One evening, (okay, perhaps more than just one) after dinner when the kids neglected, yet again, to clear the table, I lost it.
“What’s your deal?” I yelled at no one in particular. Ranting and raving I went off on the deal we had, Dad and I cook, they set and clear. Simple, right? Yet they didn’t follow through, again, so I explained how I ask them to do a job and they can’t seem to get it done, what’s the deal with them, blah blah blah.
Number 1, in fifth grade at the time, calmly said, “But Mom, what’s your deal? I mean, we have to do all this, but what’s your deal?
“What do you do all day?”
She meant it. She wasn’t angry; she was befuddled. Perplexed on the audacity of her mom asking four children to set and clear the table when I clearly was doing plenty of nothing all day long. Reminder: when #1 was in fifth grade, there were 3 more under her. Age at confrontation: 11, 9, 7 and 4… or something like that, I forget.
She really had no idea. So I told her in one word.
That’s what I do all day long. Laundry. But not anymore.
Since then, she’s done her own laundry. In our house, in fifth grade, about 10 years old, you can get your ears pierced and you do your own laundry. A rite of passage of sorts. Now I’ve got 3 out of 4 doing (or not doing) their own laundry. It’s a beautiful thing.
There’s plenty of rifling through drawers searching for something clean. There’s theft of underwear practically every day. And there’s some nasty-ass under-armour that I swear to god is alive. Sometimes there are tears, but not so much anymore. Their rooms often smell, especially during field hockey and soccer seasons. But it’s their clothes, their smell and their rooms.
They’ve never asked again what I do all day. Partly because they’re older and get it, and partly because they’re scared. And I’m okay with that.
I remember how it was for my family.. tall enough to reach over the washer, tall enough to do your own laundry… Same thing for ironing too!
When my oldest of 5 brothers was even away @ college he was plenty old enough to do his own laundry but was nice enough to bring it all home for me to was(he was 19, I was 13. Lucky girl (becuse I was the only child w/ ovaries)I got to do all the family laundry. So if your kids think they’ve got it rough try washing 5 sweaty smelly skanky boys clothes. SWEET!