Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Laundry Is My Weekly Planner

Do you see that black leotard and those pink tights, right on top of the laundry pile?

That's how we know it is Wednesday here chez Lusignan. Wednesdays are ballet class.

Fridays are gym day.

Tuesdays are swimming lessons.

Every other Monday is Brownie Scouts.

I've mentioned many times before how much I hate laundry, loathe it, despise it, dream of a day when the washing machine and dryer are robots that come to our rooms, pick up the clothes, wash and dry them, then fold them and put them back in drawers.

Laundry, aside from being NEVER DONE and CONSTANTLY NECESSARY, is also irritating because it is a scheduling task-master. The piles of laundry don't care if I have a particularly busy Tuesday, 'cause I still have to make sure there is a clean swimsuit ready for the kid at the end of the day.

If I have the swimsuit clean on gym day, it doesn't matter, because we need the gym uniform that day.

If I do a load of laundry on Sunday, but forget to look for the leotard and tights in the hamper (or ballet bag, or wherever my child decided was a good place to undress this week, e.g., on the floor, stuffed in between the mattress and pillow, under a pile of books, behind the radiator in the bathroom...I could go on and on), then I have to do more laundry before or on Wednesday, too, even if 90% of her stuff is clean.

Do you know how hard it is to see a tiny black leotard in a clump of navy school uniform pants and dresses? Do you know how much harder it is to see the navy gym sweatpants if they are separated from the gray gym uniform shirt before being put into the wash? When I see the shirt, I can be almost positive that the pants are there, too; without the shirt, the search usually gets ugly. Do you know how awful it is when the kid decides to be helpful by putting her swimsuit some creative place to dry?

At least 40% of my laundry responsibility is a) making sure the right clothes are washed for the right day, b) finding said clothes, or hounding the little person who wears them to keep looking, since it is her job to do so (and yes, it is just easier for me to look, if only we didn't constantly have to teach these people how to be contributing members of society, chores would be quicker), and of course, c) frantically looking for the clothes at the eleventh hour, hoping that the ballerina can attend class in something other than Brownie sash, pajama bottoms, and a gym shirt.

When I really examine the full breakdown of my laundry time, it is no wonder why it is my household chore nemesis. I'm clearly not doing this right.


  1. Do u wash the sash regularly? I think i have only washed on once, and even then i was worried the patches would come off.

    1. We don't wash it regularly, but I included it here because it is often a part of the frantic finding effort, along with uniform clothes that work with the sash. You know, "that look good together, Mom!"

  2. Thankfully we don't have the school uniforms to deal with and we havent enrolled our daughter in the girl scouts yet. waiting on next year to do that so my laundry consists of letting it pile up till saturday or sunday then doing it all on those two days. But I cam completely with you I despise laundry and if you happen to get a pair of machines that wash dry fold and put away please let me know where from.

  3. Amen! On my agenda tonight is washing more school uniforms because for some reason there are no more clean leggings or pants. Too bad I can't do laundry with telepathic powers or good intentions.

  4. Says the parent of a four-year-old who knows squat about eight-year-olds (just getting my disclaimer out there) . . . How about if . . . You designate a place where she needs to put her things if she wants them washed. Wash them if and only if they are in the designated spot. Let/make her wear dirty/wrinkled uniforms to her activities if she neglects to get her things in place to be washed on time. Natural consequences of forgetfulness might remedy forgetfulness sooner than reminding/nagging/hunting--especially for activities that she enjoys, wants to do well at, and for which those consequences aren't detrimental to her education, health, or well-being. Methinks your conscientious kid will not enjoy wearing dirty/wrinkled leotards, gym uniforms, etc. and will, in short order, remember to take off/put away those items in the designated spot. Never hunt for those tiny tights again!

  5. Our usual division of labor is for the kids (5 and 7) to load the washer and start it, then later load the dryer and start it. We have a lights bin and a darks bin. I sort, fold, remind, and keep the washer receptacle stocked with vinegar (so the clothes won't stink if we do forget to move the wet laundry to the dryer). And it's everyone's job to put away. Kids usually do the dishwasher too, except for the heavy/reachy parts. I do a few loads a week (laundry and dishes both) to keep the cycles going, make sure special handling happens on special items, towels and sheets get done, etc. No charts, treats, or money changing hands -- just teamwork. Dad gets a pass when he is working outside the home and therefore gone for 12+ hours a day, but pitches in as an equal on weekends. I am sure it helps that my philosophy is that it's not my job any more than anyone else's, since we all live here equally....and I never complain about other people's techniques for doing tasks, or sneak behind them and "fix" it to be my way unless there's a big bad problem.

  6. My girls (15 and 12) either stink or don't stink, depending on if they remember to put their dirty clothes in the hamper by wash day ; )