Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Doing the Math for Laundry And Bedwetting

My husband finds math reassuring because the numbers never lie.

I find it frustrating for the exact same reason.

Of late, I've been having a real challenge keeping up with laundry in our house.  It feels like I'm constantly running behind.  Wondering if I was being too hard on myself, I did the math.

We have 4 duvets in service for the winter, to be used for both boys.  Our washer fits 1 duvet at a time.  It takes 70 minutes to wash and 120 minutes to dry.  (Or at least dry enough that I can hang it over the stairs and let it air dry the rest of the way.)

Alex wets the bed at least once and sometimes twice per night.  At least twice a week, we will also have to wash Nathan's duvet. 

Here comes the math: 3 duvets to wash = 6 hours of dryer time, assuming I'm prompt and can change the loads as soon as they finish.

I need to do a load of the boys' clothes every other day, add one more wash and dry cycle.

I have to do Dave and my clothes at least once per week, another wash and dry cycle.

And then there are assorted towels, our bedsheets, emergency washes, delicate items.  On average, I need between 6 and 8 hours each day to do laundry.  A lot, but not impossible.

Until you factor in the part where Alex cannot tolerate the noise of the dryer motor and finds the beeping buttons on the washer irresistible.  He will stop the washer mid-cycle which means starting over from the beginning.  (Our washer does not indicate where a load was stopped and since I don't always catch him in the act, I get a surprise when I go to switch over the loads.)

Alex is away at school for 3 hours.  Which is one dryer load.  Our only other opportunity is after he goes to bed, which gives us another dryer cycle.  Which is why I've been having to haul out a chair and sit in the hall in front of the washer and dryer.  Usually listening to him throw tantrum after tantrum at not being able to turn them off.  And I'd better hope I don't have to go to the bathroom during the 2 hour cycle because he will be there the second I'm not at my post.

Our washer and dryer are off the main hallway in an alcove.  No door to lock, only a curtain.

This is incredibly frustrating for me.  Doubly so since Alex is the one creating most of the laundry and preventing it from being washed.  And he has zero comprehension of the impact of his actions.  The beeps are rewarding so it doesn't matter what punishment I offer, he's already gotten what he wanted.  The motor noise is intolerable no matter what rewards I offer.

I've gotten offers to use other people's machines but the act of having to haul dripping soiled clothes and duvets to someone else is both gross and adds too much time to the process.  The only somewhat workable solution is to stay up late to maximize the bedtime laundry opportunities.  And make sure Alex is out of the house on weekends to give us a fighting chance.

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