Dirty Laundry

Like William Wallace facing the English at the battle of Stirling Bridge I stand at the door of the laundry resolute in my fight to rid the room of its dirty clothing.

I am determined to end the domination of clothes and begin a period of order and structure

I look around at the sorry sight of garments strewn across the floor. Stained from the battle against food and playground. Thrown into the laundry with a wanton disregard.

In fairness I am only an occasional stoker of the washing machine. I tend to get involved when my wife is away for a weekend or I have a severe lack of socks and jocks.

If I take over I can have a weeks’ worth of laundry done in a day. It’s not that hard. The machine is cycling constantly and the dryer is drying. But it gets done.

Ok so some things may be smaller. The odd white sock may be pink. And the bra that should not get spun may have a twisted wire. But the laundry is clean. And that feels good.

Until my wife gets home.

“Thanks for doing the washing. I really appreciate you trying to help. BUT YOU TRASHED MY CLOTHES AGAIN AND RUINED MY FUCKING BRA!!”.

“but the laundry is clean?” I say looking for more praise.

None is forthcoming.

‘Doing the laundry’ is a problem that needs to be solved. There has to be an easier way. Surely someone can invent or solve the various issues that occur in this room.

Disappearing socks is the most obvious one. Shrinking t-shirts another. It’s the hanging, the folding, the ironing. The sore back from standing. The sorting of the clothes. It is so boring and quite sole destroying. Matching socks is a task straight from a torture movie.

It is impossible distinguishing between the clothes of 2 boys of similar ages. I have no idea. It’s roulette for me. I regularly put the wrong clothes into the wrong rooms and pass them clothes that are not theirs.

You would have thought the smell from the laundry would bring HAZMAT racing around. The hazardous materials and items that litter the floor a seemingly obvious bio-hazard.

But no. Want to know why? ‘Cause half the bloody clothes are clean.

No sooner than the clothes are washed, dried and returned to the child’s room they are returned back. Generally they are worn for 2 minutes before being discarded on the floor for a different set of clothes. Or alternatively the cleaned clothes have fallen on the floor while the child was reaching for another item of clothing.

Then after a day or two all the clothes on the floor – including some hanging half in and out of drawers –  are gathered in one almighty pile and transferred back to the laundry. At which time a screaming mother reminds her lovely children that:

“I have JUUUSSSTTT cleaned these clothes!!!!!”

And so it begins again.

Perhaps that is why it is called the wash cycle.

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