Cleaning baby bottles is not always a simple task. It begins with the dishwasher. No, I do not wash the bottles in the dishwasher as this would result in compromised bottles tumbling wildly throughout the wash and rinse cycles to perhaps meet their untimely ends hugging the heating element at the bottom of the unit as they quickly deform into a smoldering glob plastic stink.
The dishwasher is the first step because it must be emptied of clean dishes in order to load it with the dirty dishes that occupy the rinse-half of the sink. The rinse-half of the sink can then be scrubbed and receive the dishes from the wash-side of the sink (dishes such as bottles that are not or should not be dishwasher safe). The wash-side of the sink can then be scrubbed and filled with hot soapy water and receive the dirty dishes from the rinse-half of the sink which can again be scrubbed in preparation for the clean but soapy dishes which will soon be placed there.
Okay, maybe I am just a little bit OCD. But when it comes to something I am about to put in my baby’s mouth I can’t stand the idea of it having any trace of rotting sink goo still attached.
Well last night it was already quite late. The kids were finally all in bed (the two-year-old had attempted an all-nighter resulting in a parent-toddler standoff that ended in a rather lose-lose fashion when he went to bed earlier that he wanted and much later than I had wished). The dishes were dirty. The table hadn’t even been cleaned off after dinner. Left unattended, the bottles would add up in the night and I would likely end up doing dishes to the tune of hungry screaming babies when the clean bottles ran out around 3 am (this I have learned from sad experience).
I was tired. Nikki was sleeping. (Quasi-related side note: If you want to live a long and happy life, you must never wake the sleeping mother of small children without a very good reason. And no, “Help me! I cut myself and am bleeding to death,” doesn’t make the grade. It has to be a VERY good reason.) Alone and unsupervised I cleared off the table and began to load the dishwasher… WARNING: This is where my tale turns dark and sinister – those of faint heart should consider stopping now. Proceed at your own risk. Did I mention it was late and I was tired?
I scraped but did not rinse all the dishes before loading them. Everything dishwasher safe went in – even those items we never load because they take up so much room and it would just be easier to wash them by hand. Remember I said I was alone and unsupervised. The guilt weighed heavily on me, but I could already feel the desensitizing process working its evil magic on my soul. Since there was no hope for salvation now, I figured I might as well finish the job. I put dishwashing detergent in the appropriate receptacle, closed the retaining door, closed the dishwasher’s main door, selected normal wash and heated dry and pressed the START button, all while being fully aware that the dishwasher contained less than full load. Yes, you heard me right. The dishwasher was not full… and I ran it anyway.
A little part of me died inside last night (a bit of the OCDness I reckon), and as the dishwasher hummed and swished quietly in the distance I lay my head on my pillow and slept guiltless of the transgressions committed just minutes before.