Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hard Workin' Twins

I have decided that Aidan and Owen are like sheep dogs - they need a job in order to be happy.

This is probably the one trait that they did not inherit from me. Their dad has a killer work-ethic, while I am more of a couch-potato type. This does not exactly work well with our current set-up (i.e., me as sole breadwinner), but that's the pickle called life.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand: comparing my children to dogs.

According to my extensive research on the subject, sheep dogs live to herd sheep. They love it. Can't get enough of it. They love it so much that....oh, forget it. Old-school Sesame Street can explain it so much better than me:

Granted, that's a border collie and not a sheep dog, but let's not split hairs, people. The point is - my twins need to stay busy in order to be happy.

Because child labor laws prevent me from shipping them out to the nearest factory, I've tried to come up with several jobs around the house that they might be able to help me with. Things like putting their silverware in the sink, throwing their left-over peanut butter & jelly sandwich crusts into the trash, picking out their shorts and shirts for the day, etc. etc.

The only problem is, the twins' idea of a job well done and my idea of a job well done are not quite meshing.

Take laundry for example. As you can imagine, there is an insane amount of laundry to do when you have three children aged three and under. Now, we all know that the washing and drying is not the hard part of the laundry equation - it's the folding and the putting away portion of the experience that gets us everytime. Baskets upon baskets of wrinkly clean clothes all though the house - tangible textile proof of our perpetual state of existence: almost, but not quite.

So, this weekend, I decided to let the boys help me tackle the laundry piles. I parked myself on the floor, and started folding and sorting away while the boys brought me various articles of clothing.

However, I am not a speed folder. And because I was taking my sweet little time making sure the creases in everyone's tee-shirts were folded just so, I stopped paying attention to the boys. Which meant that they started bringing me clothes from the "already folded pile" to be folded yet again. Which meant that I spent a lot of extra time re-folding already-folded laundry when I could have been couch potato-ing instead.

That is unacceptable.

So, I tried a new tactic. Instead of sitting in the same room with the laundry piles, I sat way on the other side of the house. Then I had the boys run to and fro between me and the piles, bringing me as much laundry as their little arms could carry (i.e., a shirt plus sock). Because they did inherit their short legs from me, the running to and fro took enough time that it allowed me to fold all the clothes uninterrupted between laundry sprints.

When all the laundry had been folded, the boys were tired.

And happy.


Anonymous said...

We have six or seven baskets of clothes, taking up space in our hallway. This is such a good idea, I just have to steal it! Maybe it would get Veronica to go back to taking a nap ;)

MamaOtwins+1 said...

We don't have baskets, but a couch that contains all the unfolded laundry. It doesn't get used for anything else as it is not in the living room, but the study (closer to the washing machine). I am so glad to know I am not the only one with the folding clothes problem.

Megan said...

Tandis - Steal away!! I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with it. And oh lord, I would die if the twins stopped taking naps.

MamaO: You are sooooooo not alone. Folding/putting clothes away is the bane of our existence around here.