As a stay at home mom I am constantly behind on laundry. I can't be the only parent who finds herself in this plight. I mean even as I do laundry there are six people I am responsible for wearing clothing, getting it dirty. That alone is pretty much one load. Add in pajamas, sheets, towels, and washcloths and I'm just constantly in the red. If there is one thing I hate about my new house it is the fact that once again I find the laundry room downstairs. Five years ago when we bought our first house it had a laundry room upstairs next to the bedrooms. At the time I thought it was so stupid. What about times when my kids got super dirty and I wanted to strip them downstairs, what about my washcloths? Why would I want to bring this stuff upstairs? But the truth is even with these few inconveniences the majority of our clothing is upstairs and having the laundry upstairs reduced so much work in my life. Sure I still had to sort, wash, transfer, dry, fold, and put away but at least I didn't have to haul it all down and then up the stairs again. Well now we are in the new house and the laundry is on the first floor again.
My kids help, they haul baskets downstairs and clean clothes upstairs but I'm still on my own for a lot of the laundry and man it can be exhausting. It makes me think of my father's advice that I should get a live in mother's helper. "Would it be wrong," I think, "to make an old lady haul laundry up and down stairs even if I was paying her?" Because guys there is no way I would consider getting a young mother's helper. I love my husband. I recognize he is a good guy but I'm not Gwen Stefani or Jennifer Garner and look how that worked out. You do not put hot, nice, child friendly woman into your house and not know that there is a chance something can happen...especially if she looks like you. Why would you put your partner's type right in front of him? Yikes. I mean sure we trust but let's not be stupid ladies. If I'm getting a mother's helper she's going to look like Mrs. Doubtfire and that is all there is to it.
This actually reminds me of a conversation I had with my father last week. He was in Arizona with my grandmother and decided to call so that we could talk. The humor in this is that after almost 40 years living here her English is still almost non existent and after 35 years of being her half Mexican granddaughter my Spanish is still almost non existent. Add cell phones and her quick quiet voice and our conversation was just a mess. By the end she was laughing so hard she could barely talk to my father as he took the phone from her. On my end I was mostly just annoyed. I wish that I could speak Spanish with my grandmother. It would be lovely. I'm sad I missed my chance to pick up the language when it would have been so much easier then it is now. But my father just thought it was funny as well and started a conversation about my children. It reminded me of something that had happened so often as a child. He used to tell me all the time, "Don't have so many kids." He would say this all the time. I remember him saying it before my parents divorced and I remember him saying it after they divorced. It used to really hurt my feelings. I was one of his children, the oldest of the seven he would have and I felt like he was telling me that he resented having us. Considering how little interest he seemed to put into us as children I felt like I had pretty good proof this is what he was saying. This week I decided to confront him on it. "Why did you always tell me not to have so many kid? You have so many? Maybe I like the noise of so many voices." "Oh," he said, "I just saw how tired your mother was and I didn't want that for you." There is so much irony in this statement, especially considering one of the reasons my mother was so tired was because he left her alone with four small children but there was also a little tenderness in the statement. All this time I'd seen it as proof he didn't want any of us. Instead it turns out he just wanted what he thought would make us happy. I guess he didn't realize chaos makes me happy. Although laundry doesn't...which is why I just keep thinking about that helper.