I loved the Magic Faraway Tree when I was younger. I devoured most books as a child (I now devour crisps instead) but I do remember these magical stories in particular.
I loved how Enid Blyton took me away to different lands, where I could forget reality and enjoy carefree hours reading about the adventures of Jo, Bessie, Fanny and Dick. Little did I know back then that I would eventually acquire my own magical object: The Magic Filling Washing Basket. Enid Blyton failed me. Instead of filling my thoughts with tales of Moon Face and Dame Slap, she should have been preparing me for the harsh realities of life. That innocuous white wicker basket (maybe it’s made of branches from the bloody faraway tree) has become the bane of my existence.
You can never afford to turn your back on it. Lose focus on that receptacle for more than thirty seconds and when you look back, it’s bloody full again. Another thirty seconds, it’s overflowing and you now don’t know which are the dirty clothes and which are the clean clothes that you couldn’t be arsed putting away the night before, so left on the floor instead! They’ve now merged to form a silent, super clothes army, advancing surreptitiously under the cover of darkness (aka being lost in a social media bubble) and you don’t know where to target. So you end up having to punish the good guys by throwing them back in the washing machine when there’s no need. And while you’ve been doing this, the basket has increased its contents tenfold again!! You didn’t have this much washing when the kids were babies and having daily vomiting episodes or poo catastrophes which required multiple changes. I mean, what does a teenage boy do with all those socks?….. He’s only got one pair of feet.
What winds me up more than Mr Watziname’s snoring (hang on, maybe I am in one of Blyton’s magical lands), the basket is often full of clean clothes. Why? Fecking lazy children. They’re not stupid. Initially they fooled me. How wonderful that their rooms were tidy. How brilliant that I could see their carpet. How fantastic they were taking pride in their surroundings. Well, it may have taken a few months but I’ve wisened up. Replace Blyton’s Dame Slap and her wild pixies with Madame Stevenson and her feral offspring! I’ve cottoned onto to how it’s easier to throw that Adidas top somewhere in the vicinity of the Magic Filling Washing Basket instead of hanging it back up. Although, the owner does run the risk of not seeing that T-shirt for a while. If that T-shirt happens to land near the bottom of the basket, there is a good chance it will lay hidden under the never-decreasing mountain of laundry, so much so that it takes an archaeologist to unearth it.
If I had one wish, it would be that I could immerse myself in Enid Blyton’s book and become Dame Washalot. She adored washing. She even washed other people’s clothes if she’d managed to empty her basket. But I can’t. So I’ll just carry on winning the odd dirty clothes combat but never quite winning the washing war. Anyway, can’t stop. I’ve got a load to put in.
Here’s another parenting dilemma – Life Lesson 273