Monday, March 29, 2010

The Tale of Two Baskets

I do the laundry. I have a pretty good system going with it. I do light colors on Mondays and do the the whites and darks on Fridays. I fold the clothes coming out of the dryer or off the line and put them in individual baskets for each member of the family. Each member of the family is responsible for putting their own laundry away.

If asked most members of the family will help with parts of doing the laundry. If asked, Sweet Girl will sort the colors, load the washer (front loader), put the soap in, start the laundry, switch the laundry over and turn the dryer on. She needs asked every step of the way, but she is willing most of the time. She doesn't really like to fold or put away. But really that is a ton for a 4 year old! Sweetie Heart can do it, but she complains about it and also needs reminded.

Here's the other thing. See these two laundry baskets? What is different about them?

Hmm, one is almost empty and the other one is full to overflowing you say? You are right.

I have one child who wears the same thing over and over and over again. She even said to me once that she was glad she wore the same thing over and over again so she had less stuff to put away. I then made the 2 day rule, which she doesn't follow through with because it's my rule not hers. She will wear clothes that have visible dirt on them and still insist that they are clean. Anything she takes off she puts on the end of her bed to wear again instead of putting the dirty stuff in the hamper. We recently put the hamper in their room to create an environment for them to put dirty clothes where they belong. It doesn't seem to be working for her.

My other child wears clothes like she's using a tissue. If it gets wet, it's dirty and goes in the hamper. If she decides she wants to wear something different (usually at least once a day) it's goes in the hamper. She also doesn't like putting away her clothes. I was putting her clean clothes basket on the end of her bed. If it wasn't emptied by the next time I did laundry I dumped it on the end of her bed so I could use the basket again. She would put dirty clothes in top of them and then scoop all of them up and dump them into the hamper for me to wash. That makes my blood boil. I washed, dried and folded them and she could even put them away? And then she wanted me to do it again to clean clothes!? It smacks of laziness. So I took her clean laundry away. Yes, yes I know it's controlling. When she was ready to put her all of her clean laundry away she could have them, but she couldn't pick and choose what she wanted from the basket. Problem is she's smart. She would put part of the basket away and then get what she wanted and stop. Then it went to the fact that she didn't have any clothes so she took dirty stuff out of the hamper to wear. Ugh! I had two big baskets of her clothes in my room. Obviously she has too many clothes. She and I went through them last week and got rid of a bin full of stuff. This is to create an environment for her to be able to put her stuff away.

So what am I to do? Do I just let it go? Do I let them do whatever they want with there clothes situation or do I intervene? And by intervene I mean, do I make up some sort of privilege and responsibility around it? I do not want to be picking out their clothes for them. Honestly, I think they would let me and love not having to be responsible for it. So what to do. Vicki...are you there? Are you going to give me some input? Please??

And just because I know you're looking for them. How cute is he??


Smita Srivastava said...

Cute blog !!

MidwifeMama said...

Hah, with regards to laundry, my son is both of your daughters in one! I know how frustrating this is, there doesn't seem to be any motivator to work with. Maybe give your fashion plate her own laundry to be responsible for? Or have a limit on how often you will wash her clothes? For the re-wearing, I am trying choosing own clothing as a P with R to be earned. So far, no great success, but still trying.

Lori S. said...

My daughter is just like that -- she changes her clothes multiple times a day, wears clothes for 5 minutes and then tosses them on the floor, clean clothes get mixed in with dirty and all end up back in the hamper. She has tons of clothes (hand me downs from many girl cousins) so she can get away with going through clothes like crazy. She is completely responsible for doing her own laundry, and to my surprise that hasn't made a bit of difference in her behavior!!

At this point, I have just let it go. She's the one doing the laundry, so it's not my problem anymore. I hate to see it because I feel like it's so wasteful -- washing already-clean clothes, wearing things for such a brief time before washing -- but it's not a battle that's worth the effort, so I just ignore it. It's now her choice how many clothes she wants to wash!