laundry: a manifesto revisited

When a  Mama is responsible for doing the family laundry 90% of the time, it is that Mama’s privilege to set forth certain rules and regulations–a laundry policy or manifesto, if you will.

Heretofore this Mama’s policy has read something like this:

*sort your own clothes: whites, jeans, colors

*mark any stains with a clothespin

*I don’t do pockets—any money or other valuables making their way into the laundry become mine when the washer or dryer spits them out.  All other items find a temporary home on the windowsill where their owners can claim them, or not . . . I’ll throw it all out in a month or so.

So, picture it: Tuesday–a long weekend’s worth of laundry is taunting me and I decide to tackle it right away.  Two loads in, I open the washer to transfer the wet clothes to the dryer and come face to face with:

IMG_0931 a worm.  This is, in fact, one of the very worms that survived an up close and personal 45-minute ride on the normal wash cycle. 

Yes, I said, “worms.”

Worm number 2 emerged from the washer seconds after worm number 1 alive and kickin’ . . . you see, we’d been fishing over the long weekend, and someone (who shall remain nameless) had forgotten to remove their bait from their shirt pocket.  Did I mention that three boys live at my house?  Just sayin’.

In the spirit of honesty, I must admit that I was more than a little steamed.  I’ve seen a lot of things come through my washer: contact lenses, empty bullet casings, gum, combs—but never live animals.

I’ve been working on “seeing the positive, not dwelling on the negative” a lot lately, and by the time I returned from releasing the tortured wigglers to the relative peace of the garden, I’d begun to see the humor in the situation—for example, the fact that it was blogworthy.

As I congratulated myself on turning my attitude around I returned to the laundry room to pick up my basket of folding.  Noticing a wayward still-damp sock that had missed the dryer, I opened the door to throw it in.  You guessed it—out popped worm #3.  Barely alive after 2 minutes in the dryer. 

A careful search of the remaining dryer load netted no new worms.

At this point I composed an addendum to my laundry policy:

*In the event that any form of animal life (dead or alive) makes its way into the washer and/or dryer on this Mama’s watch, it will serve to invoke an immediate and irreversible laundry strike on her part for one month.

8:30 p.m. later that day.  I head down the darkened hall to tell the kiddos goodnight, traveling the path that finished laundry follows to its respective owners’ rooms. 

My bare foot hits something cold and spaghetti-like.

Worm Number 4 has met its Maker.

I rest my case.


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