Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Thing At A Time

This boy. I have to shake my head and smile when I look at him. He is my man-child and some days I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. He is brutally handsome, staggeringly smart, and wickedly funny.


He also makes me worry that he may have to live with us forever. Consider this:

The other night, he came upstairs to shower and remarked that he didn't have any underwear. I told him that I had a load of laundry that was just finishing cycling through the washer and was ready for the dryer. As I was busy with something else--probably laying on my bed and eating bonbons--he could just put the stuff in the washer into the dryer and start it.

I would like to state publicly and for the record that I have failed my children. Here's why:

As I was in my room, I could hear James in the laundry room. He said, "Ugh! These clothes are all cold and wet!"

My reply was that of course they were, they were in the washing machine. Then I continued that he should quit exclaiming over the wetness of the clothes and just move them into the dryer already.

His head immediately popped out of the laundry room doorway.

"Ummmm...what do I set the dryer on? Do I have to move the dials or does it just automatically go?" he asked.

After taking a moment to cry on the inside, I told him that he could leave the settings where they were and just hit start.

He did and then he headed off to the bathroom to take his 40 minute shower. (I asked him once why his showers took so long. I wondered if he washed everything more than once because I couldn't think of any other reason for a shower to last 40 minutes. He told me that he liked to think in the shower. It was quiet and warm and he could ponder along undisturbed. Ay, ay, ay!)

About four minutes after our conversation about how to start the dryer, the dryer shut off. Thinking that this was strange, I headed to the laundry room. I was wondering if perhaps he had changed the settings after all, because our dryer has a sensor which, in all of its genius, can tell when clothes are dry and given the load that was in the washer, the clothes couldn't possibly be dry in that short amount of time. As I opened the dryer, I stopped short and burst out laughing. Then I just stood there and shook my head. What I saw inside was so typically James; it just illustrated why I sometimes call him my absent-minded professor.

Inside the dryer was exactly one pair of underwear.

My man-child had, instead of transferring the whole load to the dryer, fished in all the wet clothes for the one article of clothing he needed and put it in the dryer. Never mind that there were several more pairs of underwear, not to mention socks, shirts, and pants in the washer that belonged to him. He had what he needed.

I went into the bathroom where he was distracted by something shiny and had not yet even begun preparing to shower.

"Son," I asked, holding up the lone pair of undies. "Were you planning on drying every article of clothing separately?"

He gazed up at me and I smiled I watched the realization dawn across his face.

"Oh," he said, sheepishly. "I guess I wasn't really thinking."

"Well," I responded. "It is customary to take the whole load of laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer. But, you know, 'dare to be different', I guess."

"Oops," he grinned.

I just shook my head again, laughing as I walked back to the laundry room to transfer the rest of the wash. In my head I was picturing him ten years in the future making excuses to his friends why he couldn't go out.

He was telling them that he was waiting for his other sock to dry.

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