Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Twins Take On The Laundromat

I think I might be cursed.  Everytime my husband goes on a business trip, something inevitably goes wrong.  Very wrong.  The children react to this disturbance in the Force by momentarily going over to the Dark Side...and no amount of jedi mind tricks keep them under control.  Believe me...I've tried.

"This is not the toy you are looking for...you will leave your brother alone."

Bruce left on Saturday morning.  Saturday afternoon Jay tried to do his laundry...and realized the dryer was not working properly.  A burning smell filled the air when he opened the door.  The inside of the dryer had scorch marks in the back.  The teenagers needed laundry done.  So, I began Googling the nearest laundromats.  We found one in town...and upon arriving realized it was not, in fact, a laundromat...but a dry cleaner.  So, we sat in the parking lot...me and a van full of kids...in the rain...searching on the phone for nearby laundromats.  We found one with at decent review saying they had a kids' play area and free cookies.  That didn't sound too bad.  It was about 15-minutes away.

We arrived and unloaded the van.  We entered a somewhat dingy-looking laundromat...but it had a couple of arcade games.  And candy machines.  And it did, indeed, have cookies.  There were holes in the ceiling in various locations, where buckets had been placed underneath to catch the dripping water.  The "kids' play area" was actually just one child-sized chair and an old TV with a VHS player and assorted movies.  I contemplated the problems we would encounter with only one chair available...but we never ended up with one.  The children did not fight over the chair...mostly because none of them cared to sit in it and watch the movie.  They much preferred running around.

It was as though something had possessed my children that afternoon.  These were scary versions of my children...hellbent on terrorizing the laundromat.  They ran up and down the aisles, trying to push buttons and open doors on washers and dryers.  They kept trying to stick their hands in the door of the vending machine...and shake the candy machines.  They wanted to climb into the laundry carts on wheels...or push them down the aisle.  I received a very dirty look from one woman as I pried Owen off of a laundry cart, and then chased Connor down who was running toward the free cookies, with Owen screaming and smacking me the whole way.  They wanted to try to tip over the buckets that were catching the dripping water. 

I momentarily distracted Connor by letting him put the coins into the slots for the dryers, and had Jay let Owen pretend to play Ms. Pacman.  That was short-lived, however, as they then wanted to pretend to be cats...which entailed crawling on the dirty floor and meowing loudly at the people trying to fold their clothes. 

Everyone in the laundromat knew the names of my children...because I repeatedly said them...loudly...while chasing them. 

I finally decided that our clothes were dry enough, and instructed the older two to quickly put the laundry back into our baskets.  We would fold them at home.  As we were about to leave, with baskets and toddlers in hand, Irelynn decides that she wants to watch a movie.  She had found a Scooby-Doo Meets Batman tape.  After several attempts to tell her it was time to leave to no avail, I finally said in a voice that was on the edge of hysteria, "Irelynn Rose...NOW!!!"  She pouted, but put on her sweatshirt. 

It was now past 6:30pm...and I had decided long ago that I was not going to attempt to make dinner this evening.  We stopped to get pizza...and then, as we got within a few blocks from home we realize we are passing a building...with a sign...that says "Coin-Op Laundry."  Jay glances apprehensively at me.

"But...this one probably didn't have a children's play area..." he offered.

Riiiiight.

Then, as we tried to get everyone into the house, along with the pizza and the laundry, I realize that I had left our change jar on the floor in the living room when I had gone through it earlier searching for quarters.  I realize this as I hear the sound of change hitting something metal.  I look out and see Owen trying to insert coins into the slots of our brand new portable air conditioner.  Not sure if the extended warranty covers naughty toddlers, I yell out something I'm not proud of:

"What the Hell are you doing?!" 

Owen, shocked at the sudden noise, started crying...and thus refused to eat his dinner. 

He did concede to eat a breadstick before bedtime, and drank some milk.  I don't think I have ever been happier to have all the kids in bed. 

I wonder what Owen thought would happen when he inserted the coins into the air conditioner? 

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