I am in the middle of a full ambush on a lifelong arch enemy.
This is an enemy that has haunted me for the most of the past decade. Every day we have a face off. I make the decision whether to engage in hand-to-hand combat or wave the white flag. When I choose to surrender, the opposition grows in strength. There are days when I think I should make a stand and refuse to shower knowing that it will only give my enemy more ammunition against me should I decide to.
Who is this threatening nemesis, you may ask? I have used the following terms to refer to it: “the thorn in my side,” “the never-ending chore,” “the headache,” and “the thing that kills me slowly.” For the rest of the general population, its more recognizable name is LAUNDRY.
This past week I have drawn the battle lines and have attacked and counter-attacked, doing up to 3 loads a day. It has occupied every spare moment of my time (except for the few minutes I have to write this). If I don’t persevere with my “shock and awe” strategy of continuous, non-stop laundry, here is a list of the potential casualties:
- the kids dipping into their summer wardrobe again, i.e. wearing capri pants with leg warmers
- no more showers (therefore no more dirty clothes just dirty people)
- pile of clothes in every room and mass confusion over what is clean and what is dirty
- wearing my pre-pregnancy pants (although I am still unable to zip up or button the top button)
- spending money buying more underwear and socks
- start using pillowcases as receiving blankets
- live in anarchy as everyone starts to steal clothes from their sister, mother, father, brother
My goal is complete victory and domination: empty hampers, empty laundry baskets. I want ALL the clothes, towels, blankets, sheets, and jackets, washed, folded, and put away. My plan of attack is to fold (even with one hand if I have to) until my hand(s) cramp, put away clothes even if it’s the middle of night (the kids are heavy sleepers), and just keep washing and drying until there is nothing left.
You may think this is a futile attempt and a pointless war, my Vietnam if you will. But I am not delusional. I know that dirty laundry is a daily component of my life and that until my children are able to do it themselves, I and Ever-patient will have to be responsible for laundry for 7. But all I want is just one moment where I can put that last pair of socks in the drawer and feel “done.” Even if it is just for a day, or an hour, or even a minute. In the midst of our chaotic life, that one instance of feeling in control and the accomplishment of one thing will do so much for soldier morale in this battalion.
Since the baby has been born, the kids have had to rummage through laundry baskets, throw dirty clothes onto overflowing hampers, and have bombarded us with questions searching for a specific pair of jeans or sweater. I think of this past month’s laundry madness as I prepare for the final stand-off, chucking this last load of laundry into my little heroic washing machine, and I say to myself, “Not on my watch. Not on my watch.”