne if it gets damp. (Barf-scent removal suggestions? Please comment.)

I will say this: it was a very, very good thing that I had the foresight to hide a bag of miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the closet.


desperate housewife said...

Item One: The Febreeze scented fabric softener is fabulous indeed, but I had to stop getting it because it was irritating everyone's skin! So that sucked.
Item Two: Sorry about your failed attempt to bring down your fever. That sounds like a real bummer of a day, seriously. Barf in the carseat... Yech. Oh, and eat an extra Reese's cup for me, cause I'll be stuck here in the house too!

Trena said...

Okay, I had to think about this for a day or so, but something finally came up from the murky depths. Have you tried adding some baking soda in with the load of pukey smelling clothes? Puke (gah-even typing that gets the old gag reflex going) is acidic and baking soda is the opposite, so it should neutralize it. I have a friend who cloth diapers and soaks her diapers in a baking soda/water bath before they get washed and it kills the smell as well. Good luck--we've been lucky the past 6 1/2 months--not too many incidents that have left smelly reminders.

Swistle said...

Trena--I tried the baking soda and it worked better than anything I've tried before. I had the barfy clothes soaking in the washing machine and then was doing some baking and noticed that the baking soda box said it "absorbed odors" and "enhanced detergent performance," so I dumped a cupful into the washer and let it soak--and there was no lingering smell. I heartily endorse baking soda!