This is a war that has been waging from the moment the boys started school. In the beginning I had the upper hand. Admittedly that was down to the fact that I cheated slightly. I mean honestly, what mother in her right mind is going to stick with white polo shirts (White. On small boys. Seriously?), if after a little minor rule bending she can go with sky blue? (It looked better with the navy uniform too if you ask me.)
My complacency was short lived. Lines were redrawn the moment we moved from polo shirts to shirts and ties ( well that and the fact I can only flout rules for so long before guilt plays havoc with my conscience)
Since then it has been a constant battle between my desire to keep shirts white, and the shirts desire to revert to what I can only assume is their natural state - a shade most definitely not white.
Sifting through the washing pile I'm reminded of an advert in the 1980's when Dulux were launching a new range of paints 'White with a hint of...'(here it is just in case you have no idea what I'm talking about)
Only this particular palette consists of white with a hint of Biro, white with a hint of grass, white with a hint of yogurt, white with a hint of - actually, I'd rather not know what that's a hint of.
So how do I beat the grime? Having opted for easy iron poly-cotton and as I'm trying to do my bit for the environment the good old fashioned boil wash is out of the question. Fortunately I have reservists on hand.
I think I have tried every stain remover ever marketed, even some made from recipes found in books of household hints and tips , in a bid to be victorious Yes, there have been a few casualties on the way. A handful of collars may have succumbed to an over zealous scrubbing (who knew necks could be so grubby?) and a number of small holes may have appeared when I left the paste on for too long (that recipe was never used again!) but most have come out of the skirmishes if not pristine at least intact. I would say at the moment the score is even.
So it is with a heavy heart I once more join the fray, armed with Ariel, a vanish bar and a packet of good old Dr Beckmann's Glo' White. Who, I wonder, will win this year?
'Once more into the bleach, dear friend once more
or dose the wash up with the vanish fluid '