Friday, October 08, 2004

Clean Laundry

Smartmom and family finally had clean clothing today.

That sentence was not intended as a jab at Hepcat, whose job it is to take the laundry bag to THE SERIOUSLY NICE EQUADORIAN LAUNDRY on Sixth Avenue and Fifth Street. But it is a fact that the family was without their favorite clothing for too long.

You're probably wondering why Smartmom and Hepcat don't just do their own laundry in the laundry room in the basement of their apartment building, where there are plenty of perfectly functional coin-operated washing machines and dryers. And that, dear reader, would be an excellent question.

It all started back in '91 when Teen Spirit was born (he was Baby Spirit then). Smartmom worked full-time in Manhattan as a video producer. She would leave the apartment early in the morning and return after 7 p.m. It could be said that Smartmom never really mastered the work/family conumdrum. She loved her work (and her young family needed the income AND her health insurance plan). But she was miserable about the time away from her beautiful child. Laundry was one of the first household chores to go for two reasons: Smart Mama was exhausted and the time was better spent cherishing the bebe.

After the birth of OSFO in '97, Smartmom switched to a more family-friendly career as a freelance writer with an office in Brooklyn. The career change made it possible for her to pick the darlings up at school, take them to afterschool karate class, musical theater workshop, clarinet lessons, bass lessons when the clarinet was dropped, playdates and tutoring. Nonetheless Smartmom was still loyal to THE SERIOUSLY NICE EQUADORIAN LAUNDRY. And sending it there was a tough habit to break.

If it ain't broke don't fix it. Every week, Smartmom, Hepcat, Teen Spirit, and OSFO fill the rattan hamper with their dirty clothes. Then, Hepcat stuffs the red laundry bag and takes it to the laundry. Ages ago, Hepcat christened the bag, The Laundry Baby, because he used to roll the thirty-pounder in OSFO's McClaren stroller. But ever since the stroller broke more than three years ago, Hepcat has carried The Laundry Baby the two-and-a-half blocks looking like Atlas with the world on his back.

Over at THE SERIOUSLY NICE EQUADORIAN LAUNDRY, the family's clothing is washed, cleaned, and FOLDED. And the fact that it is FOLDED is probably why Smartmom is so passionately devoted. That and the fact that the seriously nice Equadoiran family who own the place are like family now and the woman calls at 9 p.m. to say, "Your husband, send him over to get laundry."

And while this has been the family's laundry routine for the past 13 years, sometimes the process gets snagged. Smartmom tries not to be unpleasant, but often she has to, well, encourage Hepcat to carry The Laundry Baby to the laundry and back again. .

Sad to say, this week was one of those, "Will you please bring The Laundry Baby over to the laundry, already!" weeks. And finally, finally, Hepcat got around to doing it. And for that everyone was grateful.

Well, this morning, OSFO was ecstatic to be reunited with her favorite clothing. Smartmom unpacked The Laundry Baby on the big bed and OSFO yelped: "My Pisces t-shirt!." She squealed: "My nylon pants with New York written on the butt!" She shouted emphatically: "My favorite boy- style underwear!"

But it was the reunion with her silky purple pajama bottoms with moons, stars, and clouds that inspired the most joy. So pleased was she to see those slinky purple P.J.s that she decided to wear them to school with her hot pink Racer Girl t-shirt ("My Racer Girl t-shirt!"). And Smartmom really had no objections because OSFO looked so darn cute and she could even pretend that OSFO wasn't really wearing pajamas to school. OSFO was dressed!

Fashionably late as usual, Smartmom and OSFO met Groovy Aunt at the MOJO and the three made their way over to PS 321 for the first Parents As Reading Partners of the school year, the morning once a month when parents are invited to spend an hour in their children's classroom. Smartmom could see that OSFO was taking great care not to trip on her overlong purple bottoms. They arrived safely at the big yard in front of the school, which had a decidedly festive atmosphere. For the parents, there was a pumpkin, plant, and PS 321 t-shirt sale, bagels, coffee and of course, a veritable gab fest.

Browsing the t-shirt table, Smartmom chatted with Former Ruler, who just completed an extremely sucessful two-year reign as PTA president. Smartmom appreciated Formal Ruler's efforts to bring many new people into the PTA and thinks that her lovely manner and welcoming attitude really paid off! Apparently, Former Ruler has been reading Smartmom's blog -- and she had many complimentary things to say.

While Smartmom was talking to Former Ruler, a girl in OSFO's class screamed out in the most bitchy way imaginable, "Don't tell me you're wearing your PAJAMAS to SCHOOL!" The girl stared at OSFO wide eyed and aghast. It was such a classic Veronica moment. Veronica from Archie Comics, that is.

OSFO, who is supremely self-confident about her fashion sense, seemed utterly unfazed. Amazingly, she just kept walking tall in her pink Pumas and her purple P.J. bottoms. Groovy Aunt, on the other hand, was not so calm and collected. Disgusted and profoundly humiliated on OSFO's behalf, Groovy Aunt shouted back, "You know OSFO is a fashion trend setter." Thankfully, she counted to ten and didn't let fly all the nasty things she really wanted to say.


Groovy Aunt dropped it like a hot potato and the sisters escorted OSFO up the stairs to her classroom.


At 5:50 AM, Blogger mamainwaiting said...

sounds like laundry baby is more like a teenager now. Perhaps Hepcat needs to ride him/her on his bicycle - perhaps the load is hurting his ailing back. No I did not want to say nasty things to the appha girl.choice. I remember accidently wearing my nightgown to kindergarden. I think I forgot to take it off and put my clothing over it. I remember being incredibly embarassed. Thumbs up to the bold fashionista OSFO.

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