Thursday, July 3, 2008

All Washed Up by Jenny Gardiner

Wet towels have become the bane of my existence. I’m practically drowning in them. I find them everywhere. Damp towels on the bathroom floor, saturated swimming pool towels on the hardwood floors. Dripping hair towels soaking into the carpets.
With my three kids home all summer, the soggy towel factor has increased exponentially. It’s almost out of control. By my calculations I am faced with at the very least nine wet towels a day, and that’s if the kids only go to the pool once. If they go to swim team practice in the morning, that’s three more soaking wet towels. Don’t even get me started on swim meet days: two to three more sodden towels per kid (that is if they don’t lose them at the meet), bringing me to a grand total of six thousand four hundred and twenty four soggy towels per week, give or take a few.
I try to encourage the kids to hang up the towels, give them a chance to air dry. But they’re just so darned wet. The towels, not the kids. So even assuming the kids did hang their towels regularly, which they’re not, the damp towel dilemma has taken over my life.
I’m washing, and drying, drying and washing. But I don’t seem to make any headway.
And supposing I do get all my wet towels washed, there’s the other problem of the towels in the closet. Every day, I wash those towels. Fold them neatly. Place them in an orderly manner on the shelves of the linen closet. And every day I find the clean towel pile overturned. In an effort to get to their favorite towels, the kids pull from the bottom of the pile, allowing the stack to tumble. Dead soldier towels, strewn about the floor. At least they’re not wet.
My husband came up with a solution to our towel problem. Unfortunately he announced it at 11 o’clock at night to an audience of overly tired kids.
The idea was this: pit each kid against the other. Whoever finds a wet towel on the floor can confront the towel offender, and force a payment of 25 cents. My teen-aged son, who never met a get-rich-quick scheme he didn’t like, started to gleefully calculate how much money he could make annually off of his sisters by merely busting them violating the towel rule.
My older daughter, our number one towel offender--but aside from that all-around wonderful helper--burst into tears, feeling persecuted. We couldn’t calm her down for thirty minutes.
My other daughter, another towel violator, stomped off to her room, slamming the door shut.
Today, my son, the mercenary, happened into his sister’s room in search of our kitten, when what did he come upon, but a wet towel. Now mind you, at least it wasn’t heaped on the carpet. It was draped across a chair. But nevertheless, it was not in its designated spot on the towel rack. Excitedly he thrust the towel in his sister’s face. She shrieked at him, accusing him of sneaking into her room, her private space. He leered at her, that ire-inducing smirk that every brother in the world knows will elicit hatred, venom, retribution from a sister. Usually in the form of a slap, smack, pinch, punch or kick.
There’s a lot more noise in my house today. Whereas yesterday, I spent the day in relative peace, stooping to pick up the myriad of wet towels laying about, today, I had to don my striped shirt, secure my whistle over my neck, and adopt the role of referee. It hasn’t allowed me much time for washing towels.
I think my life was easier when all I had to worry about was picking up wet towels off of every horizontal surface in my house. Excuse me while I go run interference with my kids, I think it’s getting violent.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Maybe wave a wet towel in defeat? Wish I had some advice or miracle solution, but I don't. Almost makes you long for winter, wet boots and mittens puddling on the floor, doesn't it?

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver said...

Ha. Yeah, all the winter wet gear ultimately is worse, isn't it? At least with this you can escape to the great outdoors...

Daisy said...

Never a dull moment!

Threeundertwo said...

Wet towels on the floor make me crazy! We finally set up separate towel rings in the bathroom so each kid has a designated towel spot. Now we know who's hanging them up and who's not, and the offender gets laundry duty.

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver said...

3/2--that's SUCH a good idea! You are a seriously organized woman, I can tell. Do you hire out to those of us in need of someone whipping us into shape?