“Sweetheart, you’re just going to have to trust me. I’m getting rodent removal service out here today, and I have washed and cleaned your dance clothes already.”
“No, Mom!! I can’t wear my costume ever, ever, ever!! A mouse went pee-pee in it and you can’t wash that out, Mom.”
Mom spoke with more patience than she felt, but she could easily see where this conversation with her six-year-old dancer was headed. “Emmy, we don’t have another costume for you. Trust me, I’m the Mommy. I have washed and bleached your costume, and it’s clean enough for you to wear today. Please put it on now, or we’re going to be late.”
“I just can’t wear it, Mom!! I don’t want to go to practice if I can’t wear my costume. It’s not the same.”
“But, you CAN wear your costume, honey. It’s clean now.”
“But, what if another mouse already peed in it after you washed it?”
“It’s been in the dryer ever since I washed it last night, so you’re safe.”
“How can you be sure a mouse didn’t get in the dryer?”
Mom felt the patience slipping away. She had to admit to herself, she would probably have felt the same way at that age. They had found the mouse in amongst the clean clothes yesterday when it jumped out at her as she pulled items out to fold. She considered herself the kind of woman who wasn’t afraid of anything, much less mice, snakes, rats or spiders. But, when a mouse jumped right out of the clean clothes hamper and over her hand before it streaked across the floor and disappeared under a counter, she couldn’t help but let out a screech and knock over the entire hamper of clean laundry. Heart still beating, she’d used a broom handle to “stir” the clothes to make sure the laundry held no more nasty surprises, and washed and bleached the entire load immediately. Unfortunately, when she’d explained to her daughter why she was re-washing her dance clothes, her daughter apparently vowed she would never wear them again.
She was expecting the rodent removal service to arrive any moment, and since she had to take her daughter to dance practice, her oldest son was going to wait for them and show them where the mouse had disappeared. She hoped the rodent removal service would quickly get rid of the mice and effectively block up their holes, making sure mice didn’t get back in the house. Of course, if her daughter kept this up, she might not ever have to take her to dance practice again.
It was another twenty minutes before she could convince her daughter of the sanitary condition of the clothes. She had to explain how bleach works, how the washer works and the effectiveness of laundry detergent before her daughter dubiously gave in and changed into the costume. She just hoped the rodent removal service was effective enough she would never, ever have to have this conversation with her daughter again.