Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Control freak

So, since the birth of our cutie, we've had family in town. First, my mom was here, from before he was born, until about five days after, when my sweetie's parents came. They are leaving tomorrow, and my mom will then be back for another week. All in all, we will have had guests/help for the first three weeks of the baby's life.

For the most part, it's been great. I have been recovering pretty well, but like all new parents, we're still pretty sleep-deprived, so having help on hand is really nice. And my mom and mother-in-law cook dinner every night, which is about as great as you might imagine. Both women also vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, and generally kept the place looking presentable and not like a baby bomb hit it. All much appreciated.

But I have surprised myself in one area, and that is laundry. Mind you, I hate doing laundry. When I lived by myself, I would build up a truly shocking amount of laundry--a good three or four weeks' worth, then haul it down to my building's laundry room, take up five machines, and wash it all at once, just to get it over with as quickly as possible. In our house, where we have only one machine, I do a load here, a load there, but typically only when absolutely forced to by my husband's lack of underwear (I never run out of underwear since, after all, I have three or four weeks' worth :-). Heck, as often as not, my sweetie will do the laundry in order to have clean underwear.

With a baby, there is a lot of laundry to be done. He is 12 days old today, and I'd say we've already done at least three loads of purely baby laundry. Plus plenty of parental spit/pooed/peed-on laundry.

Laundry is something I am not allowed to do--the machines are downstairs, and I am forbidden to use the stairs, both by my mother, who says Chinese tradition dictates I am not use stairs or do anything for a month, and by my doctor, who says I can climb stairs but not while carrying anything. I hate doing laundry, and my mom and mother-in-law have been doing it for me. And what do you know? I've completely surprised myself by hating allowing other people to do my laundry. Of all things, this would not be the one I would have expected. I am somewhat territorial about my kitchen, and so I would have thought I wouldn't like to be cooked for, but in fact every meal that appears before me with no effort on my part is a thing of beauty, and if things get put back in the wrong place, I don't care. I usually don't like people cleaning my house and moving stuff around, but I don't even bat an eye.

But laundry? I can't stand it. They don't do it right! They use the wrong detergent, or they don't sort it the way I would, or they don't put it back where it belongs, or they lose socks or mitts, or who knows what. It drives me completely crazy. Who'd'a thunk it? I'm a laundry control freak. I actually went downstairs, risking wrath of mom and doctor and sweetie, and did a load today because I didn't want anyone else to do it and it needed to be done.

No one is more surprised by this than me. When I was in college, I used to wonder why all mothers seemed to be clean-obsessed, when not all women are. I thought maybe some weird hormonal thing kicks in, and you just become clean. If I'm scrubbing floors in a month, you'll know: I've gone over the deep end.


Squirrelette said...

Nut! I cannot imagine what you would have been like if you had ever sent your laundry out to be washed by the pound... Heh.

But I understand what you mean -- I only leave my laundry in the hands of others if I am sanguine about the item's possible destruction/despoilation. (is that even a word?)

And my sweetie's mom has said, "It's amazing how good food tastes when you don't have to cook or clean up after it!" Enjoy!

The Beast Mom said...

I definitely can't say I'm clean-obsessed. ;)

I agree w/ your other commenter. Enjoy the food! Maybe it will make up for the laundry stress.


Nancy Corbato said...

Actually, I was more of a clean freak before I had kids. The whole spit up on/peed on/pooped on thing made me more relaxed, once I got over the initial revulsion. I can even ignore crumbs on the floor for days at a time, whereas before kids I'd have been on my knees with a sponge as soon as I spotted them. (I have a thing about ant invasions, and I live in the middle of a giant ant hill.)

I think the laundry is definitely a control issue, since babies are terrifyingly out of your control once they're born. You can't force them to eat more, or grow, or sleep on a schedule, but by gum, you can make sure they're dressed in clean little outfits with the matching mitts and socks, all laundered in everything-free soap.

Do we get to see pictures of said matching outfits? Or are they clean so briefly that pictures are hopeless? Do you need more outfits, so that you can go longer without doing laundry? (Hint, hint -gift ideas are welcome!)

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