Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Laundry Fairy Does Not Exist

She's sneaky.  She's crafty.  She's amazing.  She's all-powerful.  She's...The Laundry Fairy.  Just when you least expect it, she swoops in and your dirty clothes magically disappear and she makes clean clothes just appear in dresser drawers and closets everywhere.  Except, The Laundry Fairy who lives in my house is tired of doing laundry.  Oodles and oodles of laundry.  Load after exhausting load.  Just to turn around and see freshly laundered and folded clothes all over the floor in a mess.  Shirts worn for an hour and then shucked to the hamper.

And then there is my favorite:

"Mom/Honey, I'm out of ...."

Because that is totally my fault.  My problem.  Yes, it's annoying to discover you are fresh out of socks, underwear, or shorts.  And despite The Laundry Fairy's amazing abilities, she cannot make new laundry appear with five second's notice.  It takes her about two hours to turn dirty clothes into clean.

Her normal response to such comments is:

"Kids/Dear, I am not responsible for keeping track of your clothes.  When you are down to your last socks/shirt/pair of underwear, then you need to bring the hamper to the laundry room and ask me to wash your clothes."

But, probably like with most families, such statements are met by ears stopped up with cotton balls.  Because a few days go by and I hear the same thing again.  "Mom/Honey..."

I don't mind washing and drying clothes.  It's the folding that I dread.  Which is why, were you to drop by my house unannounced, you are likely to find 1-3 hampers full of clothes sitting in my living room waiting to be folded.  Which is why I spent the last few months teaching my children how to fold their own laundry.

No longer do I care how said clothes are folded.  No longer do I micromanage the neat putting away of clothes into drawers.  Because I don't care.  All my neat folding and putting away efforts will just be thwarted anyway the second a child goes to get dressed and decides they need to wear the shirt on the very bottom of the pile.  As long as I don't have to deal with it, as long as the clothes are transferred from the hamper to the dresser in some semblance of order, I'm good.

My children may not match, their clothes may be full of wrinkles, they may be wearing their sister's socks because they ran out of socks again due to failing to inform me of the need to do their laundry.  It's all fine with me.  Because my children are owning their laundry.  They're learning that The Laundry Fairy doesn't exist.  If they want clean clothes, they have to take responsibility to get it to the laundry room, and then from the laundry room to their dresser.  Mom is not sympathetic to a child who suddenly finds himself without any clean clothes when it's time to pack for vacation.  Mom told her little ducklings three times to get their clothes to the laundry room so they would have clothes to wear on vacation.  If one of her ducklings decides to ignore the request, then Mom is perfectly happy to let him wear dirty clothes for the weekend or to wash his clothes himself when they get to the Lake House.

My Dear Children,

The Laundry Fairy does not exist.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.  You will thank me when you're older.  Your spouse will thank me more.


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