Monday, January 28, 2008

Dear Alyssa and Bridget,

Dear Alyssa and Bridget,

Oh, geez, the pressure. I had no idea people actually PAID ATTENTION to the things I write on this site. I just sort of thought my existence was good for an occasional chuckle or eye-roll ---- now I have the stress of knowing my opinion matters!

OK, for what it’s worth: Alyssa, I’m sorry, I know you don’t want to hear this, but yes, I would have made Brayden do the same thing. In fact, that issue came up just this morning at our house, when her favorite pair of jeans were in the dirty clothes and I wouldn’t let her dig them out and wear them again to school. So she had to wear a sweat-suit that she doesn’t particularly like and it really wasn’t the best way to start off on a Monday. I know you young ladies don’t want to hear it when we toss out words like “responsibility” and “consequence” and “planning ahead” (hey, I don’t like for people to throw those words at me either, and I’m 41 years old!) but honestly, we’re just trying to help you learn to lead the sort of organized life that will serve you well as an adult.

Now, lest you think I’ve thrown you completely under the bus with no help whatsoever, let me share something else with you. Our whole “Brayden is ten years old now and will be doing her own laundry” phase only lasted about six months. She wasn't tall enough to reach the laundry soap in the cabinet above the washer, so I had to help her get the wash started. Then she wasn’t tall enough to reach all the way down in the top-loading washer to transfer the load into the dryer, so I had to help her with that. Then she wasn’t tall enough to reach the hangers on the rod in the utility room to hang up the dry clothes, so I had to help her with that, (Are you sensing a pattern here?) Finally I acknowledged that simply doing it myself was easier than trying to “help” her do it. So we amended the “Escoe Self-Sufficient Laundry Age” to twelve --- a change which Kellen has reminded me of several times, as his tenth birthday draws nearer.

So Alyssa, if you’re doing your own laundry successfully, be very proud of yourself! (Even if some days it doesn’t seem to go as well as others.) And too bad we don’t live nearer one another; sounds like you and Brayden would get along very well.


cathy in mi said...

Happy Monday! I really chuckled when I read Alyssa and Bridget's comments last week. I am glad you addressed them in your blog. I am sure they will have mixed feeling about your adjustment to the laundry age.

I can't wait to hear more about your weekend away.

Catzeyes said...

You go girl!
I was a terrible mother and had my son doing his own laundry when he was 11. Maybe I am crazy but I love how he turned out. He bought his own house at the age of 19 and now at the age of 27 has his life so together it still shocks me. Learning responsibility at a young age makes a well adjusted adult.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs Escoe,
Thank you for taking time to answer my question.You have made me and 6 of my friends very happy ! Now we have two things to be happy about today Snow Day and No Laundry !! ps I hope your kids don't get too mad at you when you wrtie about them they sound really cool:) Sincerely, Alyssa
New Brusnwick, Canada

Anonymous said...


*sigh* A deal is a deal. I guess when you do laundry for 6 people whats 1 more :) Sometimes its hard figuring out rules and responsiblities for the oldest child... I keep telling Alyssa she is like our guinea pig and hopefully we won't traumatize her too much until while we figure things out. That's one of the things so great about your blog its down to earth and real. Thanks

Bridget Ellis
New Brunswick, Canada

Cheryl said...

Stick with the "do your own laundry" at age 12 plan. My kids started doing their own laundry pretty young and it paid off for all of us.

Anonymous said...

I am just like you in that Crap it's just easier to do it myself then to help or correct. My kids are fantastic and very responsible with the things that they need to own - such as their schoolwork and such. My husband has a saying in regards to the laundry - the family that FOLDS together stays together - I love this saying, because without it, I would be folding by myself....

Monica H said...

I think for her 11th birthday she should get a step ladder :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,

I'm a fellow scrapbooker and I LOVE having time to do it. Just this past weekend we had a 14 hour crop (chocolate included - can't be a crop without it). I would love to see your pages, you should set up a site with your scrapbook pages on it that we could look at. Just a suggestion.


Brandi said...

well i think i'll let my kids read this. 13 is the age of your own laundry in my house. they are 11 & 12 now. they aren't looking forward to 13. maybe if they read this, they won't think i'm the meanest mama ever anymore!