Both kids are sick, Bubba more so than Bella. Bella is just kind of a coasting, functioning sick - not sick enough to stay home from school, not sick enough to keep her from her normal mayhem, just sick enough to wipe her nose all over the sleeve of her shirts. This sleeve snot, when mixed with dirt, forms an impenetrable stain. They should cover airplanes with this sleeve snot, because it could probably keep passengers safe in the event of a crash. Straight bleach does not work, and you can Shout all you want to, it ain't coming out. Oxy Clean (made into a paste that will destroy your fingerprints) combined with some serious elbow grease will get it out but takes a while.
I would love to talk to the genius who decided that the school uniform shirts should be white. I guess maybe that is so they won't be hot outside in the warmer months, but come on. In Pre-K, we had one PE shirt (because these white t-shirts with the school logo cost $22), so I spent a lot of time on stain removal. Last year, through the magic of hand-me-downs from a friend, we had three PE shirts. Three! It was blissful. No panicky, middle of the night loads of laundry because I forgot to wash the shirt since the last PE day. No staying up until 3AM and running the shirt through three wash cycles because stains wouldn't come out. Backup is a beautiful thing. This year we are back to one, that I got from the uniform exchange. It was in great shape when I got it, too. I showed it to her, explained that this was the only PE shirt she had, and we needed to try and take care of it. And with that simple statement, friends and neighbors, I doomed that poor shirt (and myself).
There must be something about the shirt that gives Bella an inner ear problem, because once she has it on, she becomes the clumsiest child on the face of the planet. She has fallen almost every PE day, she has spilled an entire container of chocolate milk on it twice - TWICE! - and, with her seemingly constant runny nose lately, it has been covered in muddy sleeve snot. It's almost become a game - "And now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to play, "GUESS WHAT THAT STAIN IS!". And don't forget the bonus round, "WILL THAT STAIN COME OUT??!!". PE days are Mondays and Fridays. Mondays don't seem to be as hard on the shirt. There will be dirt, of course, and marker, and the other things first graders pick up over the course of a day. But Fridays? There is apparently something about Fridays that makes these children go insane, because on Fridays, without fail, she is filthy. She goes to after school care for a while on Fridays, and there has not been a Friday yet where I haven't gasped at the sight of how dirty her shirt is. I thought it was just her, but one Friday some of her classmates ran over to check out Bubba and I saw that they, too, were covered in stains. I don't know what the answer is - do they make Scotch guard for children? They should.
Yesterday, when I picked Bella up from school, her shirt was almost immaculate (except, of course, for the ever-present sleeve snot). I was astonished, and complimented her on how very spotless the shirt was. We got in the car, I handed her the Bug juice I had brought for her, and.....well, you can imagine how it ended, I'm certain. Red bug juice, I might add. It couldn't be a nice, thoughtfully clear juice drink, nooooo, I had to get the red bug juice. Sigh. Oh well. So, just in case you were wondering, I will be spending my Saturday night elbow deep in a ski-irritating Oxy Clean paste, scrubbing at her PE shirt with an old toothbrush and maybe watching a movie - a Harry Potter movie, yeah. I'm astonished that I don't have my own reality show, honestly - viewers would be riveted by the excitement in my daily life. "Oh, look she's.....Oh, my gosh, I don't believe it, I think she....yes, yes....oh, my gosh, she got the stain out!". America would leap to its' feet and cheer. No autographs, please.