All three of my children (Tiffany, Tree & Mandy) started washing their own clothes at relatively young ages. The youngest, Mandy, was only three-years-old when she first began this chore.
But it wasn’t a chore to her. She was getting to do the very same thing her older siblings were doing, and, boy, was she excited! Since it was a top-loading washing machine, I had to pick her up and hold her so that she could drop her clothes inside and push the bottons. And, yes, I had to offer a little bit more help when it came time to get the clothes out of the washer.
Mandy’s excitement didn’t last forever, of course. The worst times were during her middle school years. She complained. She whined. She fussed. She pitched fits. After all, she was the only person in her entire school – even in the whole world – who had to wash her own clothes! But, poor thing, she wanted clean clothes, so she washed ‘em.
The fussing didn’t stop, though. It went on throughout middle school and into part of high school.
Then a strange thing happened. Mandy got to the point that she didn’t want anyone else to wash her clothes. On occasion, just because she was busy with school activities, I offered to do her clothes. Oh, no; she didn’t want help. She was afraid anyone else might mess up her clothes or not do them as well as she did or the way she preferred.
Now married and with a baby of her own, she wrote on her blog the other day that she remembers going to college and finding girls that were on their own and doing laundry for the first time ever. (My son said that when he moved into a dorm, he was sort of like a hero because he was the guy who could tell the others how to do laundry!)
The other thing she wrote on that blog was that she plans for her son to start doing his own laundry at an early age!
Can you imagine the smile that brought to my face?
Copyright 2008 Sherry Martschink