My Mixed Up Family

March 10, 2013

Tales of A Nightshirt


Welcome to My Mixed up Family. I've written before about some serious stuff: my work as an educator, my thoughts on being a parent to mixed race kids, reflections on racism and society. Those things are important to me. You can read that serious stuff here in my other blog empatheia. But this space here is for all the other stuff in my life. The stuff that seems serious when it happens, but later makes me laugh out loud. The demented, crazy and laughable stuff that happens when you're part of a mixed up family like mine.

What do I mean? Well, here we go...

For some reason my youngest daughter refuses to wear her own pajamas anymore. She begs to wear my tee shirts or nightshirts. Lately, she only wants to wear one nightshirt in particular---one I got from an Avon catalog that has Winnie the Pooh on it. She says it's the comfiest thing ever. The problem is that since she's taken to wearing it, I've had trouble getting it washed. She hides it in the morning after getting dressed instead of putting it in the hamper. I've been worried that soon the nightshirt will be able to walk around the house on its own. Don't get me wrong...I do laundry every day before the crack of dawn. One load each day at 5:00 AM, then wake the kids at 6:00, and off to school/work at 7:00.

But she's wearing the thing when I start the wash, then hides it when she wakes up. I could put a load in after work, but there isn't usually time for that. Most days we are on the go from the time we leave the house until bed time--dance classes, acting classes, basketball games, band rehearsal, PTO endless parade of things to do. Laundry at night? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Well I made time this past Friday. I found her not-so-secret hiding spot and snuck that nightshirt right into the wash! At bedtime I was feeling pretty good. Good moms make sure their kids have clean pajamas, right? Yet she didn't thank me. She didn't act like she has the best, most thoughtful and caring mom on the planet. Instead she shrieked like a toddler having a tantrum! Looked at me like I am the worst mom ever when I told her that her nightshirt--actually my nightshirt-- was in the wash. I told her that she just needed to put the Pooh nightshirt in the dryer by itself for a while. Should be dry in no time. No worries, right?

10 minutes later she came upstairs wearing the nightshirt...still dripping wet. "It's only a little damp," she said. A little damp? Um...try soaking wet, child!

"Go take that off and put it back in the dryer. You can't sleep in that!"

"Why not?"

Hard not to throw in the old mothering standby here..."Because I said so! You'll be soaked and pruny and we won't be able to give you hugs goodnight without getting sopping, soaking wet!"

"I don't mind," she said.

"Well, I do! Now go put it in the dryer!"

She mumbled all the way about how it's not that wet, really, and what's the big deal anyway? And the whole time I am wondering if maybe Bill Cosby was on to something when he said that all kids are really brain damaged. I think he was really, truly on to something there...

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