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Philip Maramba: Mama has a laundry fairy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Once we got married, the missus and I sort of naturally fell into a division of household duties.

I'd bought the house we live in before I even met her, so I had to get used to sharing chores, which was pretty nice. Mostly.

Here are some notes from the Domestic Dad bureau:

* Perhaps in some acquiescence to my obsessive-compulsive tendencies, Kris ceded the job of doing laundry to me.

* I even got a title: Laundry Fairy - I suppose for how magically spotless I keep our family's clothes, but I suspect it's more for the fact that clean duds just appear, folded or hung in closets and dresser drawers.

* On the topic, I've noticed it's pretty easy to tell whose stack of clothes are whose simply based on color.

If they were darks, they were likely my wife's; if they were whites, they were probably mine. (I have a lot of T-shirts and oxfords.)

* Before we had a baby girl, the pile of red-hued items rarely required more than a small wash setting. Now, I've got enough pink attire and accessories for a couple of extra-large loads.

* I've discovered laundry doesn't wait for weekends anymore.

* And folding women's undergarments still sort of makes me giggle.

* I've pretty much been booted from the kitchen, which is cool, because I'm strictly a recipe guy. Kris seems to have a natural feel for improvising and the alchemy of food. I know when I'm in the presence of a superior talent.

* I do get to grill. Which goes hand in hand with lawn care, I suppose.

* One by one, the appliances of my bachelorhood are disappearing. My first coffee maker could not keep up with my wife's need for java and pooped out not long after we got married. I think we killed our second one last year.

Complaints about what I thought to be a versatile toaster oven led to a new toaster for Christmas from her mom and sent mine off to be donated.

* A big fear is that my major appliances, which are all about the same age, are reaching the end of their lives and will decide to die at the same time.

* As a child watching game shows, I could never see the value of a kitchen set when there were new cars, billiards tables and swimming pools to be won. I think I'd jump up and down like a maniac if someone were to give me a new fridge, range and dishwasher now.

* Along those lines, we thought our dishwasher was a goner until a few weeks ago when we tried a freebie sampler of detergent packs that did indeed clean our dishes to a sparkling shine.

I don't care if I sound like a 1950s television commercial. It was like magic. Cascade Platinum. Amazing chemicals there.

* Which leads to surrendering the last vestige of my kitchen primacy: the belief that there is a right way and a wrong way to load a dishwasher. (And you know which way mine was.)

Eiven the number of loads we have to do to keep up with two messy children, I no longer have the luxury of time to rearrange items for maximum efficiency.

If it helps us to stay ahead of the need for more clean plates and sippy cups, do it any way you please, dear.

* I'm looking forward to the children becoming Associate Laundry Fairies.

Contact writer Philip Maramba at or 304-348-1248.



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