My son spits up. He spits up a lot. Sometimes it's cute because he smiles while it runs down his chin. Sometimes it's not so cute when we're running late and he soaks us both. My original plan was to use receiving blankets to wipe up dribbles and use an occasional cloth diaper to clean the bigger spit ups. The reality is that I now own 31 burp rags and never leave the house without 2 tucked in the diaper bag, one in the car seat, and usually one across my shoulder. We have them everywhere!!! Therefore, it's rather frustrating that one package of burp rags isn't as thick and absorbent as the others. I dread when those are at the top of the pile and I end up with one of those across my shoulder. I just know it's one good spit up away from soaking through to my shirt. So when someone mentioned to me this morning that I could make them more absorbent by boiling them for 10 minutes I was thrilled. I immediately put it on my to do list! Therefore, when I was folding laundry this afternoon and discovered that all 10 of the bag rags were clean at once I quickly pulled out my largest pot. The story of my adventure follows:
So there we were, enjoying a quiet Friday afternoon. Caleb was peacefully napping and I was ready to get these burp rags in the pot! At first I attempted to stuff all 10 in one pot, but I quickly discovered they wouldn't fit. I figured 5 rags at a time wasn't too bad so I shoved them in there and filled the pot with water. I turned the stove on high, poked the burp rags with some tongs a few times, and walked away. Then, my ADD exhausted new mommy brain took over and I took total leave of my senses. I began putting things away around the house. I picked up the stuff that mysteriously accumulates on the coffee table, I examined my hair do in the mirror, I told myself if I was a good stay at home mom I'd hang up those clean clothes thrown in the chair, I sat down and began reading blogs of people I don't even know. And then I heard it. That unmistakable sound of water boiling over and hitting a very hot stove top. I'm not sure how the lap top got to the floor - I may have thrown it, I may have dropped it, or I may have set it down gently - I just know that I high tailed it to the kitchen to assess the damage. The water was boiling over so violently that I wasn't quite sure how to grab the pot and pull it away. I reached around and turned off the burner and then managed to grab the pot and slide it to a cooler part of the stove. And then I just stood there, staring at my steaming pot of burp rags and water boiling away on a hot burner. (Praise the Lord for a glass-top stove!) Suddenly I realized I had no plan for what to do with the burp rags now that I'd boiled them and I had no idea how long they'd been boiling. Should I let everything cool and then try again with the next batch? Should I keep boiling this batch? Should I try to remove these burp rags and try to use the already hot water for the other batch? When I did remove the burp rags where in the world was I going to put them? So I stood there, literally scratching my head, and wondering what I'd gotten myself into...
I finally decided that my best bet was to pull the burp rags out with some tongs and put them in a bowl. However, when I got to the cabinet I realized my biggest plastic bowl was in the fridge full of yummy leftovers. So I had no choice but to use my large stainless steel mixing bowl. As I stood there holding steaming hot boiled burp rags I realized a metal bowl was not my best option. But what was I going to do? I couldn't really wander around the kitchen with a drippy cloth diaper clutched in my tongs... So I loaded up the metal bowl and careful drained out the excess water. I left it to cool on the counter and added the other 5 burp rags to the pot. I was determined not to make the same mistake this time, so I didn't add any water and I never left the stove. As I sat there poking at my pot of fabric I wondered how many homemakers had done this before. How many women had boiled their clothes in an effort to clean them? Suddenly it dawned on me. I am no pioneer woman. I'm so firmly attached to my 21st century luxuries I would make a horrible pioneer! I smelled something burning and furiously began stirring the burp rags around in an attempt to stop the fabric from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot, much like cheese or noodles tend to do. Then it hit me - the fabric wasn't burning. It was the water and minerals on the bottom of the pot that were cooking off as the burner heated up. I rolled my eyes and thanked the Lord for putting me in this century and not the 1800s.
I carefully watched the clock to know when the burp rags would be finished, but completely forgot to remember what time they started boiling. I just knew what time it currently was. As I stood there attempting to stir fabric, I left my wrist over the pot a little too long. I now have several small red spots where the bling on my bracelet heated up and burned my skin. (I'm telling you - ADD exhausted new mommy brain is the worst!) When I got tired of poking at the burp rags I decided that enough was enough and took them off the burner. Then I was met with another debate - what bowl did I use now? The first batch was still steaming so I knew I couldn't touch them quite yet. Then suddenly I remembered! We had several large plastic bowls we keep for serving chips at all the many wild parties we throw. I could use one of those!
So now I have 2 bowls of steaming burp rags sitting on my counter. One bowl is way too hot to touch and the other is pretty and purple with little polka dots around the top. I'm not sure what to do from here. I attempted to pick up a burp rag, only to discover that the top had cooled nicely but the bottom retained its heat like you wouldn't believe! So I turned the burp rags over like the strangest tossed salad anyone has ever seen, and left them to cool. I don't know if they're more absorbent or not. I know they're hot! I know that pretty purple bowls work better for hot things than stainless steel. I know that I am not a pioneer woman. And that's how I narrowly escaped death...
Twelve Days of Boots: Day 7 by The Pioneer Woman
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