Life Lessons: Check Your Pockets

Some basic lessons are learned the hard way.

Always check the pockets before the laundry is thrown in the washer. It really is such a simple concept, yet I do not know why I can never remember to do this. I am hoping that finally, this last time, I learned my lesson. 

When I was a kid in California, we had little black pill-sized bugs that we called roly polys and snails as plentiful as wasps and bees in Georgia. because these bugs are so slow and do not bite, all of the kids played with them. I loved them so much, I would put them in my pocket to bring home. Most of the time I would forget to set my new friends free and I would hear my mom sigh or grumble when she found these dead and smashed bugs in the pockets of my clothing. I never did learn as a child to empty my pockets before putting clothes in the wash.

When I was in college, I lived in a condo with two other people. We shared a washer and dryer. I loved it then when my roommates didn't empty their pockets and I would find change or, better yet, a dollar bill in the washer or dryer when I went to my own laundry. That was a huge bonus. This was almost as good as cleaning out the sofa cushions after a party, we would find so much change in there that had fallen out of guests pockets when they sunk into our couch. But, just like my room mates did, I often lost my money in the washer as well to leaving it in my pockets. 

Once married, I didn't ever seem to have an issue with the pocket problem. If my husband left money in his pockets, it just went into a jar in the laundry room. Dollars went into my purse. I have always liked finding paper money in the wash, I think of it as a tip for doing laundry. I have never found anything too strange in the bottom of the washer until I had kids. I may have found some screws or a receipt or something, but nothing harmful or damaging. This was, until I had kids of my own. 

You would have thought I would have learned by now. My oldest child is 10 and my youngest is 7. I have found crayons, packs of gum, toys and even bottles of nail polish in the bottom of my washing machine. By the way, if the gum makes it to the dryer, it makes a huge mess in the dryer and on the clothes. I have absolutely no excuse for not learning my lesson. I am 37 years old. I should know to always check the pockets before I do laundry. 

This summer, my oldest came to me in a panic. He had to know immediately where his shorts were they he had draped across the back of his bedroom desk chair. I calmly told him that I took them to the laundry room. He ran in and ran out quickly asking if they were in the wash. They sure were. I have never seen my 10-year-old so upset. His Ipod Touch was in the pocket. 

I stopped the wash and pulled the soaking wet Ipod out of the waterlogged shorts. It did not turn on. I dried it off and used a hairdryer on it. Nothing was working. I put it in a bag of rice and hoped for the best. Meanwhile, my son was in tears. This toy is his most valued possession. He knew where he left it and thought it was in a safe place. He left it in his room. He explained that he had no idea that I would go in and take his laundry. He usually has to put it in the laundry room in order to get his clothes washed. This was all true and I was left standing there feeling so bad for my son. This was totally my fault.

The new Ipod was $300. If I didn't learn with all of the times prior to always check the pockets, I hope I learned this time. This was by far the most expensive load of laundry I have ever done. 


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