Do you know what I LOVE? My washer and dryer. With two little babies, we have an overwhelmingly large mountain of baby laundry at all times (not to mention the extra adult laundry that goes along with it due to being an innocent passerby to spit-up, sticky hands and diaper explosions.)
We took our show on the road this summer and went to a cottage in beautiful Muskoka with the family. The cottage had no washer and dryer. (Ahhhhh!) I figured we would be fine. I mean, back in the day, our grandparents did not have washers and dryers. They did their laundry and lots more chores by hand using blood, sweat and tears. We could survive for just one week, right? Well… when we arrived at the cottage and took our little man (then just over 3 months old) out of his infant car seat, he was covered in poop. The poop had exploded out of his diaper, through his sleeper and covered the upholstery of his carseat. Perfect. Let’s get a head start on our ability to “rough it.”
So baby boy was stripped down, his outfit and car seat were rinsed off and I did the best of what I could do using a tablespoon of our natural laundry detergent from home in the kitchen sink of the cottage. (I know. Ewww! Washing poop out of anything in the kitchen sink is not ideal but I didn’t have another option.) Then I rung out the car seat cover, sleeper and blanket as best as I could. (Man did my hands hurt! This was an exercise they are not at all used to doing!) I realized just how spoiled I am at home when laundry seems like an exhausting and never-ending task but it is literally just throwing stuff in a machine, adding soap and pressing a button. The hardest part is the folding and really, the most annoying part of folding is that I can never manage to fold laundry while my 16 month old daughter is sleeping so I can always count on her to be grabbing folded laundry and throwing it on the floor as quickly as I am folding it. This could explain why laundry seems never-ending…because when we go around in circles like this, it really is never-ending. If you come over to my house, this might also explain why there is usually laundry everywhere. It’s a work in progress.
This diaper explosion was only the beginning of cottage laundry fun. Every day I had laundry to do by hand. “Bye everyone! Have fun at the beach! I’ve got a whole load of peed on, pooped on clothing to address!” (Okay, it wasn’t that bad but who doesn’t love a little drama?) Between my two little babies and my cousin’s 6 week old baby, we had those lines full of baby clothes and blankets at all times. It made for a good landmark though. When my sister was on her way up to the cottage, she and her fiancé were following their GPS trying to find it and she said that when she saw a cottage surrounded by lines of baby laundry, she knew they had arrived at the right place! I’m pretty sure I commended my incredible 87 year old Nana at least 27 times and asked her how the heck she managed to get through life with 4 children and no washer and dryer. Amazing. She is a SAINT as far as I’m concerned.
Near the end of our week, I decided to throw all remaining dirty laundry in a garbage bag to wash at home when I was reunited with my beloved washer and dryer. Obviously, the night I decided to do this would also be the same night that my daughter awoke screaming in the middle of the night after peeing through her sleeper, blankets, sheets and more. However, just when I thought I would have to suck it up and go into town to find a laundromat, I was saved by dear friends who lived nearby, whom we had already made plans to visit the next day. They were awesome and let me bring in a garbage bag of peed-on linens to wash at their house. Ahhh a taste of modern day luxury! It had been a whole 6 days of suffering before this day! (Thank you J&J! You guys ROCK!)
After a long car ride home, I ran downstairs and hugged my washer. I quickly filled my laundry room with the piles of laundry we had brought back with us and started cycling it. I guess my dryer got jealous of the love and praise I had given my washer because it decided to stop working mid-cycle at about 3 of 27 loads in. Noooo! What is one to do with no dryer? I loaded baby boy into his bouncer seat and loaded Miss 16 months on top of the full laundry basket and took the half-dried, half-wet load out of the dryer and hung it all over our backyard to dry in the sun. This quick solution was a bad idea. We have a LOT of trees in our neighbourhood so consequentially, we also have a lot of birds. As if baby poop doesn’t already consume at least half of my days, my laundry was clean and dry but covered in bird poop. Boooo! Inside it all came to be rewashed (in a more difficult juggle through the door this time since I couldn’t very well carry my daughter in a basket of pooped-on laundry.)
I started washing laundry and then bringing it over to my parents’ house to dry it. This worked (better than drying it in the backyard) for a couple of weeks while we tried to get in touch with someone who could repair our 1 year old dryer. We didn’t realize the appliance brand we owned was so difficult to have serviced. (Of course!) Each night, I would get both babies to sleep then run over to my parents’ house to trade a wet load of laundry for a dry load. Then I would haul both babies with me each morning and do the same thing. Exhausting to say the least but I couldn’t very well keep my two babies entertained at a laundromat while I got it all done at one time. I tried hanging it all over my laundry room but it just dried all stiff and gross. It looked like the baby sleepers were ready to walk over to me and start dancing around like we were in real-life Disney’s Fantasia. Man, that movie creeped me out as a kid.
Then one Saturday, I decided that enough was enough. I needed to get caught up and I needed to stop driving all over with baskets of laundry on board. I was going to wash all of our laundry and then load up the mom-mobile and dry it at the laundromat. I’m admittedly spoiled enough to not know anything about laundromat etiquette so decided that if I went at night, it wouldn’t be busy and I could use all the dryers I needed to at once and get ‘er done. So, after I got my daughter bathed and in bed and fed my son and settled him to sleep, I loaded up the car and was on my way to take care of business while Hubby held down the fort at home. I treated myself to my favourite takeout coffee on the way there to really make a night of it!
I cashed a twenty-dollar bill in the change machine, filled my pockets with the change and started bringing in my wet, clean laundry and loading up the dryers. It wasn’t overly busy. There were just 3 other people there. I filled 6 dryers up and got them spinning then went back to grab my coffee. What happened next, amazed and astonished me. I SAT DOWN. At home, I am constantly running around in circles in some kind of rat race with no finish line. I easily start 25 tasks at once and never really finish any of them because I’m jumping from one hoop to another as interruptions happen and chaos ensues. A baby needs to be fed, a diaper needs to be changed, lunch needs to be made, a toddler is swinging from the chandelier. You know, the usual. I do a lot of running around trying to stay ahead of the game and rarely ever sit down and do nothing. Generally, if I’m sitting, it’s only because I have a baby attached to my boob. Not even kidding.
So once I got all my laundry into the dryers and grabbed my coffee, I sat down. I sat down and was so confused and unfamiliar with the concept. I had nothing to do except SIT! I don’t remember the last time this happened. I’m going to assume it was over 16 months ago. I sat on my butt and did nothing but watch the dryers turn around and around (until it got really freakin’ hot in there so then I sat outside.) I enjoyed some friendly chit-chat with the other patrons. One bubbly woman pointed at the small, old television suspended on a shelf up high on the wall and commented on how it was showing a baseball game. She told me that this particular laundromat always showed sports stations and that if I was more into soap operas, and sitcoms that I should check out the laundromat downtown next time. Who knew? I didn’t.
Another lady came flying out of nowhere when she saw I had a bazillion loads of baby clothes and delightfully asked if she could help me fold them because she loves baby clothes. What is it with us women and baby clothes? We can’t see a tiny pair of socks or a little yellow sleeper without ooo-ing and ahh-ing like there’s a litter of puppies in the room. It was sweet. I respectfully declined her offer because it’s a little weird to allow a stranger to fold your kids’ clothes but it was sweet nonetheless.
At one point while sitting on my butt, I received a text message from a friend who said she was hanging out on her couch for the night watching reruns of old sitcoms and remarked on how depressing Saturday nights have become now that we are old and boring. I responded with my update, telling her that I was spending Saturday night doing laundry at the laundromat. She responded telling me I had won the prize for having a crappier Saturday night. I begged to differ. This was a night out! I was SITTING for the first time in over a year without a child hanging off of my boob! There was nothing else I could do besides wait for my laundry to dry so while I was sitting, I had no guilt over the dishes I should be doing, floors I should be washing, messes I could be picking up. I was by my myself…well except for my laundromat ladies… but I had nobody to worry about except for me. I could sit down and enjoy some adult conversation. I could fold laundry without a tiny person pulling it off the table and throwing it all over. I could finish a whole load without being interrupted by a diaper explosion or a hungry baby. To top it off, I was drinking delicious takeout coffee while it was still HOT. I could even keep the cup of coffee beside me without worrying about a tiny person grabbing it and burning themselves. (When I drink coffee or any other beverage at home, it is kept inside of the cage that we keep our pet television in. It is really only in there to avoid a spill. I never manage to even pour myself a cup of coffee while it is hot. More often than not, I make a pot of coffee in the morning and don’t realize until after dinner that I never did drink any. Time flies when you’re the ringmaster in a tiny person circus!)
As sad or crazy as it might sound, this was pretty much the BEST Saturday night I’ve had in a while! I love my husband and I love my rugrats but taking time to yourself (even if it is to dry 4 thousand loads of laundry) is therapeutic and necessary. The only way it could have been better would have been if I had thought to bring this super, tiny bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream (that my Nana gave me for Christmas about 2 years ago) with me to secretly add to my coffee. Ah well, there’s always New Year’s Eve. I can make a party out of it then!
When I finished drying and folding all of my laundry and loaded up the mom-mobile, I headed home feeling like a new woman. When I walked in the door and started bringing it all inside, even my husband remarked “You seem like you actually enjoyed that!” Yes, I did. Simple pleasures. An hour and a half outside of the house all by my lonesome with a hot cup of takeout coffee. Let’s just say, I forgive my dryer for dying on me. Words I never thought I would say: The laundromat on a Saturday night is AWESOME!
Before I got a chance to go back and spend another Saturday night at the laundromat, my dryer was repaired. Well, kinda. The dryer is fine. It is our electrical panel that needs some love and attention. AKA: money. (Siiigh!) The dryer is back in working order though. I suppose I should be happy. It is definitely easier to keep up with the ridiculous amount of laundry with a washer and dryer on site but I’m definitely going to have to find another reason to escape for a couple of hours in the near future…and I’m bringing that tiny 2 year old bottle of Bailey’s with me.
andbabymakes3imean 4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, be sure to click “subscribe” to be the first to know about future posts! Thanks for reading! xo