Laundry with a Twist

Stella

It was a tough afternoon.  We rolled in on Sunday after being on vacation.  The kids missed the first week of school.  Frantic, I started working to put the pieces of the puzzle together to get us set for the rest of the day and for Monday:  unloading the car, uniforms out, trip to the gro, lunches packed, 2 side dishes for the girls’ afternoon service club meeting, dessert and a main dish for the church youth kickoff at six.  Does every event in our life have to kick off today?  Did the NC Legislature pass a bill that requires every function in the state to hold a covered dish dinner?  McCrory did give those protesters a plate of cookies.

I knew if I didn’t do DJ’s laundry she’d be heading to her first day of school in the buff.  No one wants to start their junior year naked –plus she’s already pulling into the parking lot in a 1997 Subaru wagon.  She keeps reminding me that she and the “new” car were born in the same year.

I logically argued:  “Do you really want to be the girl who drives up to school right after her 16th birthday with a brand new car?  Everyone hates her.”

Without a blink she responded, “Yea.  Yea I do.  I want to be her. ”

I opened the vacation cooler, there were several bottles of beer left from Happy Hour – oh the sweet memories of last week.  I tossed them on top of the clothes for the trip to the basement fridge, the Lunchables were hogging the ice box upstairs.  I unloaded the beer and put the basket of whites in the queue.

When DJ walked in the house, I told her to go switch her laundry.

“The darks need to go into the dryer.  The whites are in the basket at the bottom of the stairs.”

She did as I asked, apprently hurling them in the machine in one big clump.

Fifteen minutes before leaving for church, I went downstairs to switch the last load.

As I pulled out the whites, I heard clanking.  Hmmm, wonder what she left in her pockets this time…

I was shocked when I grabbed a handful of bras and came back with a bloody thumb.  What in the heck was she packin,’ a switchblade?

Upon further investigation, I found remnants of a bottle of beer.  Man, you left a bottle in the laundry basket you moron!

I shook each item out over the empty laundry basket, shards of glass plopping out of socks, undies and my kid’s white tees.

I can hear the conversations facing me this week:

“Dad, something’s sticking in my butt when I sit.”

“Baby it’s just a little Stella Artois.  It takes a while to develop a feel for it.”

“Dad, I feel like I’m wrapped in Tyvek insulation.”

“You’ll be warmer that way.  No sweater needed this winter.”

“Dad, the Headmaster called me into the office.  She said it had been reported that I smelled like I’d been drinking.”

“What’d you tell her?”

“I told her that most parents put fabric softener in their laundry for a fresh clean smell but that my dad tosses in a bottle of beer.  That’s right, the beer and the BOTTLE  – “

“Would you believe I got the idea from Heloise Conquors Stinks and Stains?”

She didn’t.

I thought I was going to scar my kids emotionally.  Looks like I might actually scar my kids from the glass that’s embedded in  their clothes.

Could happen to anyone… right?

Book Update:  Laughter, Tears and Braids

Several of you found my book, Laughter, Tears and Braids on Amazon last week.  We took it down because I found five typos.  It’s going back up to be released on September 11.  If you’re brave enough to order a copy, consider doing so on the 11th.  My publisher says big sales on the first day will help in the world of Amazon rankings.  More to come next weekend, including a link.

Help Wanted: Sock Wrangler

Suprise, suprise, a sock on DJs floor

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Danny

For two weeks I took pictures of stray socks I found that belonged to various members of our family.  I’ll have to give Jesse credit, I did not find any of his – although I’m not even sure he wears socks so that could be the explanation. 

I have decided to hire a full-time staff member to help wrangle the socks.  This is the ad I’ll be placing in the News and Observer, our local paper, next week. 

Help Wanted:  Sock Wrangler

Under the supervision of the Dad and occasionally the part-time housekeeper and in cooperation with Uncle Jesse, the Sock Wrangler will oversee all hosiery in the Tanner home.  The position requires a baccalaureate undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in Home Economics, criminology, private I’ing, matchingstuffology, findingstuffology or a related field as well as a minimum of 5 years experience in hunting those little boogers down!  This position requires an understanding of and a commitment to the Tanner Family’s desire to have matching socks seven days per week for each family member.

The position requires that the incumbent be innovative (they could be anywhere!!), diligent in the search and friendly as he/she goes about her work.  He/she must be passionate about finding matches and relentless in the  pursuit of missing apparel.  He/she must be exceedingly organized, be a self-starter and able to work with minimal supervision.  He/she is welcome to yell at family members who leave socks in inappropriate places.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Find socks
  • Find their matches
  • Crawl under stuff, including washers, dryers, sinks, Tupperware cabinets, cars, and the house
  • Fold socks and have an innate ability to determine which ones belong to each child – (because they are all the same size and look identical, but my children have an emotional connection to each pair which means they MUST be returned to the original owner)
  • Make decisions on tossing items that have gigantic holes in them or are stretched out to the point that they could fit Charles Barkley
  • Must know the difference between tights and hose and be able to articulate that difference to all in the house
  • Purchase new socks (never spending over $60)

Must be able to see and distinguish between different colors/styles/patterns or thread count.  Ability to crawl, squat, lift heavy furniture, sift through dust bunnies, stoop, kneel, stand, walk, pull and push a must.  Ability to adapt to change quickly.  Occasional travel (to Target) may be necessary.

The top 10 finds this past week:

Number 1:  The dining room chair – that’s just gross.  At least they weren’t on the table.

 
 
Number 2:  In Uggs of many colors.  And we haven’t worn Uggs for weeks.
 

Number 3:  Under Michelle’s bedroom door. 

Number 4:  Inside out – more work for dad.

Number 5:  On living room furniture – but it’s a matched pair!!!

Number 6:  Bathroom floor – last thing on before the shower?  I bet underwear are close by.

 Number 7:  It’s not just a home thing – even on vacation…sock in DC.

Number 8:  Oh, those are mine.

Number 9:  Isn’t it pretty with the rug?  Maybe she couldn’t see it.

Number 10:  Oh my lord, they’re in a drawer!

The Bailiff

Posted by Danny

This morning we were working to get out of the house early – I had a meeting in Chapel Hill about 40 minutes from Raleigh.  Wednesdays are dance days for the girls after school so they pack their change of clothes and we head to the studio at 4.

I was sipping my coffee and working to wrap a few things up via email when Michelle ran into the den.  She barked out these orders:

Michelle:  “Dad, raise your right hand.”

Me:  “What?”

Michelle:  “I said raise your right hand.”

I comply.

Michelle:  “Now repeat after me.”

Me:  “Ok.”

Michelle:  “I, say your name.”

Me:  “I, daddy.”

Michelle:  “promise to make sure”

Me:  “promise to make sure”

Michelle:  “that Michelle’s leotard”

Me:  “that Michelle’s leotard”

Michelle:  “is clean EVERY Wednesday.”

Me:  “is clean EVERY Wednesday.”

Michelle:  “Thank you.”

That kid.

The Laundry

Posted by Danny

Jesse can fold a fitted sheet like Martha Stewart.  It’s incredible.  When he gets through with it, it’s like it just came out of the Bed, Bath and Beyond wrapping.  I won’t brag about a lot he does around the house, but he has mastered that skill.  I don’t know if he took Home Economics or if it is just genetic.  His mom is the best folder I’ve ever met.

I was actually required to take a quarter of Home Ec in middle school.  Our teacher was Ms. McLaurin.  She was over six feet tall and had red hair, on her head and on her toes.  They hung off the end of her sandals about an inch.  I guess all of that tallness pushed them forward in her shoes.  I’m not a huge toe fan anyway.   I have to leave the room when the commercial about fungus under your toenails comes on.  It grosses me out.

I don’t remember much from the class but we did learn to change a bed with the person still in it.  Since I decided not to become a nurses’ assistant, I’m not sure what to do with that knowledge.  If you are ever in a position to change a bed with someone in it and need help, I’m your guy!

My buddy Brad is going to a really nice resturant with his wife this weekend.  Jesse is spending the night in Winston Salem visiting friends.  I went over to my friend Jeff’s house today, he was cleaning his gun – he has a really cute daughter, I think he’s getting ready for the future.  Me?  I’ve got a big weekend planned.  I’m doing laundry!  There are nine loads calling my name.

I wouldn’t mind doing laundry if the folding and shoving it back in the drawers wasn’t a part of the process.  And I’ll have to admit that my mother-in-law and mom do the lion’s share of it.  Sometimes with travel schedule, etc., it falls to me.  I guess that makes sense since I helped create the little bodies that wear all of these dag gone clothes.

We have differing philosophies on laundry in our house.

If DJ looks at an article of clothing, it automatically goes into her laundry bin.  The bin is large enough for Jesse and me to comfortably sit in together (although we’ve never done that) and it is always full.  I’m doing her laundry today, it will be full by tomorrow – and she is out of town.  I think there are little minions in her room who open her drawers at night and carry the clothes to the hamper.  It is truly amazing.  And when something she wants to wear is dirty, who do you think gets blamed?  It ain’t the minions.

Stephanie, on the other hand, is very good about refolding her outfits if she doesn’t wear them for long.  On Thursday she said she didn’t have any long pants to wear to school.  If she says that, it means I haven’t done laundry in a very, very long time.

When Michelle takes an article of clothing off, she typically asks me if it’s dirty.  That works for now.  But from the looks of her room, it is likely she will mirror DJ in her laundry habits.

Me?  Easy.  I take a good sniff.  If it doesn’t smell bad, it goes back on the shelf. 

I gotta go – Stephanie needs pants.

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