Sometimes doing the laundry is a surprising adventure, for the simple fact that I have absolutely NO IDEA what I'm going to find in my children's laundry baskets.
You would think I would find clothes, right? Au contraire. (I bust out a little French when I want to feel fancy. In my sweat pants.)
I have found "previously sucked on" gummi bears in pants pockets. I have found "petrified" string cheese and play-doh nestled among Elmo shirts and princess pajamas. I've even found a soiled diaper at the bottom of one of the baskets. (My theory is that in an attempt to be helpful, one of the kiddos mistook the brown, wicker basket for the small, white, plastic garbage can. I suppose when you are under four feet tall, and under six-years-old, it would be easy to get confused. HEY! Maybe that's where all our socks are going...out with the trash!)
One of the worst things I found amidst the tiny-people clothing was Cam's fake, rubber lizard. I probably don't need to tell you that I just about dropped dead on my laundry room floor when I saw that thing. I may have cursed! (Sorry, Mom.)
Recently, I've been finding toys. (The reprieve from food items has been nice.)
A couple of weeks ago, I found all of these in the little mister's basket:
Yesterday, I was greeted by this little guy (who'd been hiding out in Lilly's church dress):
Admittedly, the Doc Squinkie made my heart happy during an otherwise mundane and miserable chore. I identified it as a symbol of my children's innocence and preciousness. They are still so young...but they won't stay that way forever.
One of my most favorite "parenthood quotes" is from Thomas S. Monson. He once said, "If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all to soon and that you will--to your surprise--miss them profoundly."
Though it seems so very far away, there will eventually come a time when my laundry won't loom over my head, threatening to overwhelm me with it's volume. It will just be mine. It will just be my husband's. The gummi bears, the toys, the clods of dirt, the rubber lizards and the holey socks will all be gone. And as I search my wonderful (and mischievous) children's faces--the big eyes, the little baby teeth, the smooth and chubby cheeks, the button noses--I realize I'll miss it. All of it.
I'll miss them.
Maybe I'll even miss that nasty, petrified string cheese that seems to greet me with a, "Hello Mama! It's laundry day!"