Laundry, and Other Random Meditations

Morning meditation while hanging out laundry. There’s something in this near-daily (seasonal) experience that I find soothing. It’s certainly not laborious, just kind of rhythmical, picking out the pins, shaking out the fabric, hanging, repeat. I stand on the back porch and our clothesline is on a pulley, and the clothes swing out into the yard, under the trees. The air this morning was cool, birds were singing, behind me on the porch baby CJ was talking happily to himself in his gigantic plastic bouncy device (we haul this out of the basement for every baby; it’s ugly and bulky and suitable for only a few months in a baby’s life, but was already used when we got it for baby A, so has served its purpose well).

I’m looking ahead and wondering whether there will be some way to hang laundry indoors when the weather turns. Partly for energy-savings, partly to add moisture to our upstairs rooms, and partly because there’s something that seems particularly wasteful about using a drier to do a job that the air will do naturally, given the opportunity.

Darn, I have a very fussy baby strapped to me in a sling as I type. As usual, thought I’d picked a good “Mommy time” moment, and as usual, Mommy time is, by definition, interrupted time. I should call it something else. Not-Mommy-time, maybe.

Okay, brief pause and she’s back … baby CJ is now sleeping in his playpen; all he needed was a quick nurse to put him over the edge. My thoughts feel very random today and unfocussed, but to add to the laundry meditation, I wonder whether it is actually being outdoors that makes that experience so soothing. Last winter, when I was very pregnant, I went for a long walk every evening around our neighbourhood, (by the end, when I was somewhat-less-than-dainty, I called it my nightly trudge) and it was the first winter that I felt connected to that season in a really positive way. Winter has always been dark, cold, interior; not unpleasant, but more hibernation than actual interaction with the season itself.

Seasons. We’ve entered autumn. I feel my own life on the edge of a seasonal change, from a time of intense focus on babies and toddlers, to something, not quite sure what, else. There’s a Last Time sensation to many of the things I do with baby CJ. This time, the infant clothes have gone into a bag to give away, not back into the labelled boxes I keep in our attic for our babies-to-come. I have that simultaneous tug, forward and back; I’m excited and almost impatient to reach a new stage as a family (and an individual); and I’m nostalgic for what is passing right before me.

Oh, have to mention that my curries turned out fabulously yesterday, despite the spice mix-up (or, indeed, perhaps because of it!). We sat around the table extra-long, savouring the flavours, something for everyone to enjoy. These more formal evening meals have become very important to me, even though it requires more work. We sit longer, we talk, we relax in each other’s company, we eat good food. Not sure what I’ll have on offer tonight. I’m planning a pasta, with topping/sauce uncertain as of yet. I might stir-fry some tofu and whatever veggies arrive in our CSA. It needs to be simple and fast because I’ll be trying to get out the door afterward for some real “not-Mommy-time” with my sibs.

One more random story from yesterday’s truly Monday Monday. F’s Chirp magazine arrived in the mail, so I suggested she read it on the way to pick the big kids up from school (anything to make that stroller ride more appealing). It came with some advertising, including a toy catalogue, apparently more exciting than the magazine itself, so F said baby CJ could “read” Chirp instead. Mama Fuzzy-Brain said, oh lovely, and marched gaily up the hill, meeting up with a friend and fellow parent on the way, and chatting merrily along. It wasn’t till we’d reached the school grounds and I saw a dad glance into the stroller with an odd expression on his face that I thought to check on my babes. Oops. F was sound asleep, and baby CJ had eaten a large portion of Chirp magazine. A few damp papery flecks decorated his cheeks, but I could discover no wad in his mouth. Yup. He literally ate it.

But as with all of yesterday’s Monday-ness, it seemed to do him no harm, and we all came out happy in the end.

And now I need to turn my attention to F and our Tuesday morning ritual of baking muffins together from her very own Toddler Cookbook.

Monday, Bloody Monday
Penance

4 Comments

  1. Here’s me, with my unsolicited comments again…

    In the winter, when I don’t have a huge backlog (why do I keep letting that happen) of laundry, I hang them in our bedrooms, on those cheap folding wooden racks. I hang out the clothes in the rooms to which they belong, for quick putting away later (Zebula will even ‘fold’ and put away her own!) I hang them in the afternoon/evening, and they are usually dry by morning. This does help with the humidity somewhat.

    Reply
  2. actually, i was hoping someone would comment with ideas for winter laundry hanging! thanks. never thought of hanging them on racks in the kids’ own rooms–great idea. i have the same backlog problem. right now i’m trying to do one load per day of whatever colour has piled up. plus diapers, of course.

    Reply
  3. i love reading your images, carrie — so real.

    i don’t know if you have access to IKEA, but they have some great indoor laundry hanging tools. i noticed them last time i was there.

    i remember when mali was a baby she ate about 1/8th of a paper book cover. the book was called, “the successful child” — ha.

    Reply
  4. We use the IKEA drying rack indoors. I like Nath’s idea of putting a rack in each room. Even better.

    I know what you mean about reaching a new stage as a family but being nostalgic for what is passing by. I am really enjoying and savouring every moment with Lauchy since he will be my last baby.

    See you tomorrow.

    Reply

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