Thanks to a cat-related incident with an oversized comforter, we had to go to the laundromat the other day. I don't know if you're familiar, but it's as exotic and frightening as it sounds. Earlier, a storm had knocked our power out and I decided since we weren't missing much at home, we may as well catch up on all of the laundry while we were there.
Washing went well but when it was time to fold the clothes, one family was folding on one table and stacking their clothes on another (these are huge tables--make it work) and another guy had his empty laundry basket, a duffle bag, and his iphone on another table that he was leaning against, despite my obvious need of folding space.
The family's daughter blocked my rolling cart 4 different times. At first I was all, "Awww, 'scuse me, sweetie, coming through," and then, "Please step aside, thanks," and then we'd just glare at each other--as if she was the self-appointed 5-year-old gatekeeper of the dryer aisle, as I was basically forced to wait for her to allow me to pass. I never hit her with my cart but maybe the wheel nudged her toe once. I ultimately decided to fold my clothes on the two feet of space left on her parents' folded clothes table since she was more annoying than the ipod table-hogging guy. They looked at me like I was crazy as I took up the only empty flat surface in the room.
(They could have consolidated, don't pity them.)
little kid was eager to help. Big Kid was sluggish in the heat and at critical boredom level.
"Read a magazine, Big Kid! Look at all of the magazines! I used to love magazines when I was your age--a short little glimpse into adult life. Go ahead, pick one! Read whatever you would like."
Moments later I looked up to:
AARP? Out of all of the Men's Health and Glamour and Reader Digests...he picks AARP. Goodness, I love every bit of his ancient soul.
little kid was a folding machine and he wasn't bad at it.
"This is good for me to know!" he announced. "When I'm growed up, I will know my laundry."
"Yep, this is a good life skill! When you're in college and living on your own, you will already to know how to take care of your clothes. You will always be dressed nice and smelling good--the ladies will love you!"
"It will sure be nice when I get a wife," he said, while struggling with a pair of pants.
"Yeah. You'll get a good wife, too. Especially since you can help her with laundry!"
"Help her? Why would I help her?"
I was ready to pull out my feminist soap box and explain that it isn't her job when he added,"She can help me. I'm the one who is good at laundry!"
That's my boy.
When we finally arrived home, the power was still out. Big Kid had reached his limit of hours without internet and started to complain.
Exhausted from the heat and excitement of the laundromat, I fell to my knees and in an Oscar-worthy performance began to pound on the ground and beat on my chest, looking up at the sky and screaming, "WHY HAVE THOU FORSAKEN US, LORD? HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US, GOD?!? WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY?!?! WHERE ARE YOU IN OUR TIME OF DARKNESS, HEAVENLY FATHER? WAAAAAAAAH!!"
Big Kid was irritated, borderline mad. "Mom, you should talk. It's just that I have stuff to do."
"DEAR GOD, HOW COULD YOU ABANDON THIS BOY IN HIS TIME OF YOUTUBING AND MINECRAFT?!? DOTH THOU NOT LOVE THE LITTLE CHILDREN, JESUS?!"
So he wasn't speaking to me for a while after that.
As boredom settled in like a suffocating blanket, little kid began act like Big Kid was his mom.
"Mama, mama, take me to the park! Mama, mama? Can I have a treat? Mama, please? Mama, please play with me, mama?"
"Awwwww!! Look, you've spent so much time bossing him around that he's imprinted on you. Like a baby duckling! You've been the 3rd parent for so long that he thinks you're his mommy, Big Kid!"
Big Kid protested the honor.
"Mama! Mama! Take me outside, mama! Please! Mama!"
And in an all-too-familiar tone, Big Kid roared, "MOMMY NEEDS HER ALONE TIME!!" and I could sympathize.
Don't worry, the power came on soon after, and we all survived.