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    Nursing a gym-bag

    “Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.”

    Diane Ackerman

    A load of laundry was left, forgotten, in the washing machine.  I can’t even tell you exactly how long it stewed in the moist basin, but it was certainly left overnight.  When I discovered it, a faint odor of sweaty socks rose to my nostrils.  It was at that moment that I asked myself the critical question; do I run the wash again or do I throw everything into the dryer with a fabric softener and hope for the best?  I opted for the latter.  I had a load of whites ready to roll and I wasn’t about to waste water on a second run of the slightly-smelly clothes.  Into the dryer they flew.

    Believe it or not, when it came time to fold the laundry, I’d forgotten the potential stink-factor of the first load.  I was watching a t.v. show in the evening and folding clothes at the same time.  The kids were in bed, my husband was outside working in his shop, and as the subtle smell of hockey-gloves wafted up into my nostrils, I was faced with yet another choice.  Do I run these DRY clothes through the wash again because they have a faint odor, or do I fold them, put them away and hope for the best?  I considered the content; mostly pajamas and underwear.  No problemo.  Surely the smell would disappear in a day or two.

    Cut to the following night, bath-time.  My husband and I were each drying a daughter, and both girls smelled their usual,  beautiful, fresh, clean scent.  I opened a drawer to pull out pajamas for Fig and passed them to my husband.  He immediately drew the p.j.’s  to his nose and took a long, deep whiff.  “Wow.  What’s that smell?”

    I was busted.  I explained the whole scenario to Big Daddy-O…poor decisions number one and two resulting in stinky pajamas and assorted undergarments.  (I warned him to check his undies before he put them on in the morning.)  He just shrugged and said, “Oh well.”  I appreciated his lack of judgement.

    Ten minutes later I found myself upstairs in the dark, nursing a gym-bag.  Fig felt the same, but she definitely didn’t smell the same.  I couldn’t wait to leave the room.  The thought that kept going through my mind was, “I hope that Fig isn’t so repulsed by her own scent that she can’t get to sleep.”

    Lesson learned.  When in doubt; re-wash.

    4 comments to Nursing a gym-bag

    • Thanks for making me laugh karen! I’ve done this before… many times. And you’re right, it’s not something we can get away with.

    • Karen

      Oh yay…another mother with a gym-bag daughter. Thank you Bethany!!! At least our smelly kids can play with each other if they become ostracized from their peers.

    • I did the EXACT same thing last week. But we don’t use dryer sheets or scented laundry soap, so I didn’t even have that to cover up! Every time I put on a pajama top from that load I cringed. Next time, I will re-wash.

    • Karen

      Ha ha! Oh it does my heart good to know that I’m not alone.

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