a week with Miss C + the bane of my domestic existence

August 12, 2011 |  Category:   home life

It’s the laundry, always the laundry. For being such a neat freak (and a bit OCD, I admit), folding and putting away the laundry is my least favorite chore ever. I’d rather scrub the bathrooms than deal with the laundry. See that pile there? It’s full of clean clothes. It’ll sit around unfolded in the basket for days, even a week. Once it’s folded, it can sit around some more before it gets put away. Can’t always blame it on being busy; it’s just one of those things that gets procrastinated on. I have a theory about this too: people who hate doing laundry also hate unloading the dishwasher (hate hate hate). True or false?

I am so very glad some of you tried the quinoa recipe! Actually, we’re always pleasantly surprised when people try recipes and report back here. Can I let you in on a little secret? It sounds kind of bad, but it’s just a testament to Mark’s chefness. Sometimes when we post recipes, Mark won’t remember how he made something so he’ll ask to see a photo and improvise in his head. It’s only because he won’t get to writing it down for days. He’s definitely done this with some of our more popular recipes that we’ve gotten feedback on, so don’t worry, we’re not sending you down some wayward road of culinary disaster. But as we soon learned from a friend who tests recipes for cookbooks for a living, sometimes chefs are the worst at writing recipes down for “normal” people.

Claudine and I have spent the whole week together as she was done with camp a week before Mia. It’s a lot easier when the kids are home together because they occupy each other so well, but when it’s just Claudine and me, she tends to follow me around the house most of the day. I took her on a girly date with me in Soho yesterday and we had a blast. She was a very good companion and we had a lot of fun trying on headbands and necklaces at J Crew and browsing through lipstick and nail polish colors at Sephora. You ever go shopping with a 4 year old? If you didn’t already know, they have a lot to say about these things.

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  • dolittledesign August 12, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Interesting theory… I also procrastinate on putting away clean laundry and drag unloading dishwasher. And I also like to wash bed linens before going on trips. Hmmm…

  • Karen August 12, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I love your blog. I don’t have children and am not brave enough to be self-employed so I will work for The Man for the rest of my life, and I live in the suburbs of a town in the west, so we don’t have a lot in common, but all the photos and your words just speak to me. I don’t know what it is, but when I read what you’ve written, I feel peaceful and happy. Much like I feel when I have scarfed down your cookies, but that is another story. Thank you for being part of my day, for your beautiful photos and your non-judgemental and inspiring prose.

  • Cecilia Madden August 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    True! People who hate folding and putting away laundry also hate unloading the dishwasher, even if we otherwise appreciate and maintain an orderly home.

    So cute that you and Claudine went shopping together. I have gone with my almost two year old and she was immediately attracted to anything purple…and the shoes, of course.

  • Karen August 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    PS – I despise doing the laundry. My husband loved doing it so it was his job. When he passed away, doing my laundry was the thing that made me cry the most – I didn’t like doing it, it felt foreign, and there were none of his socks or shirts or underwear in the hamper. I would break down in tears every time. Then the washing machine died a few months later, and I had a complete meltdown. Fortunately for me, the manager at the closest Lowes must be the nicest man in the world, because when I called the store sobbing and asked them to bring me a washer – ANY washer – because I couldn’t deal with getting myself to the store to pick one out – he loaded one of every kind in a truck and personally drove them to my house so I could see them. It was so unexpected and so kind that I still tear up thinking about it. Then he installed the one I picked and took the old one away and never charged me for the new washer. I still hate washing the clothes, but at least now when I load up the washer and I’m missing my husband’s socks and underwear (honestly, you miss the strangest things), I think of that kind, kind man who held my hand when I was ready to jump off a tall building. It makes the laundry a little less awful.

    But I love unloading the dishwasher.

  • Kiana August 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    My solution to the domestic chore blues: Delegate! I hate cleaning the litter box and taking out the trash, so that became my hubby’s chores. He hates dusting or cleaning the bathroom so that’s all me. We both hate scrubbing the bath tub, so yeah…..that doesn’t get done too much πŸ™‚

  • Sue August 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I am so with you on putting away laundry and emptying the dishwasher, I loathe it! Your lil one is adorable!

  • Jane August 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve discovered that 4 year olds seem to have a lot to say about most subjects, it’s like a never ending stream-of-consciousness, adorable πŸ™‚

  • allison August 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    laundry is quite literally my least favourite thing in the world times ten. seriously. i would rather (like you) scrub the bathrooms, vacuum and mop, even unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen (which is at least satisfying when it’s done) than do a single load of laundry. but it’s just not optional, so week after week, it gets done. and eventually folded. and sometimes even put away.

    i can’t imagine shopping with a four year old πŸ™‚ my little neice is almost 3, and i am so surprised at how many opinions she has on.. everything. “i don’t like fish”, “i need to do that MYSELF”, “that’s pretty”, “i don’t want THAT one”. haha it’s endless!

    beautiful photos, as always.

  • Regan August 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    True true true! I’m also a total neat freak (clothes in closet organized by color, silverware in dishwasher sorted by type) that hates to unload the dishwasher and put away the laundry. Strangely, I have no problem loading either the dishwasher or the washer/dryer. However, I’ve been known to unload the dishwasher one dish at a time, as I use them, until it’s empty again- meanwhile letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink just so I don’t have to put the clean ones away. Sheesh!

  • Christina August 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I also hate laundry with a passion. I have learned that having children makes the laundry grow exponentially. I am counting the days until the kids are old enough to do their own laundry (mind you my boys are 3 year old and 9 months old). I also the dishes, anything with the dishes-washing, loading, unloading. But I love to vacuum. And clean toilets, go figure. Thanks for posting this! I love your blog.

  • Christina August 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Apologies for the typos. My 9 month old is tugging away while I type.

  • Shannon August 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    So true! My husband and I were having this discussion the other day, we both hate the putting away part of dishes and laundry and we realized they are very similar tasks so it makes sense we hate them both. I think it is a momentum thing, because you have to wait between the washing and putting away and by the time it is putting away time I am no longer in a cleaning up mood. Laundry and dish piles are just a way of life, I used to get all irritated by them but now I just live around them and try not to fall too far behind. Ugh!

  • Carolina August 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Yes, validation that I am not crazy! Do you hate making salad too? I do, and I hate unloading the dishwasher and folding the laundry!!!

  • joyjoy August 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Love your blog, but this is my first comment. I just had to say…ME, TOO! I will do anything in the house except unload the dishwasher or fold/put away laundry. I will clean and scrub the whole kitchen but leave the dishes in the washer. I, too, would rather give the bathroom a good scrubbing than put away laundry. I thought it was just me. Now I feel a lot less alone in the world. πŸ˜›

  • Kate N. August 12, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    1. I love doing laundry, and I do dishes when I’m drunk. The boyfriend has finally stopped trying to get me to put down the sponge when we come home tipsy. Floors I will not do. Will. Not. I sweep like every other month. I’ve never had a dishwasher so fortunately that hasn’t been a problem.

    2. I can’t help but comment on Candyland. I grew up thinking that there was some fancypants rich kid version of the game that had the cards for the gumdrop man or candycane guy (whatever the first two special squares are that you can land on) and that my version just didn’t have it. Turns out my mom figured early on that the games would never ever ever end if we kept having to go back to the very beginning and she had stuff to do – like laundry – so she pulled those cards out of the deck and we never saw them again. I don’t think I learned the truth until I was in my 20s.

  • Sebbie August 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Oh yes, laundry…my constant companion. I don’t mind folding, but I loathe putting it away. We just got a new schmancy dishwaster, so dishes are a bit more tolerable. Just a bit though. I think the annoying part is that unlike other cleaning, there is no satisfying result, because you know once everything’s fluffed and folded and put away, there will inevitably be new dirty stuff in the baskets! Grrr.

  • BF August 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm


    I thought I was the only mama who didn’t like folding laundry and unloading dishwasher…what a relief…

  • Jeannie August 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I hate cooking and all things kitchen. Unless it means renovating a kitchen so it looks like a beautiful place to sit, all granite and sturdy table and chairs and good appliances. That I prefer someone else use (my daughter, 14 today, is my go-to cook and baker) it. Uh oh, she left instructions for me to back her final layer of her birthday cake before leaving for school this morning. I was very stressed out about that!

    Laundry. Oh, I know my laundry. I can get a stain out of anything, and I will do laundry in a hotel on vacation. I love folding laundry (well, I don’t MIND it; I should say I LOVE reading over laundry) and having all the clothes clean. I wash everything before going on vacation. I’d do the bed linens too but I always procrastinate packing so there’s never time for that. But I want an empty laundry basket to come home to and I like staying on top of it. I do admit to letting laundry sit unfolded in a basket b/c I want the kids to do it as I am trying to read more these days πŸ™‚ But I abhor unloading the dishwasher and would gladly fold laundry any day. So.

  • erinn August 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    true. so true.

  • slee August 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    i rarely comment on blogs, but i just HAD to comment on this one, because i found myself yelling out YES! to your bit about laundry and dishwashing. i hate laundry more than anything and i also let it sit in the bin for days and even weeks before i fold it. i also have no problem and actually prefer to load the diswasher because i’m ocd like that, but i hate hate hate unloading it. i make my husband do it! nowadays, my nanny does it. i never even ask her to, which makes me love her more. hahaha

  • Seema August 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I think I can testify on that theory of yours – I hate unloading the dishwasher as much as I hate folding and putting away laundry! The dishes just get pulled out of the washer as and when they are needed – I hate it that much! It sounds like you had a lovely time in Soho – I think children can be the best companion on a shopping trip because they’re just so honest! If you’re bum looks big in a dress, they’re going to tell you. And that bluntness is pretty priceless really! have a lovely weekend xx

  • Joy August 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I love doing laundry, and always ask if there’s laundry I can wash or fold when I’m babysitting (I’m 35). Every guy that I’ve dated I automatically took over doing his laundry. It’s been one of my favorite things in the world since I was 3. I’m not so crazy about unloading the dishwasher, although it’s only because I hate the unexpected splashes of water on my clothes. πŸ™‚
    Want me to be your laundry fairy? P.S. I hate vacuuming and dusting. Thankfully my husband doesn’t mind doing those.

  • Rebecca August 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    4 years old was a fun age for the girls … they are so adorable as little people and say the cutest things at that age…. at least, mine did.

  • emily August 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    i hate doing laundry! my house always has a basket of clean, unfolded laundry pushed into a corner somewhere that my kids end up having to dig through to find a pair of socks… and, yes, i find that emptying the dishwasher goes right along with that. luckily my kids do that for me, so laundry is really my only downfall. domestically speaking, of course. love your photos! you even make laundry look beautiful.

  • Maria @ Scandifoodie August 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I can relate to that, but I think I’m traumatised because I had to work at my mum’s laundrette all my childhood – folding, folding, folding laundry… I also hate drying dishes, I think that counts to prove your theory πŸ˜‰

  • aqua6 August 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    @Karen – Your story makes me want to shop at Lowe’s, even though I never have. I bet the manager there would love a gushing letter written about him sent to corporate (maybe leave out the free part of the story).

    I don’t mind unloading dishes but hate washing pots and detest putting laundry away. We now have a “clean” hamper and a dirty one…

  • Jennifer Bohrer August 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    The trick to laundry and clean dishes…do them while they are still warm. Really, you will feel so virtuous slinging hot plates onto the shelf. Hot out of the dryer, clothes fold smoother, smell good and need less ironing…..and its done fast! And have your girls help too, many hands mean it’s done faster. I HATE cleaning the oven….the stink, the scrubbing…..I make my guys do it. They have stronger hands and can get it done in half the time it takes me.

  • satsuki shibuya | zakka nouveau August 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    haha! i was just reading the part about not liking to folding/put clothes away & at the same time thinking to myself… “i don’t like putting away dishes from the dishwasher either…” and then i saw the next line after that. i am not alone! πŸ˜›

  • Karmen August 12, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    love laundry but HATE unloading dishwasher…as someone else mentioned, it’s that the dishes are never dry & the pools of water that collect in the indents. argh! so I find I hand wash my dishes more often than not just so that I don’t have to unload the dishwasher. for some reason, handwashing dishes is therapeutic to me!

    loved the Candyland comment – sounds like something I would do to get out of a long game w/ my son. I dislike games!

    i do, however, like your blog πŸ˜‰

  • Kim August 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    @Karen I am really touched by your story. It reminds me that there are people who are looking out for us-even complete strangers. And yes, I also despise putting away the laundry and unloading the dishwasher. Every single time I have to, I tell myself to just get it overwith and do it as quickly as possible. Kinda like when someone used to force me to take another birthday shot of vodka.

  • whitney August 13, 2011 at 1:34 am

    i agree. i hate both. but, i’m ‘trying’ to enjoy it while we have both a dishwasher & washer/dryer. i know wherever we move next, we probably won’t be so lucky. but i still make my husband do it as much as possible.

  • yukot August 13, 2011 at 1:35 am

    i’m a germaphobe that HATES cleaning….bad combo. anyways, i hate folding clothes so i don’t fold them!! i stuff clean clothes in the drawer, and i hang dry my shirts and then hang them in the closet when they dry. i like putting dishes away. i always thought i would enjoy working at the post office sorting mail.

  • Jacqui August 13, 2011 at 6:59 am

    loathe the dishwasher which is why it is now a bona fide kid chore in our house!
    Also, you think a 4 yr old can talk, I have a 9 yr old who is as good as a peer and is quite happy to come shopping with me and wants to help choose the new appliances & etc for our renovation, a job my husband is happy to pass on!

  • kate August 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

    what I love about your blog so much is that you’re constantly saying the very same things that run through my head daily. you have such a keen way of expressing the feelings, and experiences of motherhood in such a real way. you’re honest, yet loving. I love it.
    I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time…I read it every time I see a new post pop up on my reader. But, I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. It was about time.
    Also…about this post. As an OCD person, who will clean a toilet any day over doing laundry, or unloading a dishwasher, I can relate. It’s not the actual folding that bothers me so much, but the putting it away I hate! By the time a batch has finally made it’s way to the drawers, a new mountain to tackle has formed. The vicious cycle that is laundry…ugh.

  • Genevieve August 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I totally agree about the laundry! Can’t stand it. It’s what I’m doing today….. in between reading blogs. I’m trying to get my husband to take over responsibility for it, in exchange for most cooking and sometimes bathroom cleaning. Anyone else like this strategy?

  • Susan August 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    So true…I’m a bit OCD myself, but hate putting the folded clean clothes away! They sit in the basket, as do the clean dishes. πŸ˜‰

  • grace August 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    i totally get the whole laundry thing. sometimes, i will fold the laundry (after having it in the basket for a three days) then it will take another three days to put the laundry away. i’ve had times where while folded in the laundry basket, we pick through it and it becomes unfolded again. if only i could hire someone to fold and put away laundry, my life would be so much simpler.

  • Lara August 14, 2011 at 4:18 am

    So interesting. I abhor washing dishes but I could fold laundry and put dishes away forever. My bf and I just made a deal last week (after a few years of living together)…he does the dishes and I do the laundry. Best deal I’ve ever made.

  • Justine August 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I LOVE laundry in the summer, in the country, on the line. (See my Ode to Laundry post.) Hate indoor, urban laundry.

  • kaye i August 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Yeah, not a big fan of unloading the dishwasher. I don’t mind folding fresh clean laundry though and it smells great, plus the clothes are nice and warm from the dryer. But I hate putting them away. HATE. IT. Maybe its because I don’t have enough closet space for my clothes.

  • Georgia August 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    One of the most fun ways to kill time with my 3 and 4 year old girls is to mooch round the shops trying on jewellery and make up. They love it, and they seem to have accepted that we don’t actually BUY stuff! They also love cleaning windows! But before you start the children on that job, make sure you have lots of bottles of window cleaner in the cupboard because they get through a lot of it….

  • Manya August 27, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Baby, try ironing everything, as we do here, because dryers do not exist in Greece (well they do, but very few people want them since we have the sunshine). We hang our clothes outside and then woo-hoo we bring out the ironing board!!! Great fun!

  • Dagny August 30, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I came following the link Karen Caterson gave on her blog… and boy, am I glad…!

    You mean there is a whole community of people who hate folding the laundry and unloading the dish-washer…?!! You mean I don’t have to feel like a lazy bum for procrastinating these jobs until they become moldy…?!

    This is surely the most astounding thing EVER…! I am so happy… πŸ˜€

    Thank you…


  • lucy September 7, 2011 at 4:20 am

    i like things neat and clean, love putting washing on, but hate hanging it out and putting it away! in fact i have a pile of clean laundry in my room right now, it usually sits in a pile for at least week before getting put away (let alone ironed). Also avoid unloading dishwasher but no problem loading it.

    @karen, that is a really moving story about your late husband and the washing machine man. What a beautifully kind person. x