I hate ironing. As the only woman in the house, the ironing of clothes naturally falls to me… “Gender stereotyping!” I hear you shout!
Well, the fact of the matter is, I am slightly obsessive about getting the job done properly and I’m not very good at delegating either. I have tried. Honest.
My older son has now left home and as an ex-army cadet he knows perfectly well how to iron. Yet still, when he come home, he brings a load of clothes that need both washing – and, yes – ironing too… However, it is my mother he chooses to bless with this duty, which she fulfils with loving care and attention.
My partner can iron… but chooses not to, in the same way perhaps that I choose not to put the bins out. Gender stereotyping again? Possibly, but in my defence, I must state that when my sons were little, I did not rush out and buy them guns and action figures in soldier’s costumes. Instead, we had (and still do actually) dinosaurs. Lots and lots of dinosaurs. Small plastic ones, cuddly ones and model ones. I was secretly delighted when our local newspaper was giving away free model dinosaur skeletons – you push the pieces out of a sheet of balsa wood and clip them together, although it’s quite annoying because my Pterodactyl’s head keeps falling off…
My – no actually – my son’s Triceratops
My youngest son claims he can’t possibly iron, as he is too little. Hmm. Considering he is sixteen and taller than me, that excuse is so feeble it’s practically on its deathbed. I said to him:
“What about when you go to university? What will you do then?” to which he confidently replied:
“Oh, I’ll come home every weekend and bring it for you then!” My planned lesson in practical life skills gave a feeble beat of its hopeful wings and expired…
To me, upon reflection, I suppose ironing has been a way to mark the passage of Time. Twenty years ago, I was ironing tight jeans and little tops, then maternity wear and baby outfits. The jeans grew longer in the leg as I grew older, baby t-shirts into proper mens’ shirts with collars… as I progressed to comfortable pull on trousers and easy care shirts.
“I’d help, Mummy, if I could grow thumbs…”
Oh well, I suppose I’d better go and get another load done… lucky the express steam cloud of my ultra-modern iron will hide my sentimental tears…
All photos were taken by my son!