Sunday, October 16, 2016

The one where it was all yellow

Saturday evening, a time when most families enjoy the afternoon together. Playing games, watching tv, going on walks. But when you are a mom of 5 boys who need white shirts cleaned and pressed for church at 9 am, the frolicking only lasts till about 6pm.

Dinner, and kids scrubbed. Then scriptures and prayers. Hoping for a quiet night, mother begins laundry. She gathers up all of the sunday pants and the 2 little girls dresses. It's no wonder she has gone through 4 machines in the past 9 years. Some boys are in-between sizes so she washes them 2 or 3 pairs hoping that one of them will fit.

The evening progresses and Mother has collected everyone's shoes and socks and placed them in the front room. She has vowed to herself that this Sunday, they will be on time.  She changes the laundry, putting the pants in the dryer and begins to collect shirts. She would not miss one single shirt this Sunday. Last week a few children went in just collared shirts. It was an acceptable alternative, but Sunday best meant the white shirts with ties.

It took longer than she thought to collect the shirts. Mostly because she had to change the 2 year olds pants 3 times. The two year old had potty trained herself, and then decided it wasn't worth the effort.
"Get back in bed!" her catch phrase. Maybe someday someone will make an action figure of her. Action figure mom, complete with 3 cool catchphrases, "Get back in bed!" "Shut the door!" and "Don't touch that" Oh yes, it will sell millions. She wipes up pee off the floor for the third time, and puts the toddler back in bed.

The table still needed to be wiped up. After wiping the table the floor needed a sweep again. Before she knew it the dryer was going off. Mother didn't even get the white shirts in the washing machine yet. It was already late, she decided to start the white shirts, hang up the sunday pants and go to sleep. She knew that the whites would be ok in the washer for a few hours. if she just woke up an extra hour early she could run them in the dryer and they would be warm and wrinkle free just when the boys were ready to get dressed.

Sleep came easy, she just knew the morning was going to go well. At 6am the alarm went off and she trudged down the stairs. Impressive how a mother can make it down a flight of stairs with no landing, change a wet load of clothes to the dryer, get it started and head back to bed without waking up too much. Mom level achieved. She sleeps for another hour and wakes up to get the shirts out of the dryer before they wrinkle.

Mother turns on the lights in the laundry room and beings to empty the dryer. Taking out the first shirt she spreads it out to put it in the basket without it wrinkling. At first she thought it was just flecks of light in her eye. Maybe she was too sleepy. She rubs her eyes again, isn't possible. Yellow, yellow spots all over that white shirt. She pulls out another and inspects it. Nothing could be more cruel than this. A heinous, yellow, crayon of carnage, had made its way into the dryer. Shirt after shirt she pulls out, and finds yellow stains on

Some shirts only have a stain on the stomach, others are completely unsalvageable. Curse the one who invented crayons. How did it even get in the dryer. It was all SHIRTS. Then, the realization comes. All shirts, every last white shirt they owned was in that dryer. Father had 2 in his closet, at least he will be alright. She brings the basket of ruined shirts upstairs and slams it on the floor of their bedroom. Father wakes up, "What's going on?"

"All of them, I ruined EVERY LAST ONE." mother laments, "It's all over the collars, the sleeves, this isn't even salvageable." She lays face down on the bed. Father puts his hand on her shoulder. Every last shirt they own now looks like a yellow splatter painting, she was just trying to be on time for church once. Trying to do something good and ruining level achieved.

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