Laundry is for the Birds

Jane is responsible for doing her own laundry. She’s not particularly good at it. I’m sorry, I’m just being honest. She’s not. I’ve been told it’s rather common for folks her age. They stink. At doing laundry, and as a natural consequence, sometimes literally as well.

A little while ago she declared that she needed a second laundry hamper. She needed it to transport the clean laundry back to her room. You see, I have a hamper that serves to transport the clean laundry from the laundry room to the living room to be folded and she felt she needed the same luxury.

I said that she would just use it to store the clean clothes, as she was already doing with the single hamper, piling the dirty laundry on the floor. She insisted she wouldn’t do that. I recommended a collapsible hamper for her clean laundry transport, arguing that her room wasn’t big enough to hold two hampers. This way, during those mythical times when the laundry would be folded and put away, the hamper could be too. She didn’t want a collapsible hamper.

Lucky for her, her Daddy does the shopping and she got exactly the hamper she wanted. And then it all went down just like I said it would. Only worse. Check this out:

Any guesses which pile or hamper has the clean clothes?  Me neither.

Any guesses which pile or hamper has the clean clothes?

She left for summer camp Sunday. Saturday morning, we were having them pack so they could tell us what they needed us to pick up at Wal-Mart.  She told her Daddy that she needed socks and underwear.

He looked at the scene above.  “Isn’t this a pair of underwear?” he asked, picking up an article.

“Well, yes, but it’s dirty.”

“Uh-uh,” he said. “And there’s a sock over there.  I’m not buying you clothes when you have a mess like this.  Do your laundry and find enough clean pairs of socks and underwear.”

She then tried to convince me that the two towels in her room were clean because (I quote): “I’ve done laundry twice this month and they were in the first load I did.”  I managed to get clarification that she hadn’t used them since then which answered the question of where all the towels have gone.

She later went off on how she didn’t know where her Kansas City Royals hat was.  “It always sits right here on this shelf,” she claimed.

After she left, I braved her room to look for her volleyball shorts.  I thought they’d serve well as compression shorts under my hockey pants.  I foolishly looked in the chest of drawers first.  That’s where she keeps the clothes she can give away in a garage sale.  Oh, and a bunch of non-clothing items.  Oh, and that hat.  The one that *always* sits on the shelf.  I eventually found the shorts in the pile on the floor.  They smelled clean, I guess.  So the stuff on the floor is clean?

I don’t know.  And here’s the crazy part.  She’ll return Saturday afternoon and then leave for another camp first thing Sunday morning.  That’s a quick turn-around.  So her dad offered her the chance of a lifetime:

Put all your dirty clothes in our hamper and we’ll get them washed and folded for you.

I mean, what kind of a kid passes up an opportunity like that?!  Shoot!  College kids lug their clothes to their cars and haul them home for that.  All she had to do was walk across the hall.

The only clothing article of hers in our hamper is that pair of volleyball shorts I borrowed.  So now I wonder if I just wash all those clothes in her room or maybe pick through the piles to determine what smells bad or just wait and let her sort it out, risking her proceeding to the next camp smelling like a dumpster.

That last thought is winning the day so far.  I’ve spent enough time folding everyone else’s laundry.  If she can’t at least deliver the clothes to me, maybe I don’t need to hassle with it either.

2 thoughts on “Laundry is for the Birds

  1. A family counselor told us when our boys were in their teens that if something wasn’t important enough for them to do it themselves then we shouldn’t do it for them. This discussion was around washing clothes and cleaning their room. So I gritted my teeth and tried to follow the parent rules. My oldest son, who is now 48, managed to wash his clothes and dry them. However, instead of folding or hanging up his pants and shirts he just left them in the basket and pulled them out and wore them when he got ready. Of course they were wrinkled. It bothered me but didn’t faze him. It wasn’t important to him. It was hard, especially when we went to church, to see him in wrinkled clothes. Today he folds and hangs up his clothes. He cleans house. I also have a grand-daughter that had a room that you couldn’t walk through because there was stuff all over the floor. She has managed to graduate from college and somewhere along the way she started keeping her surroundings clean. I do want to say that the one thing I did insist on, as long as a person was living in our house, was that they go to church. Even when the kids had to come back home as adults for a while, it was part of the house rules. I am thankful that as adults they still go to church today.

    • That’s a very good point about not doing stuff for them that they don’t view important enough to do themselves. I suppose that doesn’t mean you don’t try to get *them* to clean their room, just that you don’t do it for them.

      Now… leaving the house in wrinkled clothes! That I might have a problem with! lol

      Thank you for the encouragement.

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