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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Learning to Do Laundry

The first time my son "did his own laundry," he just put things in the washing machine.

Thank God that was all he did!

We had just purchased a new machine because our sweet, but not very competent, cleaner overloaded our old machine one too many times.

With the new machine came my new idea to teach my kids to do their own laundry!

My son finally rose to the call and I was so happy... until I went to the machine to show him how to add detergent.

He had packed that new machine so full that it might have called it quits right then and there!

I tried to explain how to fill the machine and suggested that he have me check it for the first few times.

Well, that was enough to scare my son away from doing yet another task.

Between the challenge of knowing how much is “enough but not too much” and the burden of having to get me to come check it, my son did not even attempt to do another load of laundry...

... until yesterday.

He needed socks for a tiyul (hike) and I told him to sort through the laundry and find all the socks buried there.

When we packed his tiyul bag last night, I realized I forgot to do the laundry.

I had seen a few socks in the laundry, but with everything else that was going on, I did not get around to adding anything and starting the load.

"I did it,"
my son told me, proudly.

He ran a load with only 10 socks in it!!!

OK, OK, I know, I know. I should have just told him "good job!" I should have just commended him for taking care of it himself. I should have kept my eye on my goal, which is for him to do his own laundry!

But a load of laundry with only 10 socks, maybe less!?!?!

I could not stop myself from telling him that he really should have added other items, since it is really a waste of water and electricity (not to mention money).

Do I get any points for not yelling?

At the time, I felt so proud of myself for correcting him just once, gently, just so he should know. I even made sure to emphasize that the mistake was “no big deal.”

He did not seem too upset by the whole thing.

We went to the machine to quickly place the socks in the dryer.

Then my son remembered.

With a sheepish grin, he informed me, "I forgot to add detergent."



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

11 comments:

mother in israel said...

Thanks for reminding me to put in a load.
Cute. At least the new machines only add water to the level of the clothes.

toby said...

that's a tremendous story! I guess your kids are similar to mine, because I could just feel the no detergent part coming :)

tesyaa said...

I give him a lot of credit! Making mistakes is how a person learns.

tesyaa said...

MII, you need a reminder to put in another load? There is no reminder needed here. It is ALWAYS time to put in another load.

Anonymous said...

It may be a waste of water but at least he didn't also pollute the water with detergent.

Chana

Anonymous said...

With our washing machine, one laundry basket = one load. When I was heavily pregnant, my 8yr old son had been helping me by carrying laundry loads up/down the stairs. So when due date was impending, he was happy to help even more by running the machine. I wrote out instructions (eg if it is bedding, these settings; if clothes those settings, etc), labelled the various switches (on/off, start), etc. Thought I had been very clear and thorough. He read through it and said, 'ima, what about the soap?'!!
- Na'amah :-)

muse said...

Great post. His wife will bless you!

RivkA with a capital A said...

MII -- that's what they say, but I wasn't there to see...

Toby -- you know your kids better than I know mine! I did not see it coming! ;-)

Tesyaa & Chana -- thanks for pointing out positive aspects of this story!

Tesyaa -- ain't it the truth!!

Na'amah -- that is just too funny!

Muse -- I sure hope so!

Lena said...

What does a washing machine cost? A friend of my roommate's gave us the one we have but it's old, it emits a sulfur smell when used and occasionally makes a loud bang (complete with sparks) and shuts off.

weese said...

ha!
this is great.
to this day i still do my son's laundry. just to save my appliance :)
he is 21 now.
he is very good about doing laundry while away at school and never brings it home on the weekends. even when he comes for summer break most of his clothes are clean and (somewhat) folded.
let him break the school machines. tee hee.

Linda said...

Rivka, this is the funniest story I have read in a long time, it made me laugh out loud. Your son's tmimut and good intentions are just loveable. Lots of nachas, Linda