By: Cheryl Maguire
My 14-year-old daughter doesn’t put her clean clothes away. But I get it. The task requires a great deal of energy. You need a lot of muscle strength to press that pause button on Netflix. And then don’t get me started with how challenging it is to roll herself off the couch. It makes total sense. Plus, if she spends five minutes hanging up a few dresses then how will she have time to binge-watch over a thousand different TV shows?
The first time I asked her to put away her laundry I found it piled on a chair. So, I let her know just like Dr. David Bruce Banner (The Hulk) said, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
When I didn’t find her washed attire on the chair, I patted myself on the back for my incredible parenting abilities. But like most parenting techniques, it didn’t last long. I discovered she was merely hiding her stash.
Instead of getting angry about it, I decided to turn it into a game, like a scavenger hunt. The last time I played one was during my bachelorette party almost 20 years ago. I know that finding clean socks isn’t as exciting as posing for a picture with a drag queen but it’s better than turning into The Hulk. Don’t get me wrong I would love six pack abs like him but I’m positive I couldn’t rock that green complexion like he does.
And now I will share with you my quest to find the laundered clothes in all the least likely places you would search for it if you played a pretend game to prevent yourself from turning into an angry beast.
Under Her Pillow (10 points)
Her bright blue shirt was clearly visible under her white pillowcase. I’m guessing it was a rushed job since I could see the evidence before I entered the room so I only awarded myself 10 points for this find.
Under Her Bed (20 points)
She upped the ante with this spot. It took me at least three days before I found her clean clothes piled under her bed.
In Her Sleeping Bag (30 points)
She deserves creativity points for this one. At the end of her bed lay her sleeping bag stuffed with clean clothes which might have been a successful hiding spot if it didn’t look like a dead body was in there. If she had simply flattened out the clothes, it would have worked.
All Stuffed In One Drawer (40 points)
This hiding spot might have remained undetected, but her workout shorts were mixed in with mine. When I went to put it away, I couldn’t open the drawer. The reason? Two sweatshirts, three t-shirts, four underwear, three socks, and pajamas were all stuffed into one drawer.
In Her Gym Bag (50 points)
I never would have searched here since I would assume that she uses her bag, but I guess she found another one. The only reason I noticed it was because the stack of clothes fell over onto her floor.
In Her Hamper With Dirty Clothes (1000 points)
This spot was pure genius. Who would think to look in the opposite place for clean clothes? I only figured it out because her load of laundry was double the size compared to the previous wash.
I’ll admit it. After I discovered her last hiding spot, I turned a bit green and it wasn’t a great look for me. So I decided it’s time for me to shut the door to her room and stop searching. I know that I might be tempted to look every now and again. But I also know my daughter is a puzzle I’m not going to figure out anytime soon—if ever.
When I’m feeling frustrated, I try to remind myself that soon my daughter will be off to college and I’ll miss that pile of laundered clothes more than I could ever imagine. Her new roommate will have to carry on the game without me.