Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bleach and chemistry

I realize that I was an English major, not a chemistry major but my understanding of bleach is that it is supposed to leach the color (or in this case, stains) out of things. Am I mistaken in this understanding? I fail to see how the white cotton t-shirt that W. *must* wear as a part of his gym uniform could possibly go through a wash load with half a bottle of bleach (I don't like to leave things to chance) and yet still come out looking yellow and gross. Now I do realize that as a 6th grade boy, he has developed sweat glands that could possibly qualify him as a toxic waste dump, environmental hazard, or even a WMD if he swings those underarms around ill-advisedly. But (and it's a big one), the entire shirt is yellowed, not just under the arms. Okay, so he frequently (read always) forgets to put his gym uniform in the wash after wearing it so it goes days before I remember to insist it needs complete disinfection. But shouldn't a half bottle of bleach take at least some of the yellow away, even as it eats holes through the fibers? Apparently not.

And now thinking of it, I wonder where the back-up uniform I paid for is? W. claims he's never received it. Guess I have to track that down, right after I find the winter coat W. has also lost already.

Oh, and speaking of chemistry, R. was in her bathroom mixing up potions again, despite being grounded for the results last time. This time she was mixing water, Elmer's and body lotion with glitter. Again, the excuse for this was that she was bored. Given the smell of this latest potion and the fact that she was putting it all into the water squirt bottle for her hair, I am leaning towards thinking she was creating a shellac-type hair product and she's actually used it in her hair for dance. How else is she keeping those frizzy curls up in a slick bun without my help? A for ingenuity. F for creating yet another mess mom has to figure out how to chip off the bathroom sink. Maybe I should sic her on the bleach problem. She's either going to be a chemist when she grows up or she's going to be the unibomber. Growing up in our family, I know which one I think she's more likely to be but I'll let you all figure it out when they show the sketch of her on the news.

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