Mothers everywhere can attest to the fact that laundry is a mind-numbing, labor intensive, necessary job. Between trying to get the whitest whites and keeping colors bright, a mother could lose her marbles! And if you have kids, well, fuggedaboutit!!!
When my kids were little, I did laundry constantly. Between the spit up, poop, food and drool, miss one load and you’re a goner. It’s not the act itself that takes so much out of me, it’s the duration of the job and kids bring a whole new dimension to the laundry process.
It’s not so much the clothing, although I learned never to buy our kids white anything, it’s the treasure trove of items that I have washed and dried, and continue to wash and dry, in any given load.
Our thirteen year old, Angst, isn’t too bad about the stuff he leaves in his pockets. Candy wrappers, bits of papers and the odd tissue are usually what I find. Regrettably, I usually only find them when I open the dryer and a cloud of bits of paper, minute pieces of tissue and Downey soft candy wrappers come tumbling out.
No, the real culprit is our youngest son, Forgetful. From his laundry I have washed: food, crayons, pencils, pens, rocks, little plastic toy men, and enough Lego’s to build the Empire State Building.
I remember fondly the day I threw a load of Forgetful’s wash into the dryer, started it up and about five minutes later heard a “Slam! Slam! noise coming from said dryer. Thinking something was going horribly wrong with the dryer, I raced downstairs, flung the door open and…no sound. I reached in, felt around and my hand closed on a suspicious bulge in some jeans. I pulled them out and discovered a rock approximately the size of an ostrich egg in the pocket. How I missed this during the prep phase I do not know.
Forgetful and I have actually started placing bets on how long it will be before I wash the latest little toy that he’s acquired. One day he came home with a cool pen from his school supply store. After agreeing that it was indeed cool, I asked him how long he thought it would be before I washed it. After thinking for a minute he replied “Probably two days,” and went outside to play. It was three.
I have found a small perk in doing laundry. I find money in the washer and dryer. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m the one waiting for the rinse cycle, any money I find is totally mine.
Anyway, there have been times I’ve been able to supplement the amount of money I have in my wallet with the money the dryer coughs up. Take the 90 degree day I could not bear the thought of cooking and I was short about $3.50 for the pizza man. I ran downstairs and Ta-Da! The dryer coughed up $3.75! Of course, the pizza delivery guy was not too impressed with a twenty-five cent tip. Picture an incredibly disgusted look, tires laying rubber and a finger not-so-discreetly flung out the car window as he peeled out of the driveway. Needless to say we don’t order from that place anymore.
Another phenomenon anyone who does laundry as a second job is familiar with is the missing sock phenomenon. It really is true that socks disappear in the laundry. It wouldn’t be so bad if both socks disappeared but why only one?? And where do they go? Do they get up and walk away? Do they hide and make their get-away while my back is turned? I imagine a parallel universe somewhere where all the single socks are. They sit around having cocktails, regaling each other with stories about us poor laundresses pawing through our wash loads in a frenzy wondering why we put six pairs of socks in the washer but only six singles came out. I don’t get that upset anymore because I came up with a perfect solution and you’re welcome to use it. I add the washed and dried single socks to the rest of the folded wash and figure that eventually there will be enough single socks to make up pairs of socks.
My saving grace is that, to my knowledge, I have never washed and/or dried a live animal. Hmm…I have spent way too much time thinking about this. Maybe the bleach is getting to me.