March 01, 2005


Things I have learned as a parent about laundry:

(1) Never let dirty clothes pile up or something (vomit, wet beds, mud pies, etc.) will occur to double whatever pile you already had sitting around waiting to be washed.

(2) Change your children's sheets as infrequently as possible. Sure you need to change them when they get nasty and stinky, but you might as well wait as long as you can, because immediately after you change their sheets they will spit up, vomit or pee all over the nice fresh clean sheets.

(3) Always have enough sheets, puddle pads, underwear and other necessities on hand so that when you do let the laundry pile up and the children do befoul every thing they touch, you have another set of whatever it was handy.

On Sunday, I got it into my head that after two -- or was it three -- weeks, The Boy's sheets really should be changed. So while I was putting away laundry, I stripped his bed and put on clean sheets and a clean blanket. Knowing what I know, I told my husband that the new sheets would not last, but I still felt like I had to change them. He wouldn't have himself. In college, he changed his sheets at the end of each semester. I also immediately threw the dirty sheets into the washer. Now my powers of prediction were a tad off. The Boy did not wet the bed that night. Nor did his sister climb into his bed and soil his sheets in the night. Nor did they encourage a wet muddy dog to jump on the bed. The clean sheets lasted all the way up until naptime yesterday. The Girl takes her naps in The Boy's bed. Don't ask, it's just easier that way. Yesterday afternoon, she woke up coughing. She coughed so hard that she threw up -- all over her brother's clean sheets. Just call me psychic.

Last night, I noticed the sheet on the bassinet had spit-up on it. I washed it. At bedtime, The Baby was put in. Within 15 seconds the clean sheet had spit-up on it. Clean sheets and children don't mix.


Yep--after you get more than two kids, you figure it's time to drop the idealism and deal with reality. Our kids were (and occasionally still are--at least the littlest one) about the lure of clean sheets. Never failed that as soon as I thought we had finally turned the corner on nocturnal rainstorms, and had decided to put on a real set of nice Barbie sheets with an actual bottom fitted sheet and top sheet and bedspread and had it all looking nice, Tiny Tinkler would wet them down real good. One time she even rolled the curtains around her and peed on those.

She's been dry for a month now--but I think I'll wait until she's around twelve or thirteen before I actually make her bed up again.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 1, 2005 10:15 AM

Funny, I have the same premonition about my clean shirts (not that I pee in them). My putting on clean clothing is all the signal any small child needs to wipe their snotty nose on it. Or the baby needs a place to put his spit up, so he conveniently uses my shirt.

And is it just me or has the laundry quadrupled after just adding one small baby to the family?

I'm glad that at least we don't have a dog.

Posted by: angie at March 1, 2005 01:55 PM

I keep saying that I'm giving a big bottle of laundry detergent at the next baby shower I go to. I haven't yet, but one of these days I will.

Posted by: Jordana at March 1, 2005 02:07 PM

I'm sure the words clean and under 18 year olds never belong together. I've also never seen a toddler eat anything, just spit it up, they grow by osmosis I think. But what do I know, Miss M told me I'm a polar bear with nice cookware. Ummm, it's not so bad a thing I guess.

Posted by: Tony at March 2, 2005 08:13 PM