Friday, February 18, 2011

It's a Laundry Miracle!

I am don't mind laundry. However, it falls into the category of "housework", wherein all the people living here get to make disgusting pigs of themselves and think there is a Spectacular Cleaning Fairy who will be coming in to make everything sparkle. Right. Somehow my life has taken several unexpected hairpin turns in a blizzard on black ice and it turns out that Spectacular Cleaning Fairy is me. Guh.

In my other life, the one where I had a bathroom all to myself, I did my own laundry and that was all. My motto was "you wear it, you wash it". That has actually continued for all people over 5 feet tall, however I now have these two other people here who are under 5 feet tall.

I don't despise laundry as much as say...... sink cleaning (those sink traps, *uh -uh -uh -shudder -puke*. Sink traps are the invention of Satan I tell you).  I kind of enjoy seeing dirty clothes go clean and then drying them with a nice smelling dryer sheet. Having said that, it's cute laundry that I don't mind. Little pants, t-shirts advertising the Packers or pretty sundresses. Anything with a bodily fluid or smear is in another category. Anything that has been marinating in a plastic bag in someones locker at school that The Husband happened to find the other day- exempt from the enjoyment.

So I don't mind washing it and I don't mind drying it. I don't even mind folding it. However I  dread putting the stuff away but I really get annoyed with straightening clothes that are inside out. I procrastinate that like a dentist appointment. Teena tends to leave her dirty clothes right- side out, except for her jammies,(what IS that?) but Genea tends to turn all her clothes inside out when she removes them from herself. Many many times I have gone over with her how easy it is to pull things off so they stay righted. Many times I find them inside out anyway.

Recently Genea has earned herself some extra chores. So in a stroke of brilliance (hide your eyes from the shimmer of this one) I started giving her all her clothes in a basket to turn right. Since I was on a roll I put her sisters in there too. *Freak out!* You would have thought I was asking her to trim the lawn with a nail scissors. But Genea is really a cooperative little person when you get past all her fits and arguments. She might leave one item unturned just to show me who is in charge, but if she is going to do a chore she will do it and do it right. And I think the inside out business is a kid thing. Not a Bipolar thing or a RAD thing. A regular 7 year old thing.

So I had her do that as her restitution chore a few times. And wouldn't you know, Sweet Mother of Bounce Sheets it's a laundry miracle! Without any further instruction or reminders, I pulled her laundry out of the dryer the other day and not a single item was inside out! Love it!


  1. Such brilliance! For both of you. :)

    About 6 months in with J being home she was assigned folding laundry and delivering each person's laundry to their room (not putting away cept hers cause you know how that would work out.)
    She does it so well that I hope she never moves out cause that means I'll go back to just getting things out of the dryer to wear. :)

    The sink drain. I get the heebie jeebies just reading about it. Hate sink drains. Ugh.

  2. OK, just so you can imagine more laundry miracles coming your way: My first step in getting P doing his own laundry starting at age 10 was the turning his own stuff right side out. (I agree with you that inside-out stuff is normal -- my husband even does it.) I gradually added additional elements of the overall laundry task over a multi-year period. Here were the tasks in the rough order I added them: put your own clean laundry in the drawers/cabinets; carry laundry basket to laundry area; unload dryer; take own sheets off bed; put own sheets back on bed; fold clothes occasionally with mom; fold all own clothes; then -- the task my kids most want -- learn to turn on the washing machine (buttons and knobs -- what could be more fun?!)! P does his own laundry extremely capably and without complaint. He sees it as no big deal. B is now 9.25 and well on his way to being made self-sufficient in laundry when he turns 10. I will then give M the task of doing his own laundry, and I will finally be down to just doing my own!

  3. a miracle indeed, one we need at our house. Perhaps it is time to make them turn all those damn socke right way out, that is the job I hate most!

  4. Oh, my. She is clearly a very bright little girl. I am 29 years old, have done my own laundry for YEARS-- and still, my clothes are all inside out when they go in the hamper. I have to stand there and turn everything right side out on laundry day. I still haven't caught on.

    Also: My son was 10 when he came home and the expectation from day one was that he would do his own laundry. The ONLY time I ever made an exception was during a particularly nasty stomach bug. Otherwise- he washes, dries, folds, and puts away everything. You are just a few years away. :)

  5. Little boy stinky, moist socks that are turned inside out are so yuck that years ago, i started charging a dime for every sock that came through the laundry. After a very short period of time, they stopped coming that way. Now... the kindergarteners sort laundry (by colors for ed-yu-muh-cation purposes ~ wink wink!) so I don't have to touch the dirties anymore. I get to fold the fresh, "snuggly", "bouncy" smelling ones.

  6. Holy cow, can you come teach that trick to my two boys, ages 22 and 16? I mean seriously, don't get me started on my boys and their laundry.

    Really, don't get me started.

    You, my dear, are a true genius.

  7. Darn it. I hate laundry and have so little to complain about, apparently, because for some unknown reason only a rare item of clothing in my house comes inside-out.

    However, I hate to put the laundry away because we don't have sufficient cupboard space, so showing up with nice, clean clothes and having to JAM them in a drawer...well, it is depressing.

    I know I need to "do" something about that - I just haven't.

  8. I wash it, I dry it, then I put it all in the pile of doom, where everyone has to go searching for something to wear. They can fold it themselves if they don't like the treasure hunt!

  9. I think I might try this and see if it works. Thanks for the idea! I don't know that my little one understands it exactly, but perhaps after spending some time fixing the clothes, she WILL understand????

  10. I just love to read your writing! I love your first paragraph about the cleaning fairy!! I have started making my oldest 3 do their own laundry. I just wait until they think it needs to be done, and the other day, I heard one tell the other, "we need to do laundry tomorrow, I am running out of stuff to wear!" Such a simple statement, yet, I loved it!

  11. We don't have the inside out issue so much as the 'oh lordy what did that boy have in his pockets' issue. If you don't mind, I may just have to steal your idea and have a restitution chore be checking all the pockets of clothes (including Daddy's) before laundry goes in the wash. Truly a stroke of genius!

  12. I bow to your brilliance. Although I can promise you that I have at least one child who will no longer be your fan.


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