Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Laundry School Dropout

This morning was a wee bit of a disaster in my empire.

The alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., and I woke Oldest Daughter to get ready for middle school.  I promptly went back to bed, because I can sometimes sleep in until 7 a.m. if I've had a late night before (working, not Out).  And so I did.  At 7:14, I rolled out of bed to strap on a bra and put on some jeans to take OD to school at 7:30.  I walk into the hallway and see OD is still in her pajamas, and we are leaving in 16 minutes.  Why has she been up for 44 minutes and is not ready?  Well DUH, because she can't find the one pair of khaki shorts that she MUST wear to school today!  No other clothing for the lower half of her body will do - IT MUST BE THE KHAKI SHORTS.  Or perhaps she won't be able to attend middle school today.  Clearly the khaki shorts are the lynchpin to her success in middle school today, and forever after.  It's *THAT* serious.  College degrees and future grandchildren hang in the balance.  Without these shorts, she will be resigned to living in the basement, knowing she coulda been a contender.

 I do some panicky yelling, which pulls the double function of making the shorts magically appear in the bottom of her hamper AND waking The Son so he can get ready to leave for Safety Patrol at school at 8 a.m.  I drive OD to school, and when I return, The Son is having issues because he, too, cannot find the one item of clothing he would like to wear.  Panicky yelling ensues again, and the item appears and Youngest Daughter comes downstairs to start her morning complaining, and to tell me she can't find any clean socks.

And That. Just.  Did It.  
Time for The Laundry Lecture, which goes something like this:
"I did not go to college to be your laundry maid waitress vending machine!!!  You cannot push a button on me and snacks and clean laundry and missing homework will magically appear!  If you want clean laundry, you must take used clothing, which I like to call "DIRTY CLOTHES", and move them from the room you sleep in to the area in front of the magic white boxes in the basement I like to call the "WASHING MACHINE" and the "DRYER".  THERE IS NO TELEPORTER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE HAMPER!!!  ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?"
Feel free to steal any or all of my speech, but I will tell you that it has zero effectiveness.  The remaining children did move their clothes, which was three weeks worth of dirty laundry that had been shoved in the hamper, closets, under beds, and in cabinets, down the stairs, forming Mount Laundry, that started at the bottom of the stairs and ended up far short of the machine.  
EXHIBIT A:  The beginning of Mt. Laundry
This extends for fifteen feet into the laundry area. 
They used it to slide down the steps.
And yes, that IS a water noodle.  Probably still out from last summer.

EXHIBIT B:  What's that in the pile of clothes?
No kidding, this is exactly how I found the pile.
Let's move a few things to see what's in the box...
EXHIBIT C:  Yes, it is.
They've thrown their laundry ON TOP 
of a laundry sorter, Mint In Box.

By now perhaps you've figured out that laundry is the bane of my existence.  Even after multiple lectures, no one brings the laundry downstairs until they have nothing to wear to school except for the top half of a bikini, Christmas leggings and a cardigan they've outgrown with a large chalk stain on it.  When YD wears this type of outfit to school, which is often, other parents pull me aside at school functions and say, "It's so cute how she dresses herself - she has quite a fashion sense!" and I laugh along, but really?  It's because she has no clean clothes, and I'd rather they think she's color blind than let them know I don't keep up with keeping my whites white and my colors bright.

I'm not alone in Laundry Siberia.  Remember the Calgon commercials?



I'd like to point out a few things.
A)  Is it just me, or is this commercial just a wee bit racist?
B)  Notice the man is running the counter and doing the talking, but the kimono-wearing wife is behind the curtain, doing all of the work.  Hmm....
C)  Why does the woman give a crap HOW Mr. Lee gets the shirts so clean?  Let him KEEP his effing Ancient Chinese Secret.  Get my damn laundry done and I won't ask any questions!  What a sweet deal!

I know a family of four who hate doing laundry so much, they send it out to a local hotel to do it.  (I KNOW!  A hotel will do your laundry!?  Why didn't I get the memo?)  The clothes come back clean and folded.  Their only complaint?  "Well, they tend to smell a bit like cigarette smoke.  But hey, we can work around that."  These are organic-loving NPR listening artsy types, but they are willing to turn the other cheek as long as the laundry gets done.  I can totally respect that.

But laundry is only the beginning.  I didn't have three kids so I would be in charge of doing all of the housework forever.  It's time to buck up, kids, and find your inner Cinderella, your Little Princess, your Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Ma needs you to pull your weight around the Frontier!  Check back next time, when I post about the other household chores that are being neglected.  In the meantime, feel free to post comments about your own Laundry Woes.  And new readers?  Welcome!  And thanks for all of your comments lately.  I am quite the comment whore.  You, reading the blog right now?  You're my favorite.  Don't tell the other readers.

20 comments:

Erin said...

OMG...I am laughing so hard......you must be my twin or our children are clones. At least once a week about 9 pm one of my two laundry avoiders says "mom, where's my xxxxx? Did you do laundry today? Or can you wash this so I can where it tomorrow?". This never fails to piss me off....I could goon and on but think this will make a great blog post. Btw.....I hate laundry!!!!

Wendy Ramer said...

In my house we don't keep laundry bins in the bedrooms. Just drop the stuff over the stair rail where it lands right in front of the garage door (where the washing machine is...no laundry room :-() Bottom line, laundry is done about every other day as fresh clothes circulate faster than an STD on Fraternity Row. I AM THE LAUNDRY GODESS!

Agnes said...

LOL you're too funny!!!

Jennifer Murray said...

Mount Washmore is surmountable. You might try flylady.net for help and ideas. It helped me. :) Love your blog, your spirit, and your attitude. And you're right, the speech doesn't work. Been there, done that.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Man, I don't have kids yet so the only laundry I need to do is mine and I'm already over it!

Julie, The Wife said...

@Jennifer, Mount WASHMORE is a WAY better name! Wish I would've thought of it last night! I've already done two loads this morning, the Mountain is being scaled....

Tricia said...

The bottom of my stairs looks the same. My question is can we sue our children and husband when we fall and break something on the mountain of laundry because we can no longer navigate the stairs???

Audrey and Casey said...

Oh Julie! Laundry is the bane of my existence too! Love the post!!!!

Back when I had one daughter, I remember having quite fond feelings about laundry....stay with me....because one time she told me with great sincerity, "Mommy, thank you for washing my Pooh panties." (As in Winnie, not shit.) I lived on that comment for a long time......and then my children multiplied....and it has been about 9 years since I've had a nice comment....

Joe Ambrosino said...

Disgusting commercial. Not to use myself or my family as a model, because we obviously are not, my niece who we affectionately call "The Warden" has trained her two kids from the time they were able to walk, to toss their laundry down the chute before they make their beds (every morning!)That she does this without resorting to physical abuse is nothing short of miraculous. They also eat broccoli!

Anonymous said...

Our kids are expected to sort their clothes from whites to darks...... or I won't wash them. Nothing like reading into a baseball uniform that still has the contraption and sweaty socks all attached. Offer two oldest kids money this summer to do the towels or their own laundry!

Niki Harris said...

I sense this is a glimpse into my future. I HATE laundry with a passion and fear the day my future children will expect me to handle that situation. Seriously, a little cigarette smoke does not seem that bad.

Dr. Heckle said...

I hate doing laundry too. (Does anyone love it?)

I thought about hiring some midgets to live in my laundry room and work full time.

aleigh said...

I'm pretty sure nobody is going to use that laundry sorter until you take it out of the box. And I'm pretty sure, they won't use it then either. Do you still have the receipt?

Julie, The Wife said...

@Erin, Agnes, Megan, Anon, Niki - thanks for playing. I would take a little smoke in my clean laundry.

@Wendy, it is impressive that your laundry is so clean it outpaces an STD. That sounds like a good start for a dry cleaner ad campaign.

@Jennifer, I have a friend who does flylady, and she is now certifiably insane. "I must get my 10 things out today...I can't leave until I do..." But just like chocolate and tequila, she is probably good in moderation.

@Tricia - I've already contacted my attorney, and yes, there is a case.

@Audrey and Casey - Pooh panties. My favorite two words of the day.

@Joe, your niece needs to write a pamphlet (in large type and laminated, please) for distribution in pediatrician's offices everywhere.

@Dr. Heckle - I GREW three midgets and they formed a child labor union and foiled my plan. Good luck with that.

ForeverRhonda said...

We paid to get our laundry done once...it was fabulous, but sadly it was expensive too. It was all smelling fresh and folded perfectly. But putting away is the worst part for me.

Even worse our dishwasher broke, I HATE doing dishes by hand, especially silverware. Thankfully it's fixed now. Or we would have been eating off paper plates. Forever.

Anita said...

Paying the girls 10 cents a pair to match socks at age 5 was my training ground for them to do their own laundry vs. wait until so much gets on the floor and the cat pees on it and then throw it away. Now that we are rid of the cat, I fear the weight of the laundry on the second floor may cause this matchbox to collapse. Finding the laundry sorter was the best part.

Tracy said...

I do one to two loads of laundry every day. My babysitter folds them and then the kids are expected to put their clothes away. We do not have piles of dirty laundry--instead we have piles of clean laundry sitting in chairs either waiting to be folded or sitting in laundry basket waiting to be put away. It is quite a lengthy process.

The other thing you did not address is when kids do not want to put away their clean clothes....as I will often find folded clean clothes and socks in the dirty clothes. That is when I will "steal" your above speech....

Raiscara Avalon said...

Lmao I know how that goes. My daughter hordes her laundry in her room, then wonders why she has no socks. :) I actually don't mind laundry, since the machines do all the work. ;) But dishes...ugh.

Barbara said...

This is why I have nothing (funny) to write about! My kids were required to do their own laundry by the time they started middle school and I told my husband years ago that he could wash his own skids.
I have stolen the Calgon commercial phrase on occasion, particularly when clients ask how I know were the bad spots are:)
Ancient Chinese secret, indeed!

Anonymous said...

OMG, that is SO funny!

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