Struck by a sudden compulsion to clean, I took hold of my son’s wheeled toys—boy stuff such as ten-wheeler trucks, hauler vans, a toddler-size car—and decided to give them a thorough wash. Ever since he’s mastered the art of independent ambulation (walking by himself, he, he) J’s been dragging these toys all over the neighborhood. They’ve taken on a grungy look, covered with scratches, mud, and who knows what else.
While J was taking his mid-morning nap, I carried the cars to the sink for a soapy soak. It was like a mini car wash in operation. Soon the water in the sink turned a murky brown. How could such a little guy attract so much dirt?
I remember when J was a baby, I used to launder all his clothes by hand. They were so small I was able to do the wash in a tiny basin. I liked the sight of all those little outfits hanging out to dry, swinging playfully in the breeze. It was as though a dwarf lived with us. Now, barely two years later, the amount of laundry this toddler produces has reached epic proportions. Hand washing them is torture, even for my trusty yaya. You know your kid has crossed that line into toddlerhood when you realize it’s better to launder his clothes in the washing machine. I can’t wait for the day when J would be old enough to do his own wash, what a thrill that would be!
Sometimes if feels as though I am living with two boys. At night while getting ready for bed, J transforms into Linus—that sweet, blanket-hugging, thumb-sucking, adorable little guy. But when morning rolls in, after impatiently downing breakfast he is out the door, intent on playtime. He comes back a few hours later, a grimy, dirt-streaked, soiled-shirt mess—he’s morphed into Pigpen! He’s a dirt magnet.
That’s having boys for you. And with yet another little boy on the way, I should be stocking up on wet wipes, baby baths, laundry soap, bleach, and other cleaning agents soon. My mantra will be, “Lather, scrub, rinse, and repeat.” Om.