Sunday, April 18, 2010

The New Babysitter and The Man

There's a new babysitter in town and I must say, she not only provides Ciaran with endless entertainment, but she's (mostly) quiet, well-mannered and hard-working too. I leave him in her care with complete ease of mind. I've never seen him so content in my absence; I can actually walk away without the usual clingy and tearful goodbyes that mar most of our partings. Her name? She goes by Whirlpool model no. YLSR7233EQO but my son lovingly refers to her as "washing masheen".

That's right, Ciaran is obsessed with a laundry room appliance and has been for over a year now. It started by letting him accompany me to the basement to sort and wash clothes, rather than leave him alone upstairs to get into who knows what kind of trouble. He was instantly fascinated. He's always had a thing for water - turning on the faucets at full blast, flushing the toilet over and over again. I finally told him that The Man would come and yell at him if he didn't stop wasting water. I had to, he wouldn't listen to my rationale on expending resources. I honestly don't even know who The Man is, but in Ciaran's little mind it must be a scary man. Not my proudest parenting tactic, but hey, it works and sometimes desperate measures need to be taken.

Anyway, once Ciaran discovered the spinner part of the machine, (the agitator, I think?) well, he went completely apey. Turns out he loves spinny stuff too. I can't tell you how many times he's asked me what the spinner is doing, why does it turn, how come it spins so fast? Question after question about something I'd never given much thought to other than cramming filthy clothes into and peeling clean ones out of.

I deferred him to his Dad, who explains these types of technical questions much better than I do. His Dad not only explained every working part of the machine, but in my absense took these pictures of Ciaran inside of it. (This is exactly why I rarely leave the two of them alone in the house): 

In no time the kid could tell you what cycle the machine was on, just by standing at the top of the stairs and cocking his head towards the laundry room.

"Mom! Mom! I hear the rinse cycle!" And the joy in his wide-grinning face would have you believe Santa Claus himself had just dropped off a heaping sack of toys, or at the very least a handful of red lollipops.

"Mmm hmm", I respond. And every time I lug yet another basket of laundry down the stairs, my little helper races past me into the creepy, damp place where spiders hang out to seek out his new favorite pastime.

The routine goes something like this: Ciaran stands on an old kitchen chair directly in front of the washer, I select the time required per load and he starts the machine. I measure out the detergent and pass it to him to carefully dispense into the water. I hand him each article of clothing and he tosses them one by one into the sudsy abyss.

Yes, we are a dynamic duo. There's nothing that doesn't come out sparkling clean using our team effort - toys, money, household items - you name it. I dare anyone to find a grungy plush toy in my house. And coins? You'll never see the Queen's face gleam as brightly as it does on the spare change around here.

Yet, as cute as I found his washing machine fixation in the beginning, it quickly started to wear on me. He would not stop talking about it, asking even more questions, wanting to visit it after all the laundry (and other assorted items) were washed, and put away.

At first I'd hang out with him, until after the machine filled up and began its washing cycle, but he kept wanting to stay longer and longer. I tried dragging him away, but he'd sneak back down. Then, I did as other busy, tired parents do and just gave in.

So now, he stays in the laundry room until all cycles are complete and then yells up the stairs for me to bring down the next load. It's actually working out very well. I can clean up, make dinner, I even started my blog during one of his washing machine sojourns. I do check up on him often, just to make sure he hasn't stuck his hand into the machine or anything like that. But he's very cautious, and has been warned over and over about touching the machine when it's working. Besides, he does not want The Man dropping in on him and his favorite new babysitter.


The Mayor! said...

THAT is frikkin hilarious!! Man, where can I find a FREE sitter like that??!! And not only does "she" sit for you, but soon enough, he'll be doing your laundry! What a sweet deal chickie!! :-D

Tracy said...

How awesome is that??? My 3 year old loves the laundry room...anything to "use" the water improperly! Cute picture!! Love it!

The Mayor! said...

So, I've been thinking...I know, a dangerous pastime right??....from one newbie to another, who knows how hard it can be to get your name out there & even more so, the support to get going, I think it would be absolutely wonderful if you would be my first ever guest blogger! This is something I've been ready to do for awhile, & I have a shortlist of who I'd like to have guest post for me, but I think it would be fabulous to start with you, because I wish someone had given me the same chance when I was starting out....frankly I was burnt a few times by catty jealousy that really took me by surprise, & I decided I would NOT be that chick LOL. And though it's not always easy to hit up all my faves all the time, I make a real effort for those who have the integrity & kindness to deserve the same from me, & I walked away from those that didn't. In the process, I feel I've made some REAL friends, & I'm good with that! No deadline, no specific topic, no pressure! Just be you! E-mail me at & we can chat some more about it! And when I have 2min to spare, I will get you the codes to post your button on your own blog LOL! :-D

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