Ever since we brought my mom to live here in Wharton, an on-going problem has been her laundry. If you have ever met my mother (or any of her sisters when they were around) you know she loves clothes. She has always been concerned about how she looks, if everything coordinates, if she has her lipstick on and if it is the right outfit for event.
One of the big perks of her new place was that it has two closets. I can tell you both closets are full to the brim. I am even a little concerned that the rod in the first closet may snap due to the weight of her clothes. Now, some of the things like those with more complicated zippers and buttons, she does not wear anymore. She also favors pink. She has a great green warm-up suit with matching shirt that would look wonderful on her and I think she has worn it once. It is not pink.
When she has down time in her room, her favorite activity is to play with her clothes. Lunch needs a different outfit than breakfast. When I get there in the afternoon, often she has been resting. If I am lucky I can get her back in the outfit she wore to lunch.
Lauren and I (we are not proud) have been known to go through her laundry basket and take out things that are not dirty and re-hang them. I mean really, how dirty can she get inside a facility all day? Sometimes she has sweaters on for mere moments and in the laundry basket they go.
So, in the beginning I kept asking the lady at the front desk when her laundry would be done. She always said soon-the next day-soon. But it never happened. Once a week, at least, Lauren and I gathered up the laundry, her hangers and took everything home to be washed. Most weekends that was an additional three loads of wash-seriously! One little tiny person who did not step outside on most weeks generated three loads of wash. Unbelievable. Plus, we would need to re-hang everything and return it all to the nursing home each week. We would hang whole outfits together on one hanger in hopes that she wouldn’t try on multiple things to get dressed. It has made me nuts! It isn’t just the work, but the anticipation of the laundry basket filling up. Each day I would watch the pile grow higher and higher. I started out taking home on Saturdays, then Fridays, then Thursdays as it was always full. And you would never know if there was some “surprise” in the sheets or towels. The whole “surprise” factor pretty much assured that Lauren was not helping with the wash.
Monday while mom was getting ready for dinner, I found a sheet of paper left over the weekend by the cleaning supervisor. It had a list of the residents and what day their laundry day was. Mom’s name was on the list of “no laundry services”. Wow, that clears up why she never got her laundry done. I went to talk to the manager. Apparently, when we first enrolled mom in the center, I had wanted her to have baths six days a week. The standard was for three. Mom likes to be clean (thank God!) so we went with the bonus six days of bathing. Somehow, in the complicated point system that determines what you pay each month, the extra bathing meant no laundry. Oh, my goodness, we need to fix that!
So, yes, I sold my mother’s bathing rights (two days of bathing for weekly laundry service). She will still have five baths a week and we will pray that is enough. Lauren did mention when we were discussing this that if the bathing was the issue, I could just start doing her baths each day. I have to say that I will stick with the laundry given that choice!
This all sounds stupid but this should give me back a few hours a week and I am overjoyed at not picking through her laundry basket each week. I found a great surprise in the notice left in her room and now I will find no more surprises in her laundry. It is the little things!