Raw Denim and Toddlers: Papa Smurf Bled Out In My Tub

by | March 5, 2020 | Life


Raw denim and toddlers don’t exist harmoniously. Blow outs. Sticky fingers. Snotty noses. Chocolate or Poop? Mud pies. peanut butter, hummus, honey. No, nononono, NO….who gave you fucking markers? Oh, and cutting teeth, buckets upon buckets of thick viscous drool. If you have a toddler, you know this life. It’s a constant state of wardrobe changes, wall washing and cursing. Three years ago my house smelled of nothing, I never tripped over random toys and my clothes were washed “as needed” not “needs washed daily.” God bless ’em, they are cute and they inexplicably love me, so I can’t complain too much.


The selvedge denim life is incredibly contradictory. Stick with me. Here I am, wearing garments designed for miners, railmen and laborers, and the smallest bit of grime hits my leg and I’m in instant panic mode. They’re ruined forever! Fuck. OK. Overdramatic for sure, but there is a small part of me that gets a little sad. “I’ll have to spot treat that,” or “should I soak or wash these, it’s beyond a wet wipe.” So where’s the line? I found it recently and it gave me perspective.

As previously mentioned, I am a father of toddlers. Scratch that, I’m a father to two adorable, loving, peanut butter and honey eating, four simultaneous molar cutting, drool leaking, sticky-handed Irish twins. Go in my closest and you won’t find a single pair of jeans without some calf high random stain from gooey fingers or snotty noses; the same could almost be said for each of my jackets in the shoulder region. All I can say is, thank the denim gods for baby wipes, of which are in no short supply in our home. They make spot treating convenient; just try not to weep when you see the indigo that goes with the yogurt smudge.

That said, no amount of baby wipes could have saved me or my Brave Star 21oz slim straights from what happened next. There we were, me, my darling daughter and my barely three month old jeans, only 25 wears in. My daughter routinely uses me for a jungle gym and I routinely squeal and giggle as she monkeys around my frame. I could kind of smell what had happened but was unaware of the damage done until after we were through playing and the poo smell lingered. If you’re currently a parent of a toddler, or have been, you know what comes next; the often discussed and (hopefully) rarely experienced “Poo-Mageddon.” Poor thing was soiled up the back, out the legs and apparently down my thigh. Disaster. Tragedy. Poo-Mageddon.

No choice left but to strip, run the bath and weep deeply. A quick Google search yielded dozens of pages, blogs and how-to-not-Fuck-this-up raw/selvedge washing guides. An alarming number number of these guides were contradictory, so I settled on the method from the Brave Star website and trusted their guidance on their own product care. The aftermath in my tub was disheartening. Papa Smurf bled out in my bath tub; full blown bled out, too. Well that’s how it looked to me, OK? All those precious, precious indigo molecules drowning in an inky sea of despair, only to be washed down the drain. Definitely over dramatic. I have a thing for flowery language, sue me.

So I guess I say all of that to say this, prepare how you can, accept when it comes to the worst and know that it doesn’t really fucking matter. My 21oz-ers look sick, they were fast fading to start and they’ve just been given a little push. My daughter’s blow-out is part of their journey and ours. Plus, I gained twenty-five cents worth or perspective. Ruggedware is just that; RUGGED. If it can withstand coal mines, engine grease, trail dust and cow shit…it can handle Poo-Mageddon and a hand-washing in the tub.

Just remember: When it comes to raw denim and toddlers, all bets are off.

Raw Denim and Toddlers: Papa Smurf Bled Out In My Tub 1

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About the Author

Grant Schildhouse

Grant Schildhouse

Grant, our Editor in Chief, is a denim enthusiast and writer; The Arcuate is his attempt to combine these loves in one place. He wants to tell some of the stories behind those who make and wear denim with a passion. His journey into the world of denim continues, and he hopes you'll co-journey with him, allowing him to be your fireside storyteller.