I do the majority of the laundry in our house. I work out of the home so it is easy for me to do a load or two a day, which is pretty much the amount of clothes we go through. Folding them all is another matter, with piles of clean laundry often growing in the upstairs hall like so many multicolored mounds of socks and panties but, as a whole, I do adequately. I give myself a C in laundry class. C+ maybe.
It’s getting more difficult though. T1 and I wear the same size shorts now. He still wears medium shirts, most of the time, but T2 is quickly becoming gigantic and it is starting to be really hard to figure which socks and what basketball shorts belong to which dude in the house. Sometimes I am reduced to guessing, which results in T2 walking downstairs to go to school wearing a shirt that fits more like a dress.
“It was in my drawer!” he will inevitably yell. “You gave it to me to put away, so I did.”
It’s all my fault.
T1 recently decided he needed (wanted) a suit. To be fair, he does. We got him a really nice Calvin Klein sport coat a year ago, the sleeves of which now barely clear his elbows. The bitch of it is, T1 has some nice dress clothes, none of which T2 is going to be able to wear as hand me downs because T1 is long and lean and T2 is built like a tank.
Anyway, Homecoming is in a few weeks and T1 needed something to wear. We decided to trek out as a family into the retail wilderness and hunt down the elusive 36 long.
“Get dressed,” I told T2. “We’re going shopping.”
“Okay,” he said, hoping off the couch and heading upstairs. The lack of complaining would have made a wiser person than me suspicious.
T2 has an old, ratty Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers jersey. It doesn’t fit him, is all beat to hell and I have thrown it away at least twice only to have it reappear. It’s the shirt he wore last year when he sabotaged his school picture. I have nothing against Gore and like the 49ers but can’t stand the jersey, as it makes him look like a hobo. He knows this.
He comes back downstairs wearing shorts, his 49ers jersey and a giant grin.
“T2!” I said, “you can’t wear that, it looks terrible.”
I have now walked into his trap.
“Oh,” he says, voice dripping with innocence, “does it? Well…how about THIS?”
With that, he whips the jersey off, revealing another shirt underneath.
I break up laughing. He stands in the middle of the room with his hands on his hips, looking pleased with himself. Then I notice what shirt he had on underneath the jersey. It’s a t-shirt I got him when I was on a business trip somewhere. Arizona, I believe. It’s just something I grabbed in the airport, not realizing that someone had put an adult shirt in the kids section. It’s never fit him. It draped over him like a tent.
“T2!” I said, “You can’t wear that either! It’s way too big.”
“Huh,” he replied, looking down at himself. “I guess you are right.”
He started to leave the room, then dramatically wheeled around to face me.
“How about THIS?”
The Arizona shirt comes off, revealing a third t-shirt underneath.
I am literally crying, I am laughing so hard. He throws his head back and opens his arms wide with his palms up, soaking in my hilarity. Triumphant.
The third shirt was fine.
Before the shopping trip we stopped at a local restaurant to have lunch. We are all sitting at a high-top table, T2 to my left. I look over and realize he is wearing an ugly and holey pair of blue socks that he got for free at one of those indoor trampoline places.
“Jesus T2,” I say, “what’s with those socks? They are a mess.”
“Sorry Patrick,” he said. I went back to watching football on one of the restaurants big televisions.
I realize he is doing something under the table. He brings his now shoeless foot into my line of vision and pulls off the ugly blue sock, revealing a new, clean, appropriate to his outfit sock underneath it. He does the same with the other foot and then, still silent and one-eyebrow cocked, hands me both the blue socks.