I folded laundry for two hours on the weekend. Every article of dirty clothing in the house, including towels, was washed and dried, resulting in giant, wadded up piles of fabric strewn throughout three bedrooms, carpeting them like thick, textural quilts made from socks and pink crinoline. In order to walk, these quilts needed new homes, preferably the one in which they belong.
The accumulation of clothes when you have kids is astronomical and rapid. Children sit in dirt with white shorts. They drip their pasta sauce on their favourite shirt. They want to wear a princess dress in the morning, play clothes by lunch, and pants and a sweater when they get too cold. They wear footie pajamas and decide they’re too hot. They change a thousand times in a day, decimating each outfit so that they can not be worn again without some serious laundering. The number of tiny baby socks one child owns is well into the millions. If tiny baby socks were loonies (Canadian dollar coins, if you’re just visiting), parents would be rich beyond their wildest dreams.
I do laundry when I have to. When we’re all down to our second string undergatchies and it’s looking sketchy for the rest of the week. Sure, it would be easier to do smaller loads more frequently, but that would seriously cut into my couch-lounging time. So I do it all at once, for hours on end, breaking a sweat from the speed at which I fold and sort and put away. It’s a marathon event and, while I despise it with every cell in my body, I can plough through a metric tonne of clothes (you think I’m exaggerating…) swiftly. I had to change my shirt twice on Sunday, which is so ironically counterproductive, because between the physical labour and the dancing to the chore-music, I’d pretty much rendered them unwearable.
You burn 136 calories an hour folding or hanging clothes, putting clothes in the washer or dryer, or packing a suitcase. I was a laundry go-hard for two. I could replace those calories with 41 carrots, a can of sardines, or a Snickers bar. I choose option C.