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Guaranteeing a Vampire-Free Week

This week's mention isn't really a FUN thing to do- but it is an important thing to do.  Teaching your children how to run their own household isn't something that happens over the weekend.  Bit by bit, year by year, we help our children acquire the skills they will need to be successful when they venture out on their own.  Some of it can be subtle, like teaching them money management though an allowance program.  They think they are getting money, but really they are getting a lesson on spending vs. saving.  But some lessons are harder to disguise.  Like laundry.  I still haven't figured out how to make it look like more fun than it really is.  Any tips are welcome.

The reason I am mentioning this today is because we all make mistakes when learning to do laundry.  It seems pretty simple, yet somehow almost all of us have managed to bleach our dark's at some point, or forgot to check the pockets and found things cooked into the clothes, so there must be something to the process that requires years of practice. 
And since it does take years to get it down right, it's best to teach it while they are already outgrowing their clothes every six months anyway.  Less stress over what is ruined in the lesson.  I tend to believe if you are tall enough to reach into the washing machine, you are old enough to do your own laundry.  Stephen started doing his when he was seven.  Now he is nine and he hasn't made a bleach mistake for a long while (probably less recently than me!).  I thought he had the whole thing down. 
Grandma was coming to visit from New Mexico, so I wanted him to get all his work done before she arrived.  He separated his clothes, washed his colors, tidied his room, then put the clean load into the dryer and threw his whites into the machine.  Then he raced off to start cleaning the toilet bowls (at this point you are probably thinking I'm a mean old slave driver, but I assure you, aside from keeping his room walkable, and his own laundry done, he only has one chore a week.  I intended to have it as a rotating chore so he could learn how to accomplish anything, but I got static and haven't changed this one in a while).
Anyway,  'nice mom' popped in and thought she'd help him out.  While he was busy, his colored clothes completed their cycle so I took them out of the dryer and put his whites in to get started. As I was unloading the dryer, I found an unusual object in with the clothes.  You're probably thinking of all the things you've found: melted crayons, tiny shreds of tissue, marbles.  -Have you ever found garlic cloves heated into the clothes?  That aromatic dryer sheet hadn't stood a chance.

Turns out while he's been going through his "I'm a werewolf and vampires are my enemy" games, he loaded up with garlic.  And now I need to go over the "clean out your pockets" lesson again.

So what's the point of this story?  I'm still not sure.  I simply had to share the bloated, cooked cloves of garlic in the dryer.  I can't capture how funny that moment was, I had to call my husband in to laugh with me.  And to ponder how many future loads will smell like an Italian dish.  

 *Annie Harmon writes children's picture books in both print and ebooks.  Her website is HoustonChildrensBooks

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