Friday, March 18, 2011

Laundry: the cultural divide between families with children and without!

A rollicking good conversation took place today at madam's gym class.  While the children jumped, bounced and swung around the parents had one of those excellently random conversations spanning the Christchurch earthquake, the Japanese Tsunami, crawling, teething and finally got around to laundry.  Laundry can come up pretty frequently in parenting conversations as it is as constant as death and taxes.

Today we had a lovely family day out at the swimming pools.  Vincent and madam went ahead on the bus, while I waited for the baby to wake up.  I folded laundry while waiting, hung some out, and put on another load.  Two loads in one day is pretty much the standard around here.  Unfortunatly while sorting the laundry I committed a great laundry blunder, and put something on the edge of the sink that made its way down to the bottom of the sink.  This blocked the plug hole, and there was a big flood.  It took ten towels to clean up. Because I had to leave (and the wash continued) I put down the towels to mop up and left.  On my return I hung out the load in the washing machine, and started the first of two towel loads.  There is also another load leftover from swimming and gym class today.  At the moment it is dinner time, the dining table is covered in folded laundry, the drying rack is full, and the last load of towels is washing.  I even (ashamed to mention) have the first load of towels in the dryer.  I just have to get it done!

Anyway, as the parents were talking at gym class it struck me that laundry was not a topic of conversation when I had no children (although I do remember hearing that it once took someone three days to dry their jeans in the middle of a Dunedin winter).  Also, I did a lot less washing.  Like once a week.  In a small washing machine.  Today I have done five loads. Five!

How do children make so much laundry?  They are pretty small.  I decided to review Wednesday to see if I could work it out.

Baby: Two complete changes of clothes, three bibs, five washcloths, two teatowels (and I had to change my top after one feed)
Madam: Two complete changes of clothes (creche day) and then I didn't realise that the paint on her was still wet prior to ballet class so her blue speckled pink tutu and tights got some treatment.  One teatowel.  Three towels for her bath (one for here, two to clean up the splashing).
Me: Wash pyjamas (still a bit leaky from breastfeeding), first outfit soiled by baby, changed into smarter outfit to go and see former colleagues, got blue paint on it later on so into the wash.  Two towels from shower.
Vincent: I can't remember!  I presume he went through one outfit!

A fair amount of the time when my house is messy it relates to laundry.  There is no hiding a serious laundry backlog.  This is why I hate the people living on one side of me. The two men next door flatting do one load of laundry each.  A week.

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