A pair of green shorts has been at the bottom of our laundry basket for a few weeks now. Somehow they just never made it into the washing machine—it was always too full by the time I got to the bottom. The shorts belong to Andrew and he decided that since I seemed incapable of washing them, he’d do it. So he put a load of darks in.
All the more power to him.
We’re not very good at separating our clothes into loads here. Our washing machine cycle takes upwards of three hours to run, so I’m not keen on separating darks, colors, and whites. We just do two loads a week—darks and lights. (Probably we will end up doing more once we’re into cloth diapers full time).
This is where we run into issues.
My definition of “dark” and “light” is quite a bit different from how Andrew perceives “dark” and “light.”
We have two laundry baskets and separate our clothes as we dirty them: darks in one basket, lights in another. When I do laundry I always have to pick and choose out of both of the baskets because little things end up in different baskets than ones I would choose.
Rachel’s little girly clothes in pretty princess pink and light yellows often end up in the dark basket. Her red checked shirt ends up in the light basket. I always have to switch those since I don’t wash red with whites and I don’t wash pastels with darks. I have mentioned to Andrew several times about putting Rachel’s pink clothes in with the darks. Several times. But he’s a man—a good man, but a man nonetheless.
Last night when we were folding dry laundry and hanging up the load of darks Andrew had just washed, in a sea of navy blue t-shirts and blue jeans, accented by the occasional forest green or bright red, I found, to my dismay, a pretty pink shirt of Rachel’s, now tinted a dull grey-green.
“Oh, honey!” I gasped, “You didn’t!”
“Didn’t what?” he asked from where he was folding some sheets.
“Wash Rachel’s pink shirt with the darks…I love this shirt!”
I held it up for him to see.
We threw in a small load of whites/lights after saturating her shirt with Shout. I lectured Andrew about the difference between light and darks.
“So pastels…do you know what I mean when I say pastels?”
“Yes. Easter colors—pastels—are light.” I explained.
“But they aren’t white. They are colored.”
“Yes, but the only reason for washing a load of whites alone is to bleach it, which we do sometimes. When you’re bleaching a load of whites do you put colors in?”
“No. Just whites.”
“Do you ever put pastels in with the darks?”
“No. Pastels are lights.”
I think we have it all worked out now.
It’s not that I don’t mind him throwing a load of laundry in, because I don’t. It’s just that Rachel has a limited number of t-shirts and I’d prefer that we don’t ruin them.
Luckily her shirt is looking much, much more pink and cheerful this morning. And I love Andrew more than her t-shirt, anyway (even though it’s a really cute t-shirt), so I would have gotten over it and forgiven Andrew, even if it had stayed a dull grey-green-pink color forever.
Forgiveness isn’t complete without a little revenge, though, right?
Probably not, but I accidentally got a little revenge in this morning, anyway.
I washed the dishes this morning before breakfast because I slacked off last night and didn’t wash them after dinner. Dinner was a little spontaneous last night, anyway, because we talked with our families for like two and a half hours and then our landlord stopped by and…
We ended up giving Rachel some yoghurt before putting her to bed—she went willingly; the trick is to let her stay up until almost midnight several nights in a row until she’s too tired to fight bedtime. Later we made some soup for ourselves.
And then it was late and we didn’t feel like doing the dishes so they sat in the sink until the morning. That actually happens more often than I’d like to admit. Not the not-really-eating-dinner part, but the dishes-sitting-in-the-sink part.
So I put away the dry dishes this morning and then proceeded to wash the dirty ones. After I had put some things in one of the cupboards and closed the door, I heard the sound of things shifting around but I didn’t check to see what had shifted. Instead I just finished washing dishes while the water for our oatmeal boiled.
I made some oatmeal for myself and went out to the table to share it with Rachel, announcing to Andrew that there was hot water for oatmeal. Our breakfasts aren’t very formal, which is fine with both of us. We both grew up in “cold cereal” households where breakfast foods (cereal, toast, leftovers) were always available but it was up to us to get it. Pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage? Those rarely happened for breakfast. When they did it was something special.
We’ve carried that mentality into our home. Who wants to go through all that work for breakfast? We have breakfast-for-dinner often and that’s when we enjoy those kinds of things.
Anyway, Andrew went into the kitchen to make himself some oatmeal. Rachel and I sat at the table enjoying ours.
Then we heard a crash. Something shattered. And then,
“Ow, ow, ow!”
I told Rachel not to get down and ran into the kitchen.
Glass was everywhere and Andrew was leaning against the counter holding his head.
When he had opened the cupboard to get out a bowl our glass measuring cup had fallen from the top shelf, bonked him on the head and then smashed on the countertop, spewing chunks of broken glass all around the kitchen.
I guess that shifting around that I heard was the dangerous kind, not the benign kind.
I swept the floor. Twice. We still intend on mopping it before Rachel’s allowed in there.
Andrew’s brains are a little scrambled, but he was nice about it. Even though that’s our only usable measuring cup. And it’s now gone. And it hit him on the head.
I guess we need signs up on our cupboards and laundry baskets like they have on airplanes and cereal boxes.
Warning: Settling of contents may have occurred. Use caution when opening the overhead bins.
Warning: Washing darks with lights may cause overly-hormonal pregnant wives to cry over clothes.
It could save a lot of time. And pain. And tears.