I remember quite distinctly when a few things were simpler in my life.
Laundry. I had an actual "laundry day". You've heard of those. It's when you have one morning of your week designated as the day you will tackle your dirty clothes and have them all washed, dried, folded, and put away before the day's end. I had one of these once, and typically I did just two loads of laundry for my hubby and me for the whole week!
It creeped up on me, the loss of this special day. It happened slowly at first.
I can pinpoint the exact time I lost my official laundry day. It was when THIS arrived...
Instead of a "laundry day", I switched it to "laundry days" twice a week. I did a couple loads on each day and that was it. Not too bad, just a small increase.
That lasted a couple of years before the real increase in volume occurred. Happened about the time THIS came along...
We bought a new washing machine about this time. Ours just died. Overworked. Underappreciated. Sometimes I think I might just end up with the same fate as that poor little washing machine.
Our new machine was up to the challenge of its life when THIS joined the family...
These little darlings, my little bundles of joy, are the master owners of sweat shops. They have ONE employee and they just don't care how much overtime is worked or how many extra jobs they pile on that employee. Who is this menial labor employee?
I occasionally look back at my resume just to make sure I didn't actually put "expert laundry lady" on my job history or skills.
Now, the thought of doing laundry just two days a week is such a distant memory that I'm not really sure it ever happened in my home.
I could do laundry every single day of the week and not be caught up. The theory that little boys are messier and harder on their clothes than little girls? So not true.
Adding to the workload is the fact that my children seem to have a different definition of "dirty" than I do. Here's my definition: if you can see spots on it, if you can smell it from across the room, or if you have worn it more than three times, probably time for a wash. Simple enough, right?
Their definition: if I have to decide between putting these clothes away in their actual drawer or just tossing it in the hamper even if I've worn it a mere 10 minutes, it's going in the laundry. Every time. No brainer.
Seriously. I have seen them put something in the hamper that they have put on mere moments before bathtime. Remember that my children change clothes (particularly the middle fashionista) more often than conservatives get mad at our current administration.
Okay, so I have an eternal load of laundry to do. Fine. It's still way simpler than it was for women in the old days, right? What am I even complaining about?
But I would offer, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that mothers during pioneer days did not have such a wide selection of clothing to be washed and did not have to be careful about how they were washed and dried. For example, a typical load around here with include your basics such as socks and play dresses and what have you. But here's where it gets tricky: they throw in curve balls such as dress-up clothes with delicate bead work or taffeta skirts or plastic jewels connected to them that will get destroyed on a regular cycle.
And drying them? Forget about it! I made that mistake once and my child has still not forgiven me.
"Seriously, Mother. Rookie laundry mistake."
She was none too happy when she discovered her head no longer fit thru her Belle dress up gown. Looked more like Paul Bunyan trying to fit in a Smurf costume.
Yes, things used to be considerably simpler around here. Laundry sometimes feels like a deliberate challenge put forth by my children, as if they are daring me to succeed in washing all their most precious garments without shrinking, fading, or otherwise destroying them by mistake.
Okay, okay, I'll admit it. I have been known to 'accidentally' shrink garments that had been outgrown or were hideous or just wrong but my children insisted upon donning them anyway. The washing machine and dryer are tough. They can take the hate. The girls don't need to know (for now) that I am actually in charge of what type of cycle and what temperature water is used and what setting the dryer is put on.
What? You just wait. Your little darling will come prancing down to the breakfast table mere minutes before you're scheduled to be somewhere. She'll be wearing something Tina Turner designed for her or a favorite outfit that has been so well-loved that it's barely covering her little bootie and has holes in the elbows. Don't judge me....the laundry room just might strike again.