Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Useful Sort of Person

Laura came back from her trip to Providence with her grandmother yesterday, having grown four inches in a week. Or it seems that way. She reports that she had a fabulous time, and she even spent some of her own money on a present for her little brother.

She said, "I'm glad to be back where I can do some of the laundry." I said, "Woohoo, me too!" I had taught her to sort clothes and run the machines the week before she left, after I discovered some clean, folded clothes in her hamper. It had been easier to put them there than put them away, I guess. We had a real come-to-Jesus over this, which included Matt explaining to her that when she dumps the clothes I folded for her into the dirty clothes, it is disrespectful of my work. I think she saw the light, but then I had an epiphany and told her that I would teach her how to do her own laundry, and she could be completely in charge of it. She really liked that idea, and the week before her trip saw her sorting reds from pinks (that's my girl!) and doing numerous small loads of wash. Numerous.

After I told her how to run the machines, she wrote it down in her own words and taped it to the wall of the laundry room. Then she asked if she could do Hank's clothes too. How long will this "laundry is fun!" phase last? Has anyone done this successfully with an almost nine year-old? So far, so good!

This morning, before I got up, Matt told me that she made a sign that said "Stop Polution!" and went outside to stand at the end of the driveway and hold it up for our neighbors. Matt pointed out to her that she'd spelled pollution wrong, and she said, "They'll know what I mean." She's such a funny compound of perfectionism and who-gives-a-rip. Rather like her parents, I guess.

Other stuff happened too, let's see: I had tennis lessons Thursday and Friday and didn't pull any muscles. The weather was glorious. Mom and Dad were here for a few days riding herd on Hank so I could get more work done. We watched Evan Lysacek win his gold medal. Matt and I played lots of Settlers of Catan with my parents after Hank went to bed at night. I took Hank to the aquarium downtown, and he reached so far into the touch pool that he got his forehead wet.

It is so gorgeous today that I think we're going to go on a hike. Enjoy your Sunday everybody.

15 comments:

Sjn said...

Today was a glorious day! We golfed and it was fun, fun, fun to be out there again. Hope your hike was a good time! And, if you got your clothes dirty, just hand them over to Laura!

Michele said...

We trained each of our kids to do their own laundry at about 12. Then we never did their laundry again. We consider it a self-help routine that they have to know in order to survive out of our home. Which really isn't that the whole goal of parenting? To teach your children how to live on their own.

Mom of K and A said...

She should of told us that. We would have been happy to let her do our laundry! :-)

Maggie said...

Two things.... it was cold and snowy here today and please send Laura to stay with her Aunt Maggie and Uncle Gary for a good long time

gretchen said...

What a lovely Sunday post. I think I've really gotten to know you when I saw the title of this post in my little Mozilla Reader List and knew that it was you.

The idea of teaching Jude to do his own laundry makes me slightly weak in the knees. I feel encouraged by your success.

Your parents and family are so civilized. I can't imagine playing any game with my in-laws. They mostly just eat and argue and laugh and watch tv.

Amy said...

Laura is like no one else! I love that kid.

Does she want to come to live as a junior au pair with her Aunt Amy? I've got lots of laundry! And I'll buy her a koala.

Carrie said...

I don't remember my mom explicitly teaching me to do laundry, but by the time I was a teenager I had certainly figured it out. I needed to in order to wash the pot odor out of my clothes immediately after coming home from a party!

I have never sorted colors in my life, though. I just grab things that can be washed in cold or that need a warm wash from the bulging hampers and throw them in. I might not combine bright red with pure white, but our entire family rarely owns anything white, so it works out.

delaine said...

I think it's wonderful to put Laura in charge of doing her laundry. You will remember that you and Amy both started doing your own clothes when you were about 10. So, Laura is precocious! I used to think that kids put clothes in the dirty hamper because it was easier than putting them in drawers and closet. She really is a very good girl!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Sorry, B. But when I saw that beautiful handsome cursive handwriting I sort of stopped reading and started fatnasizing!

There is hope for Mr. after all.

And God bless Laura in the meantime.

Michele R said...

I am so impressed by Laura’s written instructions! I have taught the boys to do their laundry sometimes. Being boys there are few items in the red/pink color chart but they do separate the whites. I am wondering if written instructions would help as we have had incidents such as the wash done sans the soap added in, clothes put in dryer but dryer not turned on, and this one happened yesterday: wet clothes put in dryer on top of clothes that were already in the dryer and then I had to figure out why the huge load was not drying.

Jenni said...

I love how she's decorated the list with starts and such.

Sara said...

Way to go Laura! Takin' care of business with the laundry and standing up for the environment. And I definitely love the "funny compound of perfectionism and who-gives-a-rip."

Sam is the only one doing his own laundry (sometimes) so far (age 12 almost 13) mainly out of necessity; sometimes his mother just doesn't get his clothes washed in a timely manner. Hmmm, Aggie turns 11 tomorrow. Middle child that she is, she's somewhat slid under the radar of laundry responsibilities. Must remedy that!

You and your gorgeous weather! I forget what grass looks like. wah!

Marie said...

That Laura is amazing! Smart and gorgeous is a pretty wonderful combination. You know..you have me thinking. Why is it that Evan and Jonathan could help folks with college level trig and calculus. but couldn't remember how to operate the Sears Kenmore???!!?

Keely said...

omg - they do their own laundry at some point? hallelujah.

I did my own laundry as a kid too, but I just assumed my Mom was a slave driver.

Casey said...

Oh my god, I am counting the days until my kids are old enough to do laundry, clean the pool and mow the lawn. I think 3 is a reasonable age. Or I can borrow Laura to help?!?