Laundry Quandary

So. A couple weekends ago, my son Jio decided that he wanted to take the laundry down off the poles. Great, I thought. That can be Jio’s special job. I let him get started. Later, I found my mother-in-law out there helping him. I told her that he could do it by himself, but Jio thought I was being mean to her and said it was okay for her to help. Even later, she said, rather pointedly, “You’re so lucky to have a son who helps with laundry.” I replied rather testily that it’s normal for kids to help out around the house.

Well. The very next day, I came home to find all of my laundry taken down and folded. My mother-in-law had never done this before in the year that we’ve lived hee. Not even when it started to rain and I wasn’t here. I can’t help but think that she is trying to spare the heir from the drudgery of women’s work, if only unconsciously. After the second time she did it, I told her that Jio had been looking forward to taking the laundry down and that he was the laundry guy. She didn’t believe that he really wanted to do it, and then she said that she had too much time on her hands anyway.

I do feel a little bit sorry for her not being able to drive (her decision) and being stuck at home all day, but I would rather she occupy herself with her own business. After all, if she is taking my laundry down because I am supposedly too busy to do it myself, it’s hard to kick back with a magazine after I get home from picking everybody up from school. It would be nice if she would develop some hobbies or do some volunteer work or something. I really don’t want to be responsible for keeping her entertained/busy.

One of my friends suggested that I give her another job that I really don’t want to do, like ironing. But now that it’s getting so hot, and knowing that my mother-in-law prefers to swelter rather than turn on the a/c or even an oscillating fan, that seems downright cruel.

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6 thoughts on “Laundry Quandary

  1. I don’t know if your mother-in-law is of the “air conditioning is bad for you” ilk or not, but that used to drive me craaaaaazy when I visited friends in Tottori. There would be a perfectly good – oftentimes new air conditioner just begging to be used in 33+ temperatures, and the MIL of the house would lecture everyone on the evils of air conditioning, usually ending up with some pronouncement about how the moral fiber of the country was going to hell in a handbasket, anyway.

    Which just means I sympathize with the lack of A/C. 😉

  2. Yeah, she’s like that, but at least she doesn’t lecture. She has a state of the art air conditioner that can be set at any temperature, adjusted for humidity, etc., but she says it’s too cold or whatever. I personally LOVE air conditioning!!!

  3. Yes, I think it was a passive-aggressive way of saying boys shouldn’t be doing that kind of work. And I doubt that it was unconscious.

  4. You know Alot of my friends have their inlaws and parents living wiht them. It seems to me that they are so lucky (in some ways) because they never have to do any work. I’m suprised you MIL doesn’t do all the house work.

  5. Give that woman an iron! Really, I mean it. Or maybe your husband could help her find a new hobby or something? That would probably be the better solution. And I’m sure it will be even more of a challenge, as the kids get older, to navigate the cultural differences in childrearing practices…

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