I have, as you can imagine, many day to day cleaning challenges in my life. Trusting that I could find anything on the internet I Googled: how do I clean a melted, congealed, dried, hardened, pool of purple Popsicle in which is stuck two Popsicle sticks, half of a Lego Bionicle, three coins, some M&Ms, and most of the leaves from the now dead houseplant that I kept meaning to water from my stamped concrete floor. After a polite suggestion from Google that I "narrow my search margins" I typed in cleaning tips.
I know now how to clear up cloudy pool water, apparently there is more to it then chasing away the two year old with the hose and the four year old with a bucket of dirt, pushing down the side of the blue plastic kiddie pool, letting the water run all over your shoes until the water level is low enough that you can dump it, then trying to wrest the hose away from the two year, who has returned to douse the back side of you with water. Then, if you can pry the hose out of his chubby little manacles before the neighbors call you in for child abuse due to the hysterical wailing coming from your slightly hypothermic, nap deprived two year old and your equally hysterical shouts that "mommy only needs it for a minuet so she can spray the dirt and melted sidewalk chalk off the bottom of the pool, then Mommas big boy can fill it up again", voila clear pool water...until the four year old reappears.
I also discovered how to clean the grips on golf clubs??? If the husband who left me to supervise an under5 year old pool party while he plays golf with his buddies to, "unwind after a stressful week" wants his club grips cleaned he can Google it himself.
But alas I am still left with no clear direction as to how to deal with my Popsicle mess and danged if it isn't just three inches from being far enough under the couch to escape the notice of myself and any guests whom I want to think of me as a good housekeeper.
So here you have the tried and true "Dried Popsicle Cleaning Tips" of the mom of seven boys.
Step one, push aside couch, not too far you don't want to reveal too much.
Step two, wander into the kitchen to peruse the contents of your cleaning closet, if the 1 year old who's been following you around all morning is left with the mess the M&M's and most of the leaves will be in his mouth, you could never pick them out...there is magic in 1year old fingers. So if this is say your third child and you are still under the illusion that you can know and should monitor every little thing that goes in their mouths you'll want to time it to come back just after he's picked out each M&M and just before he gets it in his little mouth. If it's your seventh child and you're hanging on by a thread because your mother-in-law is coming to visit in 20 minutes and you still aren't showered, you'll celebrate that part of the mess is gone.
Step three, soak, in what ever commercially prepared cleaning agents you can find, the large sponge that you finally found in your seven year olds stash of treasures and place on the Popsicle mess. After, I dunno maybe ten seconds... your mother-in-law called to say she's "on her way", lift up the sponge and use whatever fingernails you have left to try to scrape the Legos, coins and sticks out of the mess, at this point they probably won't come out. Stop after breaking off your last two nails.
Step four, dump what ever is left of the bottle of cleaning agents on to the mess and scrub alternately with the sponge and a brand new toothbrush that 'I didn't' dropped in the toilet. Continue until your cleaning shirt is soaked with sweat. Give up for now, take off your cleaning shirt place over the mess, including sponge, toothbrush and empty bottles of cleaning solution, shove the couch over the whole thing and jump in the shower. After your mother-in-law leaves, if you can still move, you can gather the whole mess up in your cleaning shirt, most of it will have dissolved by now, and throw it in the trash.
Step five, buy a plastic house plant position it over the residue and resolve never, ever to buy Popsicles again.
There is also the challenge of cleaning the entire ink content of a large permanent marker off both arms , both legs and the face of a very proud three year old, but that will have to be dealt with another day.