A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Laundry and other Laments

What an odd sort of day... gloomy, grumpy, chilly one moment and sunny, bright, cheery, warm the next.
As I write, the sun is ascendent once more but the blustery wind reminds us that it's not too far away... accompanied by sounds that alternate between a gentle howl and soft pleading groans.

Golly... it's laundry day again... and so far we've accomplished 3 loads of kids clothes and bed linen. Some are out there swaying in with the wind, others under the patio lest the grim clouds should rumble and tumble as raindrops out of the sky. I can hear the machine in the background... in the spin dry mode sounding like wailing child screeching for her mother.

I often wonder how ladies of old got much done without a washing machine. I imagine that most would not own that many pieces of clothing and apart from underwear, they wouldn't have changed into a fresh set of clothes everyday. I am old enough to remember the women in our household crouching over the wooden, ridged washing boards and my young fingers running over them. When I'm feeling a little nostalgic, I imagine an old fashion glamour to them but generally, I know better... laundry by hand was time consuming, back-breaking work.


Despite being stuck in the house all day, I'm shocked, shocked, shocked that the 3 year is having an afternoon nap. No cajoling, not threats, no powerful mummy stare-downs. So peaceful... so still...
So glorious...
So I take the time to  do some preparation for this Sunday's service. The pastor has put in his dibs for a couple of hymns... I surf through You Tube for my selection and I stumble onto this:

Predictably, I'm all weepy after that. Especially the vibrato at the end. Sigh. Martin Luther's great hymn and sung with so much gusto. What a voice... and used to such great effect. Quite mesmerizing.
Kind of like listening to Susan Boyle for the first time.

Suitably inspired, all I have to do now is translate that hymn into contemporary English for the congregation.

Temporarily bitten by the music bug, the girls and I find ourselves in the mood for a bit crooning. Inexplicably I'm led to thoughts of Larry the Cucumber singing "Larry's High Silk Hat" to "Funiculi, Funicula"... (Could be the fine tenor) and why not...

One day while he was waiting for the trolley, he had a hat
My high silk hat
He wore it high upon his head so proudly, a beautiful hat
My high silk hat
A hat like this just makes him feel so grandly
Now fancy this and fancy that
The splendor of his hat in all it's majesty
Like a king in a royal cap

The 3 year old, who promptly jumps onto my lap, has the knack and the interest, ... and seems to know most of the words in the first couple of stanzas. She gurgles the words... but is discernibly in tune... mostly. I can be critical but here, I'm impressed... children really are sponges. The 9 year old feigns disinterest but quickly joins in when she's thinks there's a party happening that she needs to be a part of.

In an earlier post about Toy Story 3, I bemoaned about how fast the kiddies grow...

Nowhere is it more noticeable than in the way they interact... their speech... their lexical range...
Take this enlightening exchange in the car between squabbling siblings:

3 year old: Mummy... L is pinching me...
I turn around to look, but say nothing. The Talkative Twosome fall silent momentarily.
The trafffic moves slowly... I hear more whining... They carry on with their dispute.
9 year old: Do you want time-out? We're going to get time-out when we get home. I can tell... from the way Mummy looks.
I say nothing but am barely able to suppress a grin.
3 year old pipes up in the middle of the commotion: L smacked me...
I chide the 9 year old for her acts of violence.
9 year old protests: I didn't do anything illegal!

It wasn't so long ago, when the 3 year could barely string a sentence together. But now she's prevaricating and carrying tales in grammatically perfect sentences. Not all the time... some of it is still garbled but when she's complaining about the big sister, it's as clear as crystal.

Late afternoon traffic is a killer. Fueding sisters at the back of the car in late afternoon traffic is self-inflicted matricide.

Far be it for me to disappoint... let it not be said that I am mother who does not anticipate her children's wishes. If it's time-out they want, it's time-out they get.


  1. I'm laughing at L's illegal comment. So very funny! I totally get the squabbling in the back seat thing. We were almost to school this morning when I realised there hadn't been any fights. I though too soon. They had to throw one in there just as we turned into the school street. Oh well.

  2. BAHAHAH! I didn't do anything illegal?? I hate laundry... but you are right, I'd rather not go back in time and do it :S

  3. Yeah, life's definitely not boring with the kiddies around to liven things up at every opportunity.


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