When it comes to laundry, I don’t let perfection become the enemy of the good, I just get it done. This means that I wash almost everything in cold water and I don’t separate or pretreat. I buy my boys plenty of cheap polo shirts, often at consignment, and gym shorts, and they look decent all summer with easy wash and wear clothes. I have them change out of nicer church clothes right after mass to avoid grass stains on their nicer pants.
Except for my Fashionisto. This boy chooses his outfit carefully each day, and he likes to look great. He often wears a blue blazer to the playground. Thankfully we have enough hand-me-downs that he can have one for good and one for play. For our several days at my mother’s house in Sag Harbor, he wanted to wear his seersucker pants. Those would be his super cute church pants, the ones that blew the budget back when I was on boy #1 and have been carefully handed down since then, for Sundays and parties in the summer. I wasn’t going to tell this boy he couldn’t play in the sandbox or eat a hot dog on the fourth of July once he was all prepped out in his seersucker and white polo with a popped collar, but by Saturday night the pants were ruined. They were stained with ketchup, dirt, and something hot pink (frosting?).
I was going to toss them in the washer and figure they were now just play clothes, but over my mother’s laundry machine was a row of baskets, all labeled, one of which held various bottles of stain fighters. [One day I do hope to be an actual grown up, like my mother, with labeled baskets on shelves, a special place for "sunscreen" "lightbulbs" and "laundry supplies" - someday]. Anyway, I sprayed all of the stains with something called Resolve. The directions said to leave it for 5 minutes and then rub it in, then wash. I followed the directions exactly (trying to be a grown up), but left it to soak overnight in the washer with detergent, because I couldn’t run the cycle (the washer is next to my brother and sister in law’s bedroom, and grown ups are considerate). I ran the washer in the morning, then checked the pants for stains before putting them in the dryer (grown up!). They are spotless. Seriously, they look brand new.
So, I will be buying some Resolve. I didn’t swipe it from my mom, because grown ups don’t do that (don’t think I didn’t consider it). I may or may not buy a basket to put it in, and label that basket “laundry supplies.” If my 5 year old is going to dress like a grown up, I think I am going to have to start to do laundry like a grown up.