April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

A board game and a washing machine meet late one night

Earlier today, I posted this on my personal Facebook: “If a board game happens to accidentally end up in the washing machine and no one notices and you wash a load of laundry and the plastic pieces survive, but the box and all other cardboard materials disintegrate and you put the load of laundry in the dryer, you may end up with the most ginormous, cotton ball-like blob of lint the world has ever seen in the lint trap. I mean, maybe. Possibly, this could be the result. Just in case anyone was ever wondering what would happen.”

One of my friends asked how something like this happens. I started to type a reply in the comments, and I noticed it was becoming pretty lengthy. I am an over-analyzing writer. I like to explain everything. In great detail. So then I thought, I’ll just write a blog about it. And here we are.

A few days ago, I spilled almost an entire cup of coffee on the dining room table, which is our “drop zone” – the place in our house where all the random stuff lands. This includes, but is not limited to, school papers, keys, mail, books, electronic devices and, of course, board games.

During the scrambling after the spilled coffee, I handed Elliot the Trouble game, which was damp but not dripping, and said, “Put this in the laundry room.” Good place for something damp to go, right? The washing machine lid was open, but he set the game on top, albeit on the edge, and it balanced there for I-have-no-idea-how-long. Maybe a couple hours? A day? Two days? Clearly, I do laundry all the time.

Side note: A top-loading washing machine is actually a really good place to hide things from children. (Our laundry room is on the main floor, directly off the kitchen, so it’s particularly convenient.) The kids are throwing a ball in the house when they know that’s not allowed? Put it in the washing machine! They won’t leave their cousin’s birthday gift alone until it’s time to leave for the party? Set it in the washing machine. Daddy’s been at work for 12 hours on a Saturday and I’m trying to make breakfast for dinner AGAIN and they start playing with the world’s most obnoxious, talking, beeping toy? Throw that thing that was definitely purchased by one of their grandparents in the washing machine! Sorry, kids, play time’s over. The batteries died. Whatever I can come up with at that desperate moment. Neither of them can reach into the washing machine, so they might stand there and whine about it. But this is why laundry rooms have doors. I’ll let you out when the pancakes are ready.

Anyway, back to the game. It must’ve fallen into the washing machine at some point. I had forgotten the game was anywhere near the washing machine, so Wednesday night, I unknowingly dumped my load of laundry on top of it and started the water. I kept hearing an unfamiliar sound as the load was going. Honestly, my only thought about the noise was, That washing machine is not even a year old. It better not be dying on me!

But I was also panic cleaning at the time because someone who does not live in my house was going to be coming over the next day. And in panic cleaning mode, there is no time to worry about funny washing machine sounds.

So, a little while later, the washing machine made its familiar clicking noise, letting me know that the cycle was finished. As I was transferring the wet clothes into the dryer, I noticed something plastic in the washing machine. “What in the world?” I said aloud. I removed the plastic Trouble game board – you know, the one with the pegs all around and the popper in the middle? The coffee-spilling incident was starting to come back to my momnesia-affected brain. Then I found a Ziploc baggie with the mover pieces. “Where is the box?” I wondered.

As I continued schlepping the load from the washer into the the dryer, I kept looking for the box. No sign of it. Then I bent down and started tousling the stuff in the dryer, thinking I must’ve missed it. Still no. Hmmmm. Well, whatever. Panic cleaning is the priority right now, I thought.

I started the dryer and went back to dusting and sweeping. I retired to bed later with the scents of bleach and Pledge wafting through the air, but I left the laundry in the dryer.

Yesterday after I got home from work, my husband asked, “What happened in the dryer?”

Brows furrowed, I gave him the icy stare. Did I forget to hit the start button? Why does he suddenly care about the dryer?

My eyebrows, which are in desperate need of waxing, by the way, lifted, and my eyes widened. Since I am a runner now, I sprinted into the laundry room. My energetic leap signaled to Elliot that something exciting was going on, so he followed and asked, “What happened?”

I had no idea what I was going to find. I opened the dryer door, and huge gobs of what looked like cotton started falling out. The lint trap, which is at the bottom of the dryer door opening, was crammed full of this white, puffy stuff. I was laughing hysterically. I’m not sure why this is so funny to me. I should add cardboard-converting cotton-maker to my list of skills.

Elliot still does not know that his Trouble game got drenched and ruined. I may’ve told him only part of the truth, just that a box went through the washer and the dryer. I wish I would’ve taken a picture of all the white stuff, though. It was pretty impressive.

Now we also have tiny pieces of white paper throughout all of our white clothes to remind us of one very important lesson: Always check inside the washing machine before starting a load of laundry.

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