Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Scare of the Day

Yesterday I was doing laundry (again). My three year old is very into “helping” right now (read as, I would have been done sooner, but I had help). She wanted to help me put the clothes into the washer. I said no. I said she could help me unload the dryer when it beeped, but no washer. About a zillion years ago, I saw a news story on our local station where this four year old boy had gone into the laundry room, opened the lid of the washer during a spin cycle, reached in and promptly got his arm torn clean off.

Ugh. For some reason, of all the horrors there are to choose from in terms of ‘stuff kids can do to themselves around the house’ from falling on knives to blowing themselves up with kerosene, this is one that really stuck with me. It’s up there with the ‘running in front of a car’ in terms of making me freak out. You want to see an irrationally pissed off mother? Hang around the parking lot of the school sometime and watch what happens when one of my kids tries to go dashing off the curb toward the van.

(And yes, before anybody says it: I’m paranoid. Especially about my kids.)

So after telling her ‘no’, I sat down in the other room to fold up the dry laundry. I called her a couple times, ‘wanna come help’? “Nooooooo,” her sweet little voice drifted back. “I’m busy.” Her voice was coming from the bathroom, which is right next to the laundry room. Hmmm, busy. Either using la toilet, or making a huge mess. Better keep an ear out either way…

And then, I heard the lid of the washer go ‘CLANG!’

I’m often a bit upset by how much I’ve slowed down over the last few years. I used to be athletic. I used to be a runner, a hiker, a kayaker. I used to be able to put it in gear and move it along – but these days, I tend to kind of waddle and dawdle. I can think of a thousand reasons why it really isn’t all that important to go the stairs right immediately now.

Unless, of course, I have just heard breaking glass, the unmistakable sound of a head hitting a solid object, or…

I got into that laundry room faster than an Olympic hopeful hitting the first hurdle, snatched her off the stool (stolen from the bathroom), and gave her an earful of ire. It was hard to resist shaking the dickens out of her! Ah, the delicious irony: Thank GOD you’re alright! Now, I’m gonna kill you!!!

You think they understand. You don’t expect them to do these things. What did she think she was going to do? Why did she open the damned thing? I might forbid a hundred things a day, from watching cartoons to eating cupcakes for lunch – why choose the thing that could get you maimed or even killed for your supreme moment of defiance?!

I’m saving like crazy for a new, super-ultra-deluxe washer and dryer. They have three times the capacity of my current washer/dryer set, and the washer door actually locks during the cycle. Can’t be opened without pushing specific buttons in a specific order on the machine.

That alone would be worth the fifteen hundred bucks to me right about now.

And now, I'm going to go do the ironing. Hmm, back when I was living with my folks, I seem to remember seeing this story about an infant who crawled over while mom was ironing and pulled on the cord, bringing the iron down on his delicate little skull...

There can be only one conclusion to be drawn from BOTH of these news items.

Laundry is dangerous, and should only be undertaken by professionals in a child-free environment. That's it. I'm taking all of mine OUT from now on...!

(OK, not really - but I think I like the argument!)

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