Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Battle of the Clothes

Elizabeth is only a one year old, so between the "leaky" diapers (when she pulls them off) and the food messes when she eats, there isn't much I can do about how much laundry she goes through.


Felicity and, in particular, Cecilia are a different matter. Cecilia can be a regular clothes horse. If I let her she can go through three or even four outfits in one day. They both prefer to either walk around in their underwear/pullup or, at best, wear their pajamas all day.

In confession, during my first trimesters, I am not a very good example. If I am not going anywhere, pajamas always put less pressure on my sensitive tummy. But when I went to sort the laundry this morning for a week and a half's worth of laundry. James and I had about as much as you'd expect for a week and a half or less but the girls had more like 2 weeks worth of laundry, maybe closer to 3 weeks worth. This included quite a few pajamas as well.

I think one problem is the fact that Cecilia and Felicity are almost always up between 6 and 6:30, sometimes before 6, and neither James nor I have been up for enforcing new rules at 6 in the morning. So the girls come down in their pajamas, sometimes get them dirty at breakfast, and the clothes switching begins. It can also be a fight to get the girls to keep clothes on during the day such that allowing pajamas becomes the compromise. I think we are ending up on the losing end though as they don't always keep even their pajamas on and then bargain they will wear clothes if I let them get other clothes. And then, of course, there are the times they don't say a word but just run upstairs and get clean clothes on.

But this results in struggles to keep clothes on and much more laundry than there needs to be. Given how early our girls get up though, the only idea I can come up with is a rule that if they want to leave their room, they have to be wearing a shirt and pants or a dress and if they try to wear anything else on the main floor, they get sent back to their room until they come back down wearing a shirt/pants or dress. I think, if we enforced such a rule, it would definitely cut down on the volume of pajamas in the laundry pile but I'm still not sure how it would work in terms of the total amount of clothes. Felicity in particular insists on taking clothes off once they get dirty (we've even had her try to do this in a restaurant).

I understand with young children there will be stains. It is the one, two, three outfits per day for just one child that tries my patience. Anyone have any other suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. As a pajamas devotee, I am not the best example either. But my kids (maybe because two of them are boys) are pretty good about not changing clothes (unless of course we have completely soiled them). I remember growing up that a woman in our parish had some kind of job where she helped people organize their homes and her advice was that for children they should only have (at one time) a maximum of six outfits. Two sets of "church clothes," two sets of play clothes, and two sets of "school clothes." I don't remember rules about pajamas, but I'm sure that was probably no more than two seasonally appropriate pairs. It sounds pretty restrictive to me for parents of young children (especially ones that grow like mine do), but I've met mothers who swear by systems like that.