Another Day of Laundry.

Submitted by Emily Reiling to Contest #31 in response to: Write a short story about someone doing laundry.... view prompt

    I sigh as I grab my son's hamper from his room. It's only a third of the way full. I groan as I search through his room to find the other pieces of clothing; the ones that I know aren't in there because he either forgot or he's just too lazy. I can't even begin to describe what stains and smells I find in the process. It's going to be a world war to get him to even acknowledge they're there. I stretch before picking the basket back up because it weighs about 50 lbs. How can one boy cause so much laundry in just a week? I place it by the washer before traveling to my daughter's room upstairs.

    Her room is much neater, but not by a lot. She’s still only a toddler though, so it’s understandable. At least with her, I know I can just start singing a song and she’ll start to pick things up. Sometimes, I wish she’d never grow up but then she starts screaming and crying because I cut her hotdogs up so she wouldn’t choke. That’s when the wish goes away. I try to get out as soon as possible because all the colors on her walls give me a headache. As to how I let a toddler take a paintbrush to her walls, I’ll never know. I place her basket next to her brother’s and travel to my own bedroom to get mine and my husband’s laundry.

    I roll my eyes because of the fact he can’t put his socks into the basket. Every other article of clothing, he has no problem but his socks seem to elude him. He’s just like his son in the fact that he’ll argue that they’re not even on the floor when you can directly see them. I can’t tell if he’s just stubborn or if he’s losing his sight. Quite frankly both are annoying and one of them is frightening so I’ve stopped bringing it up. It’s just easier to pick them up.

    When I see all the laundry together, it seems overwhelming. I mean, how can four people produce so many articles of clothing in just a week? Looking at all of it makes my chest compress and my heart race. I quickly just start to do it before I start to panic at the sight. It doesn’t work as I can feel the tears start to fall as I search through my son’s pockets to make sure there’s nothing important in them. He’s 11, there’s bound to be something he forgot. I see a horrible stain on one of his favorite shirts so I start to try and get it out. It won’t. I scrub as hard as possible but it doesn’t budge even a little bit. The tears come faster and hotter.

    After a few minutes, I give up and flop onto the floor. On the way down, I knock over my son’s and my daughter’s baskets. A crown of dandelions falls out of my daughter’s and a note slips out of one of my son’s pockets. I take the note in my hand and open it. “It’s probably a note from his teacher about his homework he missed last week because I wasn’t able to help him. God, I suck at being a mom,” I think. My hands shake as I open the note. There’s no letterhead so at least I know it’s not from his teacher. Actually, it’s not even ink. It’s marker, with horrible handwriting. A handwriting that I know is my son’s. I give it a good look and my tears turn into ones of appreciation. It’s a letter saying he loves me and that he’s happy that I’m his mom. I look at the flower crown and I smile.


I’m startled when I hear them both run in from the living room. “Mom!” I hear my son yell. “Where are you?”


“I’m back here, honey!” I yell back, placing the letter on my lap.


“Mommy!” I hear my little girl scream when she sees me. She suddenly pouts when she sees the crown. “Mommy! That was a prise!”


I tilt my head and wipe the tears quickly, asking, “What do you mean?”


“It was a prise for Mommy! I made it!” She seems genuinely sad.


I pick it up and hand it to her, closing my eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, dear. I never saw anything.”


She giggles and walks closer to me, “Open your eyes, Mommy!”


I open my eyes and gasp in excitement, “Is this mine?”


She nods and places it on my head. I smile and hug her close to me. “Thank you, my baby girl! It’s so pretty!”


My son walks in, half a sandwich in his mouth and the other in his hand. He says, mouth full, “Whatcha guys doin’?”


“Nothing. What’re you doin’?” I look up at him, chuckling at him. The amount he can eat and not gain a pound amazes me. He’s a carbon copy of his father.


He sees the letter in my lap and he blushes. His mouth is still full of food when he says, “Mooom! You weren’t supposed to see that til your birthday next week! I was gonna put it with your present! Now it’s all ruined!”


I stand up and hug my son as tight as possible, “I needed it right now, so thank you. I really appreciate it. Plus, I’m sure your gift will be just as amazing without it.”


He backs up a little and looks at me, “Were you crying, Mom? What’s wrong?” His face becomes worried and concerned.


I shake my head and chuckle, “No, no, it’s okay. Now, who wants to make cupcakes?”


My daughter’s entire face lights up as she yells, “YES!” then runs into the kitchen. I can barely hear her ask, “Can we make them blue and red?”


I smile as I realize all of this, just because I was going to do a load of laundry.

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6 likes 6 comments

23:03 Mar 11, 2020

Very good story! I kind of lost the main idea of the story, but regardless, I loved seeing the point of view of a mom!

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14:10 Mar 07, 2020

I loved how realistic your story is! It really is a lovely story.

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20:11 Mar 16, 2020

Really quite nice.

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16:07 Mar 12, 2020

You really put over the feelings of day-to-day drudgery very well Bravo

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19:02 Mar 09, 2020

Very nice... got related to that story

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08:07 Mar 08, 2020

Beautifully relatable

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