When it’s muddy outside, Ollie likes to get right in. I don’t really mind it; I think it’s good for him, and even if I’m cringing a little bit on the inside, I try to hold my tongue. In any case, he comes home from school with a lot of very dirty outerwear.
The other day I was tossing his snow pants and coat in the washer, and I noticed his nice, knitted mittens were a little worse for the wear. I shrugged and tossed them in with everything else.
“Are you putting my mittens in the washer?” Ollie said doubtfully. “Yeah, I thought I’d wash them. They’re a little dirty.”
Evie was upstairs and heard our conversation through the dryer vent. “Daddy!” she screamed. “Daddy, don’t put them in the washer!” “It’s okay,” I replied, “I’m not going to put them in the dryer, just the washer.” “Noooo! No daddy!” she shouted, starting to sob. “You can’t put them in the washer!” Ollie was tugging on my arm, and he started screaming too. “Evie, they’re already in there! They’re already in the washer!!”
The two of them were screaming like I was putting a kitten in the washer; this was definitely a code red. The only thing we were missing was a revolving red light and blaring klaxons.
Of course I quickly took the mittens out, if only to restore order to the house. Afterwards, Ollie showed me how to wash them in the sink and then put them in a towel and stomp on them to dry them.
I have to admit that I was a little ashamed that, as a knitter, the kids knew more about this than I did. I mean, I knew better than to put them in the dryer, and I guess I knew somewhere in the back of my head that the agitation could felt them as well, but I just didn’t think it was a big deal. Hoo boy did the kids think it was a big deal. So I guess I didn’t know what I was talking about and I had to be schooled by children.
Sara, on the other hand, has never been prouder.