I thought I was seeing things.
Something was definitely wrong with the rubber duckie that was -- gasp! -- cruising around my precious offspring as they splashed about in the warm, bubble-filled bath that I had just drawn for them.
I plucked it out of the tub so as to take a closer look.
Could it be?
The inside of the rubber duckie was literally COVERED in mold.
I swear, just typing this makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
And the problem was rather complex: This wasn't just any rubber duckie. This particular rubber duckie wore a helmet and sports jersey and had a football nestled under his right wing.
In other words, it was the best rubber duckie in the batch; the favorite.
So I couldn't just throw him away. (Spoiler alert: I did.)
But, initially, I didn't know how I could save him, so I Googled moldy rubber duckies. (File that under "Things you never thought you'd search back when you were young, single, and childless.")
What came up were all the precautionary steps one should take so that rubber duckies don't become moldy in the first place, such as clean bath toys weekly in one part hot water, one part distilled vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. (Apparently, vinegar dissolves soap scum and dish soap removes dirt.) Soak the toys for 10 minutes, and then rinse them in warm water and let dry completely.
Yeah, like I'd remember to do that every seven days.
Plus, now that it's summer, and my kids spend the time that they aren't bathing inside a kiddie pool, well, let's just say our collection of rubber duckies has grown into a full-blown army.
No, I'm not even going to lie and say that I'm going to take the time to soak and clean those rubber suckers every week.
The next "solution" I discovered involved squeezing the already-moldy rubber duckie to suck up distilled vinegar and leave the vinegar inside over night, and then repeat.
Well, obviously, the person who wrote that hadn't seen our rubber duckies, which carried more mold than a bag of month-old bread.
And then I found the best remedy of all: Take a glue gun to the hole of your brand-new rubber duckie and plug that thing right up so that water never enters in the first place.
Now, of course, all I have to do is troll Amazon.com for another football-themed rubber duckie...