Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Wet Patch / Laundry

Ever tried to get squashed banana out of a bedspread? Nope, me neither. I left it to the pros.

"The Wet Patch" is slightly different these days, since having kids. And Barry can't always do the gentlemanly thing now and sleep on it, since it's usually near me.

At the moment it's wee, Noah's, in the middle of the bed. He was bare-arsed and playing around, sucking on me, and then just wee'd.
Other dry "wet patches" I can see from here are breastmilk, from leaky boobs during the night. Some are tinged yellow on the days I remember to take my vitamin B complex. It turns my milk and the boy's wee yellow. (Note to self: look up the colourings used, hmm)
To my left there is a dried patch of bright yellow, the messy cheese fries from Eddie Rocket's we enjoyed for all of two minutes before babies started waking up and demanding to be fed NOW!

Other patches are:
Dry drool, mostly Noah's, but I'm sure the rest of us can claim one or two

I don't think there's a single excretion left out on this sheet, and it's only a couple of days old. Oh:
Earwax; can't see any.
Yup, poo's here too, under Charlie, from a messy nappy change in the half-light, scrubbed with a baby wipe, but still there.

So, who gets the honour of sleeping on the wet patch tonight? Well, as it's under Noah, and he made it, it's going to be him. I will put a folded muslin down under him, as soon as he's stopped breastfeeding. And I'll put a nappy on him too.

Washing and drying a SuperKing sheet is not easy in mid-winter. We have no mattress-protector, can't get one to fit our 6'x7' bed, so it's "easy on the wet patches please" here.
Our line flaps with an enormous white sail every few days, as we have only a couple of sheets in rotation. On windy days you can hear the flapping inside the house, and if the sheet twists over on itself on the line, unseen, it can take another few hours to dry once unwound.

I love doing laundry. I know how weird that sounds. I don't iron, fold or put anything away though. Our clean clothes are usually excavated from a pile on the bunk bed in the boy's future bedroom, or out of a basket. I love rooting through the huge mixed pile on the floor of our garage, looking for clothes of similar colours:

These are the colour categories I wash stuff in:

White towels
Bedsheets / duvet covers (all white - notice a running theme?)
Pinks/reds (usually mine)
Blues/greens (usually theirs)
Greys (surprisingly loads of grey clothes; tracksuit bottoms, hoodies, we all wear 'em)
Skanky wash - this comprises really filthy teatowels used to scrub wee and spilt cups of tea out of our living-room carpet, usually once a day, also kitchen sponges the odd time.

My favourite bit is pegging the clothes out on the line. My pegs are all blue / pink (one yellow that blew over the wall and I use, keep meaning to give it back / throw it over)
We have 2 retractable lines going from the kitchen wall to the garage, non-parallel to each other. We retract them when having company in the summer, i.e. Charlie's birthday each June, the rest of the year they stay up - Barry ducking under them as he mows the lawn.

I have a very strict way to peg things out:
Knits get pegged under the arms, so you don't see the pegmarks (thanks Gran for the tip!)
Tops get pegged upside down
Trousers pegged at the waist, pockets pulled out if possible
Socks in 2s (matching if possible)
Baby clothes doesn't matter.

Woe betide the well-meaning husband who pegs my t-shirt at the shoulders. I usually do a quick visual if he's pegged out the washing, and run out to readjust. (One of my FEW OCD traits)
Nothing I wear ever gets ironed.
Barry irons a couple of his shirts the odd time. And some of his trousers.
No children's clothes EVER get ironed
No bedsheets / tea towels / tablecloths etc. EVER get ironed.

I know someone who employs a lady to iron her toddler's clothes, including knickers and socks. Just her toddler's clothes...

I like to look good, don't get me wrong, but I've built up a wardrobe of cotton/cotton-lycra which needs no ironing.



Please, if you find ourself ironing undergarments / the aforementioned items, please spend that time writing that book you've always dreamed about writing, or something similarly worthwhile. At your funeral, nobody's going to mention your clean house / perfectly-ironed bedclothes / rumple-free socks.

As I've been writing this a new wet patch has appeared - Charlie's nappy leaked. Going for the towels now!
Niamh x


  1. Sounds like my house. Although I am lazier with the washing. I have whites, darks, lights then a seperate load for my daughter and ones a week I do all the teatowels, oven mits etc. I'll probably do a seperate one for the next baby as well. Also don't iron... My husband irons his shirts and trousers for work. My tops I put on hangers so they don't need ironing and well trousers, as you said, I'd rather be doing something else :)

  2. ''once'' a week sorry. way too early...

  3. Oh the messes we mamas put up with on a daily basis! But I love "life's too short to iron a tea towel, people!"

    So true. And in my case, life's too short to iron. Anything.

  4. Yes, I do the "hanging to avoid creases and not need ironing" trick, but then the clean stuff invariable ends up in a heap on the spare bed for a week, so we go around like tramps. clean tramps though.


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