Those were the words I woke up to this morning: “Mom never does the laundry!”
Said by my 12 year old son as he was rooting through the laundry pile for The Perfect Shirt, a short-sleeve green t-shirt he’d worn two days ago.
(Yes, it’s 20 degrees outside. Yes, he knows that. To quote my favorite book in the world, it’s not cool to be warm.)
Let’s have a rundown here, shall we?
Ordinarily, I do two loads of laundry per day. We are guaranteed to have one load of regular clothing laundry every day, plus you can add in special loads such as one load of diapers every three days, sheets, towels, and anything special that needs to be laundered.
Ordinarily, I will fold the laundry the day it comes out and have it delivered back to the rooms where it belongs before the end of the day. I will put away general laundry, mine, my Patient Husband’s, and the two youngest boys’. Kiddo#1 and Kiddo#2 are expected to put away their own.
When I deliver the laundry to their rooms, Kiddo#1 and Kiddo#2 will thank me with the words, “Oh, MAN! Do we have to put away MORE LAUNDRY!?” as if I’ve just shown up with shovels and told them it’s time to dig a new latrine ditch.
Sometimes I wash the laundry but leave it on the couch unfolded, which is the kids’ cue to say, “Mom is LAZY! She isn’t folding the laundry!” and then my cue to herd them into the living room and make them fold it to show me how it’s done. They don’t do that any longer. But they still grumble if I’ve washed it but haven’t delivered it.
And now when I haven’t washed it for a couple of days, I get this garbage: that I never do laundry at all.
Kiddo#2 is having School Spirit Day today. That means they want her to wear red. I’m not sure why red, because red is not the school color. She comes to me, wailing and moaning as if I’ve told her she needs to quit school and go work in the coal mine. She has no pants. None. Nothing at all to wear. She wants me to come look.
I point out that if I go in her room and open the drawer,I will find five pairs of pants and she will proceed to tell me why each of them is no good.
She says, “But those will be SWEAT PANTS and who wants sweat pants if you’re just going to be hanging around!” And so on. I shut the door on her and got myself dressed.
She whined and wailed and sobbed for 25 minutes about this, by the way, before opening a drawer and finding suboptimal nonsweatpants she could wear. And then she wanted to know if her shirt was red enough. She is, by the way, the child who will leave all her discarded clothes on her floor until she delivers them all at once, then wants to know why they weren’t washed yet five hours later.
I cannot win with the laundry. Either I do it too fast, and I’m mean for making them put it away, or I do it and I’m mean for not folding it, or I don’t do it and I’m mean for expecting them to wear a long-sleeve shirt or sweat pants.
I was doing laundry for the family at age 11. Not exclusively, but often. By age 14 I did all my own laundry all the time. It may be time for the older two to begin to do it themselves. I’ve had enough.