When a Simple Chore becomes so Difficult


The Husband gets dirty at work. Really dirty some days. He comes home with pants and boots caked in mud.

Given that he is a plumber’s apprentice, I’m so thankful that it is only mud. I am not looking forward to the other things that he will be wearing home.

I’ve developed a routine. I let his clothes pile up for a few days and then I take them outside and spray them down with the hose. I rinse them out in a bucket until the water is mostly clear.

Before I did this, I would find dirt rings around the inside of my machine at the end of the cycle.


Simple enough, right?


Yesterday was laundry day. I gathered his pants and work shirts, my 5 gallon bucket and headed out to the front lawn.


The girls were playing outside with the neighbors. This isn’t unusual and I’ve rinsed his pants before while they were playing. Yesterday was just special.

I opened the door and was hit with a sound. The sound every parent that has ever had a 3rd grader dreads.


Nice. Somebody is playing their recorder and practicing before the school year starts in the fall.


I must complete this chore. I start filling the bucket when I feel 2 laser eyes drilling a hole in the back of my head.


David-Karich / Pixabay


Miss Crafty learns by watching. She has developed a talent of standing behind you. She doesn’t say anything, she just stares. If she can’t see well enough, she takes a step closer, and stares.

I filled up the bucket and started to rinse the first shirt.


“Mom, what happened to the other hose?” The Inventor decided to join the conversation.

“Well, it collapsed on itself and started coming apart. The hose clogged and started to blow up. I had to throw it….”


First shirt done, on to number 2.

“My 2nd cousins are on their way over. They have 2 children and I’ve never met them.” This is becoming a party. One of the other neighborhood children decided to join us.

“Very nice, I hope you have fun with your family.”

Shirts done, on to the pants.

“Why do you wash his clothes in a bucket?” Yes! The recorder is silent, now I get to answer 1,000 questions. One question opened up the flood gates. Suddenly I was surrounded by curious children because I was doing the most interesting thing in the neighborhood.

“Did you see my skid marks on your sidewalk? I’m good at leaving them with my bike.”

“Can we help?”

“Why does he get dirty at work?”

“I see the water is a little cleaner now.”

“Can we eat some of your dill?”

“My cousins drive a red car.”

I should have told them to ask Miss Crafty. By now I’m sure there was a hole all the way through my head and into my brain. She could just read my thoughts for me.

chore of laundry

Nemo / Pixabay

By the time I was done, all I could think was, “Get me out of here.”

Next time I have to wash clothes I’m going to do it when all the kids are playing in a back yard. Maybe they won’t notice me.




Why I love my patch of grass:

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • Even during times like this, I love my neighborhood. It is full of kids close to the girls’ ages and they all get along. It is a rare day that they are not out playing with each other.
  • The Husband and I took a lazy day on Saturday. It was so nice to do nothing. I had extra chores on Sunday, but it was worth it.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Candace
    Jun 27, 2014 @ 14:45:55

    How funny! Kids are great. I have 4 little girls next door and they crack me up when they go into question mode on me. It’s funny how fascinated a group of kids can get with clothes washing :).



    • Crystal
      Jun 28, 2014 @ 08:36:33

      Girls do have a talent for talking. There are times when I have to lock myself away in the other room to get some peace and quiet…but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.



  2. Katie
    Jun 28, 2014 @ 10:00:12

    This sounds like our neighborhood! I totally understand.



    • Crystal
      Jun 28, 2014 @ 14:24:54

      I love that my girls have so many kids to play with Katie. I’m glad you live in a kid friendly neighborhood too. It is a special thing.



  3. pjkuhn
    Jul 18, 2014 @ 10:00:05

    My daddy owned a coal mines and would come home black. We had to have a separate washer and dryer or just when a white load would be in the washer would let go of black coal all over the clothes. My mother was a happy woman when they went to uniforms and Daddy showered at work! ~Pamela



    • Crystal
      Jul 18, 2014 @ 11:26:41

      I have been tempted but we don’t have space for a second washer. Not all his work clothes are this bad, but when they are I wash outside. Eventually he may have dry cleaning service provided by his company. I will be a happy woman like your mother when that day comes!



  4. Gentle Joy
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 10:27:47

    Oh, how I understand! 🙂 Kids have so many questions and comments and desires to do the same “fun” stuff we are doing….. such a frustration at times…. and such a blessing also. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.



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