Having been raised by the Queen of OCD--I have delusional thoughts that laundry should be done in a systematic way. Laundry put in a central location to be washed--sorted into like colors and materials---washed and dried according to their labels. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!
To begin with---the Little People tend to enjoy undressing--ALL OVER THE HOUSE--SO this means the first step is searching for all the unclean clothes--in each and every room--above and below every available surface. How silly of me to think the laundry basket placed in the bedrooms/bathrooms would be the target for those items needing laundering. Strip and Throw is the motto of these Little People.
SO--I gather the clothes and then begin to sort---only to find after I have been called away to save one of these Little People from some impending doom or disaster- that #1 daughter has stepped in and crammed an entire load and a half into the super sized washing machine with total disregard for the correct sorting protocol. My eyelid began this funny twitching upon discovering the over-loaded-ill-sorted washer filling with water.
The first week the Princess was here, I diligently sorted her clothing into its own pile of spit up and poop drenched items so that we could wash them in special soap to protect her delicate skin. That lasted until #1 did a load one day and I discovered everything from baby clothes to dirty towels all in the same load. Her rationale was we will use the gentle soap on it all. I cringe and my mouth begins to jerk to one side, when I discover blue jeans and white big boys all in the same load---but hey it gets clean.
The MOST frustrating part of the laundry detail is the socks. #1 has the philosophy if they have two clean socks on of the same length--all is well--NO NEED to match. I begin to twitch when I see these precious little feet in mis-matched socks. SO the first week there, I take the boys' socks and play match the sock. I am left with a sack of mis-matched socks. My plan is to throw them away---this does NOT make #1 happy--we NEED to keep those mis-matched---EVEN THOUGH there are 20+ pairs of matched socks now. So slowly over the next three weeks we have once again ended up with a basket of mis-matched socks. OBVIOUSLY the evil demon living in the washing machine eats one sock of each set to torment me. Never mind that I find various lone socks outside, in the tree house, in the garage, in the car, and hidden in every conceivable crevice imaginable.
After the cleaning and drying comes the folding chore. The Little Man has NEVER seen a basket of folded laundry that he did not feel the need to unfold and scatter. THEN there is the confusion of what is clean and what is dirty since he has scattered them from room to room where the Little People have also shed their dirty clothes. WHY????
I found it so perplexing that there was so much laundry, especially since one of the Little People is prone to wearing the same thing day after day---especially his favorite shirt. NO MATTER that those jeans are so stiff they can stand alone with no leg needed for support. What's important is having on your favorite super hero outfit. Since one of the Little People is far from concerned about the cleanliness of his clothes, it became apparent to me another family must be living in the attic---or the neighbors must be sneaking over and throwing their dirties in the piles. There was NO way six people could create this much dirty laundry. I would go to bed with everything clean, dried, folded and put away to rise to more mountains of dirty clothes. There could be no other answer than another family of 6+ contributing to the cause.
As a single person, I had been doing laundry only once a week--3-4 loads--in an orderly process ---with no confusion as to what was dirty and what was clean. Those days have flown out the door while staying with the Little People--but on the bright side--I am well trained for another career as a Clothing Maintenance Engineer-if I can only get all these in-voluntary jerks and spasms to stop!
A joyful heart is good medicine