Friday, June 27, 2008

Wash Days

Yesterday was laundry day. We did fourteen loads of laundry. Sheets, towels, and lots of clothes. I sure by now that you're tired of reading about my laundry. I'm perfectly aware that things could be worse. And it's not as if I've never had to do laundry before.

But most of my married life I had a washer and dryer in my home. A laundromat was someplace that other people went to do their laundry. Not me. I had a nice little laundry room where I sorted the clothes and washed the clothes and sometimes even folded the clothes. And laundry was done one load at a time as the urge hit me.

Now laundry day takes on a forbidding aspect. There is all that sorting and packing to do. Then hauling the laundry bags to the car. Then hauling them into the laundromat... Yes, yes, I know you're tired of it.

Anyway, today I started thinking about the loads of laundry I've done over the last forty years. There was a lot of it. Back when I had babies, the disposable diaper hadn't been heard of. I used cloth diapers. Yes, I know the idea is shocking, but there you are. Cloth diapers needed to be folded -- especially if you were one of those modern young mothers that owned a diaper hanger. It was a neat bag that was designed to hang on the crib or changing table. It could hold about six dozen cloth diapers. Folded.

I had two diaper hangers as I had two babies in diapers. And I washed about six dozen diapers a day so I actually owned about eight dozen. And of course, what had to be washed and dried also had to be folded. That did not include the other baby clothes, blankets, sheets, etc. When those two kids were potty trained (ages two and three) I compounded my problems by having another baby. More laundry.

The thing is, I used to take the laundry into the living room and toss it on the couch. Then I could sit down and fold laundry while I watched television. When the babies were little, they could hang out in their playpen or walker while I folded laundry. Quality time. One big happy family.

When my children were a little older, I used that little potty stool we kept in the bathroom for potty training out in the laundry room. Then it was a stool to make them tall enough to set the washer dials so they could do their laundry. Ah, the cruelty of it all. But it seemed to me that if they could dirty their clothes, then they could clean them. I found it very interesting when the amount of dirty laundry was significantly reduced. They found that they really didn't need to wear four t-shirts in one day. Amazing.

Do you know? The same amazing discovery worked for the dishwasher, too? Once they started loading the dishwasher the number of dirty glasses dropped by an amazing margin.

Anyway, I'm ashamed to say that it took much longer to teach the house hunk how to do his laundry than all the kids put together. But the time came when he was on a temporary transfer to another state and he had to be responsible for his own laundry. Now this temporary transfer lasted eighteen months. By the time he came home for good, he was extremely nit-picky about his laundry. After a couple of rumbles over how I didn't do his laundry right I informed him that it was all his and wished him luck. He's done his own laundry ever since--even when we go to the laundromat. The disgusting thing is he never loses a sock! Not even one!

Laundry is one of those fact of life that no one talks about when you're thinking of getting married. They talk about cooking and cleaning house and sharing a closet, but does anyone mention that you'll have to do twice as much laundry? Noooooo. That's a shock waiting to ambush you the second week you're married. Where did all this stuff come from? Why are there six towels in the laundry instead of one? And what are these disgusting shorts doing in my underwear hamper?

Well. I guess I'm done with my laundry rant for another couple of weeks. Then I'll have to empty the laundry baskets of any stuff that I haven't gotten around to wearing. And I'll have to sort the laundry that's piled up next to the bathroom door. Yeah... we'll worry about that then. On laundry day.



  1. I hate folding sheets. Hate it soooo badly that I just don't do it anymore. I just kinda sorta fold em and stick em somewhere. I'm about five foot nothing so it's hard.

    My son once thought it was a cool thing when I'd take his laundry, folded and neat, to him and tell him the least he could do is put everything away. A week later, I noticed his laundry basket was full of "folded clothes". Talk about ticked. He did his own laundry for a long time after that.

  2. Yep - laundry is dead set boring. I have a machine but even then I think 'what this again??' I haven't been to a laundromat in years but I do recall it was boring and time consuming

  3. I seriiously dread taking my oversized comforter that doesn't fit into my machine every now and again. I can't imagine taking everything all the time.

  4. I remember laundromats. YUCK! And that was before kids.

  5. After our last hurricane, our power was out so we had to battle the laundrymat, with about a hundred other people. What a zoo. I hate going to the laundrymat.