Adventures in laundry.

laundry-webI do a shit load of laundry.  And, like pot roast and aprons, it feels like the particular province of a stay-at-home mother.  Can there be anything more archetypically domestic than folding laundry?  Maybe ironing, which I don’t do often.  Although I sometimes feel like I brought this on myself when I decided to throw in the Ally McBeal pumps, I know that I would still be doing a shit load of laundry if I were lawyering downtown.  No doubt.  With three messy chitlins, mucha dirty ropa is to be expected.  Bibs have never been my thing (I’m all about avoiding the tiniest extra step, even when I know it would be prudent to just do it - a stitch in time saves nine is my anti-motto) and now that I’ve discovered spray-on Oxyclean, I don’t even bother to remove a white t-shirt about to take on a red popsicle. 

I have learned this:  you can’t keep clothes clean, but you canget them clean – so peace out and relax.

Our house has a laundry chute, which in addition to being so cute and clever and hearkening back to a more innocent time, is a really really convenient way to clean up the house.  Down the chute, deal with it later.  Three sets of pajamas on the ground (because how, how, how can you be expected to put your pajamas under your pillow and then remember they are there the next night?)  Two down the chute, one under the pillow.  Less than fresh smelling Spiderman undies? Down the chute.  White towel smeared with either chocolate or poo, not worth the sniff to determine which?  Oxyclean and down the chute.  Supergirl’s been dabbing her bleeding mosquito-bite scabs with the dishcloth again?  Ditto.

For all the dirty laundry produced by my kids, Doctor Dash does them a dastardly dirty dog double dutch donkey kong double.  He is the king of wearing a shirt for a couple hours and throwing it down the chute.  Yes, he exercises a lot and yes, I understand he can’t be expected to wear that stuff again, but can’t he take a page from the French and go with a bit of his natural essence and wear the same t-shirt two days in a row?  Or at least all day long?  And his black Pearl Izumi socks . . . oh, God help me!  They look like black cow tongues – and he leaves a pair on the floor by the bed every, every, every day.  For some reason, Doctor Dash needs to get into bed with socked feet, but cannot sleep with socked feet, and cannot be bothered to resock his feet in the morning with those pathetic worms strewn on the floor.  So if he’s home, I passive-aggressively kick them out of the bedroom onto the landing and if he’s not home I pick them up, sometimes cursing his existence, sometimes reminding myself that if anything ever happened to him, I would be so sad to have wasted energy being angered by a motion that takes two seconds, but then that brings me back to cursing him because it would take him two seconds to pick them up too.  And they’re his socks.

So every once in a while, when I go to the basement, I am horrified at the size of the heaving, moldering mountain that has accumulated.  It seems to fester and grumble – like a volcano.  My devil may care, down the chute, deal with it later philosophy can really come back to bite me in the ass.  

And then there’s the laundry fauna to contend with.  Sometimes, as I crouch and sort darks and tie dyes from everything else, one of those crazy hairy urban centipede things will scuttle out of the pile at breakneck speeds sending me into a convulsive whole body shiver.  Apparently these house centipedes are totally harmless and are actually beneficial – they are insectavors . . .  although that line of thinking is kind of like Amy Sedaris reintroducing mice to her NY city apartment when she realized that the mice had been eating the cockroaches.  

But the worst of all my laundry travails happened when we were living in a rental house in Ann Arbor a couple years ago.  I was throwing everything into the dryer and there was one little toddler sock left in the bottom of the washing machine, so I reached in and grabbed it. But it wasn’t a toddler sock at all.  No, it was a limp, wet, drowned, but very clean mouse.  I nearly had a heart attack and after screaming my head off and running away, and shuddering and shivering and screaming some more, I decided to leave the whole debacle for Doctor Dash to deal with.  For the rest of the day, I was plagued by the notion of all those clothes soaking and spinning in . . . . mouse juice. 

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