Yep that’s right, I’m training for the 2020 Olympics. It’s actually a new sport…”Doing Laundry With The Help Of Toddlers”. Training is pretty intense actually, just stop by my house most Tuesdays (or Wednesdays or whatever day I do the laundry that week). I know that there are people questioning if this is truly an Olympic worthy sport, but those of us that do it each week are wondering why it wasn’t added to the Olympic Games years ago. And people may be wondering if there is in fact any entertainment value in watching the sport…they are probably thinking, “how exciting can watching socks dry be?” But again I question whether those people have ever actually watched a mom with young kids hang up laundry.
The rules will be pretty straightforward, the competitor, usually dressed in some sort of t-shirt and yoga pants or running shorts, often with stains from who knows what all over their outfit, hair that hasn’t been washed or even brushed for at least 2 days, praying that the application of deodorant is enough to cover up the sweat smell from her early morning run. And then 2-3 children ages 1-4 running around “helping”, usually with at least one in a diaper that needs to be changed and they all need to have urgent drink/snack needs during at least part of the competition, but never at the same time. Bonus points will be added for the competitor not yelling at the children during the entire competition, and also bonus points for the closer that it is to lunch/snack time.
Still not convinced that it’s a worthy sport? How about a taste of the commentary from an actual competition….
“Well Bob, here we are again on a Tuesday ready for another “laundry with toddlers competition”.
“That’s right Frank, and today our competitor is a mom with 2 2 year olds and a 4 year old, all are due for a snack at any moment and the little girl is in desperate need of a diaper change. Mom hasn’t showered in at least 2 days.”
“Here she comes now with her first basket of laundry to hang on the line.”
“Oh, looks like its a basket of socks and underwear….those are the worst, instead of the big items like shirts and shorts/pants there are all sorts of little things that take forever to hang…”
“Bob, look there, have you seen any other competitor do that?”
“No Frank, that’s a first, smart idea though, before she gets started she’s filled up the hem of her shirt with clothes pins so she’s not having to reach or bend over to get more as she gets into a rhythm of hanging those clothes.”
“And look, she’s even clipped a few to the two youngest…that should occupy them for about 3.4 seconds, long enough to almost hang up a sock.”
“Woah, did you catch that spin move she just pulled? Picked up two socks, hung them and then spun around to pull the beetle out of the 4 year olds mouth. Impressive. How did she even know that he was eating a beetle behind her back?”
“Oh look, the toddlers are trying to help.”
“Frank, I know aren’t they so cute? They each have a sock and are bringing it over to her to hang up.”
“Oh but it looks like the little girl got distracted and never made it over with the sock, what is she doing now?”
“Looks like she is trying to dress herself with daddy’s boxers and her older brothers pj shirt….oh, but she just dropped 2 towels in the dirt and weeds in the process.”
“Yep, going to loose points there, doesn’t count if you hang up dirty laundry.”
“Ooooo, another spin move, this time to pull the 4 year old off the side of the shed that he was attempting to climb….no trips to the ER during this round of competition.”
“Oh no! One of the toddlers has taken off in a mad dash to the front yard and mom doesn’t seem to know!”
“Frank, it looks like she just realized that one child is missing, look at her quickly hang up those pj bottoms and sprint to the front.”
“Wow, she was back so fast and somehow has strapped that toddler to her back, I don’t know where she pulled that back carrier out, but she must have them stashed all over just in case this happens.”
“The other 2 year old has plopped down in the middle of the dirt still wearing daddy’s boxers as a dress and brother’s pj top as a hat and is pouting and screaming….she must be ready for snack but mom still has a good number of things to hang up.”
“What is she doing know?”
“Oh look, she’s pulling the drying rack out, looks like she’s going to hang the socks on there.”
“Risky move Bob, while it may help her time a bit to hang the socks there, the potential for the little ones to pull all the socks off is pretty great.”
“True, but I think she’s understanding the little one’s pretty well, one is pouting in the dirt, the other strapped to her back and the other is riding a tricycle around her feet forcing her to jump out of the way often, with them distracted she might just be able to pull it off.”
“She’s one of our strongest competitors so far, I wonder if she’ll continue to lead after the second round tonight “Folding and Sorting Laundry While Watching Old Seasons of Amazing Race”.
“Looks like she is just about done, what is she doing?”
“Seems to be taking a survey of what she has hung up so far…she’s still got 4 more loads to get through the washer, but looks like all the socks/underwear and most of the pjs are done.”
“I think she’s just realized that she only has 1 pair of underwear from her 4 year old for the past 8 days in the laundry today….while she may loose “mom points” for letting her 4 year old (which she likely didn’t know was happening) go all week in the same pair, it does cut down on fewer things to wash/fold/put away.”
“That’s true, Bob. She’s taking one last look at all that is hung up with a big deep sigh, what do you think that sigh means?”
“You know Frank, based on the look in her eyes I bet she is thinking “can we just move to Africa and live in the bush where everyone just wears a small clothe?”
“Yep, I’ve seen that look before, almost everyone of our competitors gets the same look at this point in the competition.”
“True true, but looks like she’s done with this round, just in time to feed the kids a snack, change a diaper and start hanging the next load.”
And so there you go. I think it has the potential to be riveting. I know Tokyo 2020 is still just under 3 years away, but I’m getting ready now, I’ll be proud to represent.