Where does all this laundry come from? From where does all this laundry come? How do we make all this laundry? (Finally found a way to phrase this question without ending in a preposition or sounding pretentious)
Before you say it, yes, the cloth diapers add to my laundry. But I only do a load of cloth diapers twice a week, which is approximately 1/10 of my laundry. This week I decided to keep track of how a family of four can create so much laundry.
Let's start with a clean slate in the morning. I have all the laundry in the house clean as of 5am (folded and put away is another story, but it was all clean). Pete wakes up, having wet through his diaper. That's one load of baby blankets and pajamas. I'll also add one towel, since he "helped" clean it up before coming to get me out of bed. Chester's pajamas are still clean, and are laid back on his bed to be used again tonight.
My pajamas go in the wash every morning too, because we're still nursing overnight. I keep my nursing nightgowns and tank tops meticulously clean in hopes of avoiding more nipple infections. That's probably overkill, but having suffered through countless bouts of mastitis over the last 3 years, I'm going to err on the side of caution.
By 7am, both boys were clean and dressed and at the breakfast table. By 7:30am, there were blackberry stains on Chester's pants, and Pete had spilled his milk on himself and the table. Add two pairs of little boys' pants, one little boy's shirt and one pair of tiny underpants to the laundry, plus three kitchen towels from wiping up the milk.
10am snack, and this time I'm on top of the fruit situation. I've draped both boys in kitchen towels, not just bibs. They are completely covered. Pete even uses a napkin to clean his hands before asking to be excused. Sadly, Chester somehow managed to hide a strawberry under his leg and grind it into his jeans. Add two bibs, two kitchen towels, one napkin, one pair of baby jeans (pre-treated for the berry stains) and another kitchen rag used for wiping the table with pine-sol.
By lunch I've learned my lesson. No fruit for you! Macaroni and cheese, though creamy, doesn't stain. I merely wipe the boys down with a kitchen rag after they cover themselves and their bibs in cheesey goodness. Add two bibs, one napkin and a kitchen rag to the pile.
Naptime arrives after lunch, so off to the changing table for Chester and the bathroom for a potty trip for Pete to prepare for nap. Pete has leaked a little, so his pants and underpants go in the laundry pile and he pulls on a pull-up for naptime. (Note to self: remind pre-schooler about a potty break earlier tomorrow) I live with three men, two of whom use the toilet, so though I should probably scrub every day, I usually just do a quick spray and wipe with disinfectant and a bathroom cleaning rag. I can't count the bathroom rags though, because I toss them in the diaper pail to wash and that's a separate count. Add one pair of little boy pants and underpants.
My jeans, which used to be worn several times and broken in for maximum comfort, are now washed after nearly every wearing. If I haven't been peed on, I've at least been snotted on, or used as a hand towel by tiny little hands. Add my entire outfit to the pile at the end of the day.
The gym- we try to go every day, which means today like most days there's an extra set of gym clothes to toss in the laundry. I wear two shirts (yes, I'm self conscious about my tank top riding up and exposing my belly at the gym, so I wear two), two sports bras (I am still a nursing Mom blessed with plenty of extra voluptuousness up top), a pair of socks, undies and capri workout pants.
Dinner adds two napkins and a few kitchen towels (both from cooking and wiping the children and table after dinner.
After dinner and a quick sweep and mop of the floor, I decide the kitchen rug has reached its limit and needs to go through the wash too. Not one to waste an entire load on just one rug, and not willing to wash a rug with our clothes, I pick up the doggie-bed blankets too. It's been raining all week and they stink, so they might as well go through the wash too. That's an entire load right there.
Put the boys in pajamas for bed, and Ryan in bed too, toss all their clothes in the pile.
Here it is, 8pm and we have three loads of laundry today. Over the course of the last week we've also washed the toddler bed a few more times, our bed (it's great to have a baby or toddler snuggle you but not so nice to have them throw up on you or pee in your bed) an entire sea bag full of Ryan's laundry, a load of towels, and extra work pants from mowing the lawn and cleaning the garage.
No wonder our water bill is through the roof!