We nearly lost dad last week. Not lost as in he accidentally ventured into the mall and had a panic attack, but “lost” as in choked to death on a tortilla chip. Dad was sitting at the bar munching away on tortilla chips and his new favorite dip – Hot Pepper Hummus – when the twelve year old shot across the kitchen screaming and waving a pair of MY good underwear around in the air above his head.
Now, in our family, everyone helps with the laundry.
That means at times the boys fold girl underwear and girls fold boy underwear. For some unfathomable reason, it is perfectly OK for a girl to fold boy’s underwear, unless she calls them panties, but it is NOT OK for a boy to fold girl panties. We have had many fights over this issue and it becomes especially tense when training bras begin showing up on the folding table.
The current rule is that each child is required to wash and dry and fold their own laundry. I wash everything else. For the most part this has solved the issues of folding, uh… garments that are too ICK to discuss! However, I must point out, at some point in their lives most boys will parade around with underwear on their head much like a chef’s hat. Little Girls’ slickety panties just do not make the same kind of hat so they get over that action rather quickly. We try to be segregated in the underwear department as tempers can flare up at the oddest times. Now and then a kitchen rag or towel happens to end up in a particular basket. The rule for that is, if it ends up in the basket, then that person has to fold and put the item up. After all, we all use kitchen towels and rags.
On very busy occasions, such as coming home from a trip, all laundry is thrown in a heap and good ol mom works through it during the day. On those days, there is not time to separate according to age, rank and serial number. All darks go together, all whites go together, dress clothes together and so forth. That means on folding day, a boy might have to fold some teeny tiny yellow underwear with green frogs printed on them, or a girl might have to check the size of the boxers and fold them. All bras generally get thrown around and tried on over sports T-shirts or put on the head, or worn as masks. It just happens.
Comments are made frequently. Fights break out and the folding table becomes an arena that only the strongest survive. Lord help us if one of the older girls comes to visit and a thong ends up on the folding table. It gets tossed and stretched and “ewwwww grossed” at least ten million times before I can catch it in mid-air and tuck it out of sight. Almost as bad as the thongs are my underwear. I don’t know why dad’s boxers never receive a comment or a toss, but they don’t. The kids pick his up, give them a shake and fold them into a nice pile. Mine have to be commented on, tried on over jeans, sniggered over, and nearly worn out just to make it to a pile.
And that is the exact problem we had on the dad we nearly lost dad. The twelve-year old was slinging some of my underwear around his head, screaming through the kitchen with the teen was close on his heels.
“Stop! What is going on?” I held out my arms to stop them as they tried to ooze through the opening between the bar and the cabinets.
They looked at me in shock and then looked at each other and shrugged.
“Why are you running through the house with my underwear?”
The twelve year squawked, looked at the garment in his hand, and dropped it on the floor as if he had been plunged into some kind of burning acid. His face wore a look of total ICK and surprise.
“Ewwww! I thought it was HER tank top.”
And that is the exact moment dad choked on the tortilla chip.
I gave him The Look with a raised eyebrow and he tried to stop coughing and laughing but couldn’t. He choked and sputtered, “He thought your underwear was a tank top.”
Yes, I know, I got that. Funny Ha-ha! I picked up the offending garment and waltzed out of the kitchen.
I did not even stop to pat him on the back.
He lives, but only because he pays the rent.