It was laundry day again, and you may recall that my trip to the laundromat did not go so well, so I decided to drive over to my mother-in-law's apartment and do laundry there. There are toys there, and at least my kids wouldn't be bothering anyone else with their maniacal behavior. I did try to call first, but she didn't answer, so we went over anyway. Luckily I have keys.
My first dilemma was how I was going to bring three giant bins of laundry upstairs while carrying a baby. I decided to leave the kids playing in the car while I made a few solo trips up the elevator with the clothes. This was a pretty good idea, and other than feeling like a neglectful parent for a few minutes, it went off without a hitch. The second problem was that Steve was sleeping.
Steve is awesome. We like Steve. Steve lives in the apartment and works nights, so he sleeps days, and the last thing we want to do is to wake up Steve. So I start the laundry and decide the best thing we can do is to go to Costco and eat pizza. This worked well for a while, but eventually we had to go back and put the laundry in the drier, and we had more loads to wash. So my totally feasible plan was to bring two children up into a small apartment and have them sit quietly for a few hours. How could that not work?
Ruby was happy trying to build a fort out of cushions and pillows, which actually was a pretty quiet activity, so I lucked out there. Edward, however, decided that since it had gone over so well at the restaurant, he would take some hard toys and start banging them on the furniture as loudly as he could. The worst part was, his rhythmic thumping sounded a lot like someone knocking on the door, and even if you can sleep through some background playing and talking, there are some things we are just trained to wake up for, and I felt like door knocking might be on the list.
Edward was not happy that I took away his toys, so he started yelling and screaming, and Ruby started telling him, in her loudest stage whisper, that he was going to wake up Steve. I did manage to get the baby calmed down by playing ball with him on the floor, which I guess was Ruby's cue to start making up loud songs and jumping on the couch. I reminded her about poor sleepy Steve, so she was able to calm down long enough to knock her fort over and start crying. I put Edward down for one nanosecond to try and rebuild the fort, which gave him enough time to crawl over to the tall lamp next to the couch and bring it crashing down onto the coffee table. He thought that was so funny that he started squealing as loud as I have ever heard anyone squeal.
Now, maybe I was just more sensitive to the sounds, since I was trying so hard to keep them quiet, but it sounded to me like we were producing a noise level similar to the detonation of an atomic bomb. I scooped the children up and put them in the middle of the floor, far from any loud things, and explained once again that we had to be very quiet and that Steve was trying to sleep in the next room. Luckily the first load of laundry came out of the drier, so Ruby and I folded it as Edward unfolded it and threw it across the room. Finally, a quiet activity that we could all do for a long period of time!
Well, we spent a lot of time making noises, getting scolded, and attempting to destroy things, but Steve did not wake up, although I don't know how that is possible. Eventually my mother-in-law did come home, walked into the other room, sneezed or coughed or something, and woke up Steve. So he came out and we all had a lovely snack and I folded more laundry.
Steve went back to bed, I packed up the car, and we headed home, but I do feel good that he swears we did not wake him up, and I'm pretty sure it was better experience than the laundromat, but man, if I ever try to move into a place with no laundry facilities again, somebody slap me.