Family Magazine

Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry

By Sherwoods
I used to have high standards when it came to my children's clothing.  When Kathleen was born, she had lots of little teeny-tiny nightgowns ready to don after her nightly baths.  And in the morning, I would dutifully take off the little nightgowns and put on a fresh outfit every day. 
Sophia and Edwin got the same treatment, but by the time Joseph showed up, I was getting three other children in and out of clothes and pajamas every day so he kept the same outfit on until it was either crusty or he pooped through it.  He was a fall baby and warm pajamas and clothes for a newborn are pretty much the same thing anyway so it was mostly okay.  He's seven and a half now, so I figure it didn't do any damage.  Also, it made for less laundry.
Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry
Eleanor and William got the same treatment as babies because life certainly didn't get any less hectic with the addition of fifth and sixth children.  I didn't even bathe Eleanor myself because she had willing older sisters to do the job for me.  It worked so well that Edwin has bathed William pretty much from the beginning.  It turns out that baths are more of a nice thing rather than a strict luxury anyway and what gets missed during one bath will probably get washed the next time.
But my children have always had clean clothing (laundry gets done once a week because nobody owns more than a week's worth of clothing) and they have always been dressed.  We all have to maintain some sort of standard. 
Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry
Until, that is, until this summer.  It started when William was being potty trained back in October.  Taking little jeans on and off really gets old by the time you've done it for the sixth time in a day, especially when they're skinny jeans (curse whoever thought up that idea for small children.  It was so much easier to take pants off when they were looser).  So when he was home, William spent most of his days without pants.  Every now and then I would get religion and actually put pants on, but by the time I got to the third pair that day that got peed through, I gave up. 
Then it got warm.  And somehow it seemed like too much work to actually put a shirt on, too.  In reality, getting a two year-old dressed takes less than a minute.  Put on a shirt, put on shorts and you're done.  But somehow when it's breakfast time and you just took off the pajamas and took the child to the toilet, it's just one step too many to actually put anything other than the underwear back on.  At first it was strategic - don't get him dressed until after he's eaten breakfast - but then it was laziness.  And now it's just habit.
Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry
Every now and then when other people show up and I see William through their eyes - a semi-naked toddler running through the house - I realize exactly how low my standards have sunk.  But then I forget about them when it's the next morning and thirty seconds seems like too much time to sacrifice for a silly standard.  After all, it's not like he actually needs clothing.  The weather is perfectly warm, and he's not outside for hours at a time and getting sunburned (well, there was that one time).  Ironically, he wears the most clothing when he's swimming because I'm also too lazy to slather his entire body with sunscreen.
Edwin, who folds William's clothes, is entirely on board with William's new wardrobe.  Edwin wears clothes for several days in a row to keep the laundry down, and now he only has to put William's underwear away.  These days he gets his folding done in fifteen minutes. 
Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry
It's going to be sad when we go to London in September and 1. it will be cold and 2. we will go out in public most days.  Not only will William have to wear pants and a shirt, but he will have to wear socks, shoes, and a jacket, too.  And Edwin will have to start folding a lot more laundry.
But until then, we'll enjoy our resident undie-wearing toddler.  I have to admit that there's something adorably cute about a two year-old running around in teeny-tiny undies and nothing else.  I'll enjoy it now because I definitely won't be saying that when he's fifteen.
Less Clothing Makes Less Laundry

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