Friday, August 9, 2013

My Dirty Laundry Parenting Philosophy

The Ginger came downstairs last night soaking wet and wrapped in a towel, just having finished his nightly shower. He stood at the end of the sofa until my candy crushing ways allowed for a pause to look up.
Picture from Grumpy Cat Pics

The Ginger: Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
Me: Yeah. You're getting water all over my floor.
The Ginger: Well, I don't have any underwear OR pants.
Me: Look in your drawer. You have underwear and/or pants.
The Ginger: No, I don't. They are right there (pointing to a dirty clothes basket in the hallway), where I put them 2 days ago. And they still aren't clean.
Me: It wasn't two days ago, and I told you on Sunday to bring me your clothes for the week. Wednesday is not Sunday.
The Ginger: But I need clean underwear, and you haven't done my laundry.
Me: And I don't have to do your laundry, with that attitude. Sunday is laundry day. You told me you didn't need clothes washed, so I took your word for it.
The Ginger: URRRRGHHHH...

And he turned around and made little wet foot steps back down the hallway and up the stairs.

Some of you may find this conversation between my child and I less than desirable. I might come across to some as a lazy mom who doesn't do her children's laundry. To others, you might see me as an emotionless, rule-abiding authoritarian type. And to others, I know you are thinking that a swift light smack to the mouth is exactly what my son needed to cure his attitude.

I see this story as a prime example of a few things:

  1. I don't let my kids get to me. The more they see me rattled, the more they think they've won a situation. Keeping cool as a cucumber is how I do things around here. Furthermore, catching an attitude with me definitely gets you nothing.
  2. Laundry is done on Sunday. If he decided to go outside and play instead of bringing me his laundry basket, after being reminded 3 times to do so, then he accepted the consequence that he may run out of underwear near the end of the week. His fault, not mine.
  3. While my job as a stay-at-home mom is to keep this household running smoothly, the house clean, the meals cooked and the children raised, I'm not here to wait on my family hand and foot. Did I see his laundry basket in the middle of the hallway yesterday? Yes, I did. Did I stop what I was doing to put the laundry in the wash? Nope, I carried on with my other responsibilities as a mom. Would it have only taken a second? Yep, but the lesson wouldn't have been learned.
  4. I seriously have been hella busy for the past 2 weeks with getting the kids back to school and finishing up my book. My last blog post was on Monday. Normally, there's a Wednesday post and then today's post. Normally, my bathrooms are cleaned on Wednesday, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to get to them later today. Normally, I keep up with odd bits of laundry throughout the week. I'm in desperate need of a personal assistant, for crying out loud.
  5. There's never a dull moment in my life. Not even when I think the kids are winding down for the night, so I take a few minutes to stretch out on the couch and get some candy crushing done. Chaos reigns supreme here, says the puddle of shower water in my floor.
  6. I'm a huge believer in teaching kids consequences to their actions, and my methods of making sure they understand this can be seen as cold and emotionless. I still cuddle with my kids and praise them every chance I get, but when it comes time to learn a lesson, they are going to learn the lesson.
For those of you concerned about The Ginger's clothing dilemma, he had an entire pack of brand new underwear in his drawer. It's been less than a week since I did his laundry (as I ended up washing a load of dirty clothes he founds stuffed under his bed last Friday), so I knew there was no way he had gone through his old stuff and his new pack. I also know my son- he just opens his drawer, glances inside, and comes downstairs, dripping wet, to inform me that I'm not doing my job as his laundry maid. 

And for those who (wrongly) thought that I was a mother who didn't care about my kids, as soon as I tucked The Ginger into bed and gave both my kids kisses and "I love you's" goodnight, I came downstairs and put his clothes into the washing machine. Going commando to school is a little better than going to school wearing underwear but no pants. Only Superman can get away with that fashion statement.

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  1. I've done the same thing! All 3 of them came to me yesterday complaining of no shorts and no underwear. The laundry hamper was empty. There was 1 (small) basket of clean clothes in my room, which had 1 pair of undies for each, and shorts for #1. #2 and #3 returned to their room and WOW! There were shorts hung up for #3, and 2 pair shoved in the corner of #2's jammie drawer. Of special note, there were clothes strewn all over their bedroom and bathroom floors that I knew damn well hadn't been worn, mixed in with the nasty dirty stuff.

    They all (The Man included) know that I do laundry on Saturday and Sunday nights. If it's not in the hamper, it won't get washed. On the floor next to/behind/on top of the hamper does not count. I refuse to dig through their rooms to find the last pair of funky junky undies to wash. If they run out of something before the week is up, they have all been taught how to properly launder clothing (even #3, who is turning 4 next month, and who is happy to climb the machine to turn it on and add vinegar).

    1. Ahh, a woman after my own heart, lol. I love how there's clean clothes mixed in with dirty ones- that always happens at my house. Angers me. Greatly. =)
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Kids are something else! I agree with your reaction...its what my mom would have done...and what I'm going to do too lol!