The end is not near

Have you ever thought about how being the parent of a teenager or two is a little bit like tweezing your eyebrows? Painful, difficult to get right and devastating to your self esteem if you make the slightest mistake? (It is worth noting that I have only once in my life made an attempt to tweeze my eyebrows.) I’ve been trying this thing with the kids, a sort of Oka-style standoff in the upstairs hall. ….Oh, sorry. Did you come for the fibre stuff?

Here you go. Erle blocking.


Fleece artist spinning.



Right. Back to the standoff in the upstairs hall. The ladies throw their clothes there. (They throw them everywhere actually, this is just the place that bugs the crap out of me.) Right outside the bathroom door there is always this pile of things that they have cast off themselves on the way to the bath. (Or a pile of things that they rejected while changing clothes during the morning assessment in the mirror. Same diff. ) I tried asking them to clean it up. I tried explaining that it annoyed me. Then, I tried bribery. I bought a hamper and put it right where they throw the clothes, and I told them that even though they are largely responsible for their own laundry these days, I would wash anything in that hamper. Good deal eh? Wouldn’t you think? Wouldn’t you?


Look at this. Blatant hamper ignoring. Blatant, obstreperous, boldfaced hamper ostracism. Daughters, hear me now. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. Picking up your clothes cuts into the time I have to do other things. Things like knitting, or spinning, or earning the money that I use to buy you food. It takes my attention away from other things that I do that you like. Things like cooking, grocery shopping…or talking Joe out of screaming “I know what you’re thinking!” at all of those boys who keep ringing the doorbell.

I will not budge from this position. The clothes go IN the hamper. Not BY the hamper, not CLOSE to the hamper, not NEAR the hamper… IN the hamper.

If you put things IN the hamper, the laundry fairy comes sometimes. Not often, and not reliably, but she does show up when the mood strikes her. The laundry fairy is mercurial but there are moments, in every laundry fairy’s day, where if she sees some laundry in a hamper, she’s been known to pitch it into Mr. Washie. Maybe even follow it through to the dryer. No way to tell. The laundry fairy’s generosity is a strange, strange thing. If things are NEAR the hamper, the laundry fairy keeps right on going.

With my wool as my witness. I will not touch anything that is not IN the hamper. Not when you are out of pants. Not when you really, really need your lucky blue shirt or must have a white shirt for the concert even though you will fail music if it is not clean and on your body. I shall not be moved by tears, eyelash fluttering or quiet pouting. (Loud pouting shall be similarly received.) I do not care if we all eventually cannot get into the room that lies beyond the wall of clothes NEAR the hamper.

Put. The. Clothes. In.

So sayeth your mother. Move on. Improve yourselves.