Honesty first! When we got married, it was my hubby who was better at keeping house. Before marriage, I used to live in a family set up where my contribution towards laundry duties were limited to put my clothes in the laundry basket. I used to live the ultimate pampered life which was all about showing up at work and contributing nothing towards house duties. I used to come downstairs like 20 minutes before my office time where mommy dear kept my breakfast served and lunch box packed. Weekends were all about late mornings, reading books and if at all a dish caught my fancy, trying my hand at cooking it. Sigh! Those were the days.
My hubby on the other hand, had lived a hosteller’s life since his tenth boards. He had managed expenses, bought grocery and obviously laundry was part of day to day life for a student on budget. It hurts to say so, hehe, but he was saner of us two.
When I stepped in his company bungalow, it took me some time and loads of roaring fights to understand his ‘’Mining Engineer’s Funda’’ of ‘’Place for everything and everything in place.’’ We set up our household from scratch and that included buying every little thing that a new grihasti required. We bought utensils, linens and gadgets mainly food processor and a washing machine. This process did take time, and during this time, washing clothes with hands was our only option. Trust me, I was horrible at it. I wasted water, soap, time, energy and still the results were average at best. Stepped in my knight in shining armour. He took over the laundry duties like a Good Samaritan. Gender/ it’s your job not mine/ your mom has not taught you this? These phrases did not made even a fleeting appearance. Duties were divided on the basis of expertise and not gender. Cooking mine- laundry his, Grocery buying his- storing it mine! Listing the stuff we needed- mine, budgeting our buys- his. It was OUR house and WE made sure that it ran smoothly.
Eventually we had a washing machine, a more busy life and kids!! Laundry duties kept ping-ponging between us and as of now I look after them.
When #LaundryGoesOddEven activity by Blogadda and Ariel came my way, I decided to teach my son the basics not only of washing clothes but the basics of being a good human being as well. As they say, catch them young. Another reason was, he had been using phrases like ‘’girls can’t drive, only boys can’’ and ‘’only girls should dance. Boys don’t dance’’ all gifts from park/school buddies. So I decided to take things in my hand.
The best part is he’s in such an age where doing this ‘’grown up’’ stuff of running the washing machine are done with so much enthusiasm that at times you have to stop him that we are done for the day else multiple loads of laundry happens!
So one fine morning we mother son duo decided to tackle the laundry. I told him the basics of segregating the clothes on the basis of colour and heavily soiled from medium soiled. He is too young to understand fabrics segregation. However, I could feel, his heart was obliviously not in the theory but in the practical, hands on experience. The washing machine was turned on, clothes dumped in and our shining new pack of Ariel was opened. He was quick to notice how nice it smells!
Next attraction was the measuring spoon. All shiny and transparent! Showed him the instructions about how to measure the detergent and how to put it in detergent dispenser. Kept asking him whether he would help me or his sister with the laundry? All affirmative eager nods as of now. Fingers crossed. As the machine started taking water for the wash cycle, he stood by patiently and watched HIS detergent transforming in a slurry and then sweet smelling bubbles. How easily they find enchantment in everyday stuff. Wish we could have even ten percent of the enthusiasm they have for whatever the life has to offer.
He waited on pins and needles while the machine completed its wash cycle and was mighty chuffed when we opened the machine and admired how clean and how well HE has washed his first load. He insists that now I can delegate all the washing duties to him and can take a break. As of now, he is the official washing machine operator.
Thank you Ariel as not only we mother son duo bonded over a daily activity, but I guess, it’s a small step towards making him understand that laundry isn’t a woman’s job but it’s just a JOB – made interesting if done with the enthusiasm of a six year old!