Intricate Arrangements

September 8, 2016

I don’t know when this behavior appeared for the first time.  Did it develop step by step or did the idea come to Robert suddenly in its complete form.

I know that it started with Robert hanging and folding laundry.  He learned years ago how to do it and where everything belonged. That was great!.  He also learned, at some point, to separate most of the white clothes from the dark ones.  I said, “MOST”, because for reasons Robert doesn’t explain, he always puts one or two pairs of his dad’s black socks with the white load.  Oh well!

A couple of months ago, I realized that Robert uses a special pattern to put DIRTY clothes in the hamper. He is not able to just drop them in and let them be crumpled and mixed up with other dirty clothes.  All pieces of his and everybody’s else garments have to be stretched one on top of the other in the same order they were worn (or taken off) by  members of our family.  Robert places socks on the bottom, then go his pants followed by his underwear, his shirt and, if it is colder season, by his white undershirt.  Robert’s pyjama and socks also follow a similar pattern.  When other members of our family drop their clothes in the hamper, Robert is immediately arranging them according to the rules only he knows.  That sometimes requires emptying the whole hamper and meticulous reorganizing.

Unfortunately, this behavior also controls the activity of placing the clothes in the washing machine, in the dryer, and moving the clean clothes back into the hamper.

Although Robert separates white clothes from the dark ones (except, that is, his dad’s socks) he still maintains a proper sequence with white and a proper sequence with dark. I haven’t decipher the general rule governing that activity but I know that all too often Robert searches carefully for the proper item to go next to the laundry machine. That, of course,  extends the time of the laundry ten fold and makes process of washing clothe extremely complex.

Very often, I do the laundry when Robert is not at home.  It is much simpler and quicker.  I refrain, however, from placing Robert’s clothes in the drawers as he never accepts my haphazard approach to his shirts or his underwear.  Yes, there are separate drawers for his underwear, pyjamas, pants (he doesn’t want to hang them), and his shirts. Still, only Robert know which shirt should be at the bottom of a pile and which one on top. So he  Robert takes them out and corrects my errors.

I have tried many times  to  persuade Robert that it doesn’t matter which way you drop dirty garment into the hamper or in which order the clothes enter the washing machine. They would get mixed up any way. But I do it in vain because when Robert discovered that order is important in some situations, he decided that order is important ALWAYS.


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