One summer evening, I was leaning over the counter, resting on my elbows, and standing barefoot on the vinyl floor. My brother Kevin was visiting from whichever state was his current residence at the time, I'm unsure of that detail, and we were catching up.
The dishwasher was humming in the background, and we were casually visiting at kitchen counter. Kevin was facing the sink in the kitchen, and from my vantage point, I could see into the family room.
Kevin sat up on his bar stool, straining to get a better look at something behind me. "Denise, should your dishwasher be doing that?"
"Doing what?" I asked, as I turned around to see a growing mountain of bubbles creeping across the kitchen floor. "Oh, my heck!" I darted across the kitchen, and flipped the door open on my frothing appliance. Soap suds spilled out onto the vinyl. The entire interior was filled with loads and loads of bubbly foam.
It didn't take long to figure out what had happened. "Si-er-ra!" I yelled, as I opened the towel drawer, and began dropping towels on the growing mass of suds. I ran to the bathroom. We were going to need BIG towels to soak up this mess!
Sierra came down from her room. Her eyes grew wide as she surveyed the scene. As I applied the towels to soak up all of the liquid and soap, I began my line of questioning.
"Sierra, when you filled the Jet-Dry dispenser today, what did you fill it with?"
"That blue stuff under the sink." Yes, obviously.
"Was it the Dawn dish detergent, or the Jet-Dry?" I asked, hoping to make a point to my wide-eyed daughter, who was trying not to laugh. Laughing would've been a bad idea at that moment, and she knew it.
"I don't know; they're both blue," she said. I smiled. A wry smile, but I smiled.
"Yes, they're both blue, but they are very different. One rinses the dishes, and one makes a great, big, huge MESS, as you can see."
She went to get more towels.
Kevin stifled his laughter. It was kind of funny, but it was way more messy than funny. I'm not sure how much Dawn dish detergent was released into that particular load of dishes, but I know it was sufficient to cover a very large section of flooring. And I knew one thing more. My Jet-Dry dispenser was full of a goodly supply of Dawn dish detergent. My night was about to get really fun. Once we sopped up all of the wet, soapy bubbles, we had to mop the floor. More than once. Several times. My floor had never been so clean. Once that task was complete, we still had one very big problem.We had to figure out how to empty the rinse-aid compartment with the small opening to prevent this from ever happening again.
Sierra was dismissed. She felt terrible, even though Uncle Kevin reassured her it could happen to anyone. I didn't trust myself to sound very compassionate, so I just kept quiet, and kept working on lessening the effects of the fiasco in the kitchen.
First, I attempted to suck the Dawn out with the little button that allows the level of rinse-aid to be tested. You know, you push on the clear plastic button, and if it sucks up blue liquid into the button, you know you still have plenty of blue stuff in the dispenser. The button indicated we had PLENTY of blue stuff in there. And that process would have taken forever to remove the liquid. We tried a turkey baster. It was too big, and not very effective.
Then it occurred to me that I still had medicine syringes I had used when Bridger was a baby. I could remove the detergent with that, and squirt it into a small container. I settled myself on the floor, legs outstretched under the door of the dishwasher, and proceeded to pull the blue liquid into the syringe, milliliter by milliliter. Thankfully, Kevin kept me company until I completed the task. It was a time-consuming process, but minutes passed in pleasant conversation made it much more bearable.
Every time I grab the Jet-Dry from underneath the sink, I think of that now-funny night. I hope Sierra knows I have always been grateful for her help; it's just that on that particular summer evening, I was tired, and not excited about mopping floors, and fixing dishwashers. I'm pretty sure she'll never confuse those two products again, even though it's true: they're both blue!
Mama Llama loves you, Schmierra Pierre!