Superman Does Laundry by Sharon O’Donnell

I went on line to write a brief blog when I realized that a blog I’d written several weeks ago never posted but was still in ‘draft’ mode, even though I thought I’D published it. Thus, I will publish this one today. This worked out well because I’ve had a toothache all week and am waiting to have my first root canal on Tuesday. The week of July 4th is NOT a good time to need a root canal because it seems that all of the endodontists who specialize in root canals close their offices during the week of July 4th. My regular dentist closed his office too, and I initially had to go to the dentist on call for him; but this dentist, as a lot of dentists, doesn’t do root canals. So I made an appointment with a root canal doc on Tuesday (earliest I could get) and have been on pain meds and antibiotics since Wednesday and will continue until Monday night. Fun. Can’t chew on right side but at least the pain is alleviated with the meds for the most part. So here is my column that was due to post at 1 on June 15th. Don’t know what I did wrong. It was the week the Superman movie was released.

“Where’s my Superman t-shirt?” my 12-year-old, Jason, shouted from another room. I was on the phone with my mother discussing an ill relative, and he was getting ready to go to the new Superman movie with some friends. I opened the door to my room and told him I’d help him find it in a minute, that I was on the phone. I put a finger to my lips to let him know to be quiet because my mother and I were talking about something serious. I should have known better than to leave him to his own devices.

A few minutes later I went out of my room to the laundry area where I saw a pile of clothes that had not been there five minutes ago. The dryer door was open, with some clothes spilling out. “I still can’t find my shirt, Mom,” Jason told me.

“Well, it looks like you pulled all the clean clothes out of the dryer, so you need to get them out of the floor,” I told him. Then I did a double-take. “Is that my pair of white pants on the bottom of the pile?” I was confused because I’d just put them in the washer with some other clothes before I’d gotten on the phone with my mom, but I hadn’t started the load of laundry because my middle son was in the shower, and his water temperature level would be much more consistent if I started it after he got out.

Jason glanced at the pile of clothes, distracted my the sound of his friends playing foam basketball in his room. “I don’t know,” he replied, sounding perturbed that I had asked him anything — an
attitude of his that I see much more frequently now that he is nearly a teenager, and it drives me crazy.

I stopped him. “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said, as it was becoming clear to me what he had done. “Did you pull clothes out of the washer AND the dryer looking for your shirt?”

He shrugged, eager to get back to his friends and not wanting to cause an altercation with them in the house. But the altercation came anyway. I leaned over and picked up my pair of long, white pants from the bottom of the pile and realized that yes — that was the pair I’d just put in the washer 15 minutes earlier. Some of the clothes in the pile were still warm from the dryer — some weren’t.
“You DID pull clothes from both of them!”

Then he said the four little words that make me absolutely livid. “It’s not my fault.”

Steam might have come out of the top of my head. “Then whose fault is it?” I yelled. “Nobody else pulled out all the clothes and mixed them up. Now some of the dirty wet clothes like gym shorts and towels have been lying on top of clean clothes, which means we I have to do them over. Do you know how much I detest doing laundry?” I was on a roll.

“I couldn’t find my shirt,” he said again.

“It doesn’t matter about the shirt. It was rude and inconsiderate of you to do this and then just leave the clothes on the floor and walk away like you had nothing to do with it.” Tears formed in his eyes, so I hoped I was getting through to him.

Suffice it to say that he spent some time going through the clothes with me to determine which clothes needed to be rewashed, and then later he folded them. Besides, I’m pretty sure any real Superman definitely does laundry. But as the teenage years arrive in August, I’m going to need the super powers of patience. Teenager number 3.