Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dirty Laundry

I should be doing laundry. Anyone entering my house right now while I am writing my post for today would wisely advise me to do the laundry or would at least think to herself, "This woman should stop writing and start doing the laundry."
The problem with laundry is that it never, really, gets done. At no point in time will I be able to completely check laundry off my to do list. I have thought about this often while doing the laundry and also while doing anything else to avoid doing the laundry. Even if I had every stitch of clothes, towels, sheets, and blankets washed, dried, folded, and put away, I could not check laundry off my list because I, my husband, and my sons would be wearing more laundry that would need washing the moment we removed it from our bodies. Laundry will be with us always.
When my boys were about 4 and 6 years old, they invited a few other boys over to play. It was a rainy day; so they asked if they could play downstairs. At that time, we were living in a little Cape Cod with an unfinished basement. The boys kept some toys down there, scattered out on an old throw rug. We had several storage boxes lined around the walls, and my washer and dryer were hidden away down there as well. This setup came in handy more times than I care to remember. Unexpected company coming over? We all knew the drill.
"Everyone, quick! Grab an armful of dirty laundry from the bedroom/bathroom/hallway floor and throw it down the basement steps!"
Who cared where it landed?!? It was out of sight, and I could sort and pile it later. All the while, our unexpected, unsuspecting guests would assume we were a tidy family...our only dirty clothes - the ones we were wearing.
On that play date, 10 years ago, I knew I had quite a bit of laundry downstairs; but surely those little guests would pay no attention.
Before giving the go-ahead, I absently checked to make sure I didn't have a bra dangling from the side of the open staircase. Nope, I had recently gathered our scattered clothes from the last unexpected visit and had everything sorted into mountainous piles.
"Sure," I said. "You can play down there."
Several minutes later, I was drawn to the open basement door by the sound of excited laughter and the slap, slap of little bare feet running across the concrete floor. I crept down the stairs, expecting to find them playing a game of tag, but no. One of my boys had his hands over his eyes counting to 10 while his brother and their guests hid in, and behind, my giant piles of laundry.
My piles of laundry were big enough to conceal an entire child...in some cases, two whole children. They would burrow under and bounce out at each other like groundhogs or moles. I was embarrassed; but I decided I should play it off as intentional...as if I meant to leave huge piles of dirty clothes for the children's enjoyment.
I promised myself that day that I would get my laundry under control. I would get it done! I would DO the laundry. Children would never be able to hide in my laundry again!
Ten years later, I have broken that promise more times than I care to remember.
As I write, a pair of shorts, an odd sock, and two pairs of khakis are lounging on the leather recliner. A quilt that I washed, folded, and left on the loveseat until I had time to put it away has been unfolded and wallowed on by the dog.
The laundry is not done, but my post for today is...
At least I can check something off that to do list.


  1. "Children would never be able to hide in my laundry again!" Hilarious. Don't stop writing--as you say, the laundry will always be there. This is such a down-to-earth clear-eyed piece. I hope your sons are old enough to start doing their own laundry soon. I only do laundry when I have basically no clean clothes to wear.

  2. Oh so funny! I can so relate. I hate folding. That may be why I have two baskets waiting to be folded. I did teach my boys to do their own. They are boys so it all goes in one load and gets washed in cold. Unfortunately they rarely fold. :-D Thanks for the laugh -- you are not alone. ;-)

  3. It's still my favorite chore. I am a sick, sick person. :)