Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wash on Monday, Wash on Tuesday…

My first three days of stay-at-home motherhood has basically been dominated by trying to do the laundry. Today is the two-week anniversary of our arrival in Copenhagen and as of this weekend we were starting to feel the underwear shortage. We finally got in touch with the lady in the building who has the magic laundry tokens, and bright and early Monday morning, John helped me sort out four piles of laundry (help meaning joyfully fling socks and shirts around) after which we set off to find the washing machine in the basement.

It took three separate trips up and down the narrow corkscrew backstairs to find the laundry room, but it was finally located in the unlit basement hallway and I put in the first load. Things got a little complicated after that. I can’t read Danish yet and, of course, all the washing machine settings are in Danish so I guessed my way through picking the settings. Thus my first two loads came out with soap all over them. I finally found the right setting and completed two loads on Monday. There is no dryer so I either hung the clothes outside on a clothesline under one of the bike shelters, or lugged the wet laundry upstairs to hang on drying racks in the apartment.

Monday was exhausting because half the time I was carrying John with me during these trips up and down the stairs and he’s a solid 23lbs. Tuesday I wised up and worked out this system:

8:00a – Carry John, laundry and soap to basement to start first load. Rather than walking back up all stairs to apartment, walk up short flight to courtyard where John plays for 20-30 minutes while I recover from our first little adventure.

10:00a – John goes down for a nap.

10:02a – Carry second load down to basement. Take first load to courtyard and hang to dry.

10:20a – Collapse on couch and moan about how much my legs ache.

11:00a – John has approximately 30 minutes left to nap. Go to basement and hang second load before he wakes up.

It’s 10:47a now and my very last load for the week is almost ready to hang on the line. That’s because my four piles of laundry were really six loads not counting the two loads I had to run twice. Everything is miniature here including the washing machines.

I remember the good old days when my huge washing machine was right next to my huge dryer and I had to carry my laundry about seven steps to the washing machine. I know, I know… whine, whine, whine… but you have to remember, I am a big, soft American. An active lifestyle for me was purposely parking in the middle of the parking lot, taking the stairs and not going through the drive thru at Starbucks.

Come December when I’m really pregnant, we’ll have to start categorizing our clothes a little differently. “Is this shirt just a little stinky, or does it truly reek? Because I can’t really smell anything so I think you’re good to wear it another day.” Or “You’re not out of underwear. Oh please. Don’t pretend you didn’t reverse it when you were in college.”

1 comment:

Elizard said...

Now you know why Europeans wear the same thing 4 days in a row! I wondered about that when I was an exchange student...until I had to lug my wash to the "washeteria". Then I learned that (except for underwear, which you can wash out in the sink) many things can be worn several times if they are "aired". I reverted back to a very clean American once I had easily accessible laundry facilities. :)