Airing the dirty laundry
Airing the dirty laundry
Scott Dunlop
The second-best feeling in the world is being up-to-date with the laundry. Everything is fresh-smelling, ironed and folded away in neat stacks in cupboards. It’s also the shortest-lasting feeling in the world. Nobody warns you about the laundry before you become a parent. Well, now I can let you know what you’re in for:

The 5 stages of kids, in laundry

If you look at all of your friends’ Facebook pages, and the pictures they put up of their newborns, you’ll notice a trend: Every single person in those photos is wearing clothes. Even the babies are sporting soft fluffy vests and cute little onesies. Look carefully: some new parents (first-timers, obviously) have even plonked socks onto their cherished baba’s chunky little feet.

Baby socks
Baby socks should come with a warning: “Beware! One of these socks is disposable. Wear once, only”. Socks are to babies what strait-jackets are to Harry Houdini, a race-against-time challenge to discard. If, by some miracle, the socks make it to the laundry basket, you should conduct a little funeral right there - one of them is not going to make it. Somewhere in that washing machine lurks a hungry sock-troll.

I think cloth nappies are great. They’re environmentally friendly, and, later on when your child discovers taps, they’re also perfect for soaking up the frequent bathroom floods. But I confess that I only ever used them for my first-born. The challenge of laundry for five just left no room for rinsing and drying cloth nappies, especially in winter.

Soggy duvets
There’s potty training and getting your baby to sleep through the night, dry. Those times are haunting, if only for a few months. I can’t be the only person who has had to change a set of bedding in the night, brought the kid into my own bed, and then had him have another “accident”. Two sets of bedding in one night. Ouch. Same goes for some of the more colourful tummy bug nights. You’re not a parent if you haven’t been puked on in your own bed.

Uniform madness
Just when you think the Great Nappy Washing Days were over, along come school uniforms. Not too bad on their own, but there are also sports clothes and after-school clothes. My daughter appears to be in some invisible theatrical production. She treats times of the day like costume changes, adding and subtracting to her outfits with methodical frequency. She generates a LOT of washing.

Dirty secrets
Now, as my eldest drifts towards his teens, he has developed a fondness for his socks. Rather than entrust them to the washing machine sock-troll, he wears them as long as he can before I realise that the drains are NOT blocked, but the smell... oh, the smell, is coming from growing feet.

There are the white washes which end up pink, bleach spots on best outfits, clothes shrinking in the tumble dryer, and growth spurts which turn your kids into mini-Frankenstein’s monsters, with their ankles and wrists exposed.

Nope, nobody tells you about the laundry before you become parents, because we’re all too busy washing, rinsing, folding and repeating.

Why not tell us your scariest laundry experience to and stand a chance to win a R250 voucher.

And don’t forget about Awesome Mommies Month. Send in your Mother’s Day pics, or pics of your favourite mommy moment and stand a chance to win one of these great prizes!

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