The Tragic Tale of the Cupcake Book

Pixie’s favourite book is one of those learning-to-count-one-to-ten board books. She likes to look at the page with seven cupcakes, and points to them while smacking her lips and making yum-yum-yum noises.

Pixie also likes to put things in the washing machine. Once I found a clove of garlic as I was taking out the freshly washed (and slightly garlic-scented) clothes to hang out to dry. Another time I found a half-eaten slice of pizza – thankfully before I put a load of washing in. I’m usually very good at checking the machine. Usually.

But then one day, tired and frazzled, I didn’t. I shoved the dirty clothes in, shut the door, and started the cycle. A few minutes later, Hubby said, “Hon, did you know the cupcake book is in the washing machine?”

There went every lesson I’ve been trying to instill on how we have to look after books, and make sure they’re put away, and must not get broken. Poppet and Pixie stared at the machine, fascinated and amused, as the book was pressed against the door, clothes swirling in the background, little bits of book breaking off from the edges. I wanted to cry. Not so much at the loss of the book, although finding a replacement might be expensive, but at the thought of having to clean the inside of the washing machine.

It’s a sad, sad fact that sleep-deprivation has made me stupid. Washing books. Dropping a plate on my foot. Melting the iron – something I’m trying very hard to forget.

I am seriously considering putting a sticker next to the washing machine’s “on” button: “Have you checked for books, toys or food?” I obviously need the reminder.

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