Five people and three pets means laundry. Lots of laundry. Moving into a two story (three if you count the partially finished basement where the washer and dryer are) house had me questioning how I was going to carry all those baskets up and down those flights of stairs. After all, not too long ago I couldn’t hobble down in the boot.
So I am incredibly grateful for the built in laundry chute. One door is on the main floor (not used as much) and one door is next to the girls’ bedrooms (used a lot!). The chute empties into the basement bathroom (the guest/my son’s bathroom). During the first few days of unpacking I would send my son’s things down the chute. I’d text him to let him know it was on its way and giggle as I heard the satisfying plop that meant I saved walking down two flights of stairs just to bring him a few spare insulin pump infusion sets.
But again, with five of us in the house I have laundry. I tried to avoid sending things down the laundry chute in front of my older daughter. My peanut is a curious girl and a fan of physical comedy. Watching things move or fall is one of her favorite things. She used to put toys in the heat registers. Before we moved I pulled a piece of hanger, a plastic cucumber, two Candyland game pieces, Barbie’s sunglasses and a dime from her bedroom register. Her discovering the chute is inevitable. I wanted to wait.
A few days ago I threw in some towels. And they didn’t plop down on the basement level like usual. I went to the main floor and couldn’t see laundry piled past the door, only an empty metal duct.
So back to the top floor. The chute wasn’t large enough to see in. And when I stuck my arm in as far as my armpit I felt the last towel I put in. But couldn’t reach it.
I don’t have my husband’s problem solving brain. He’s probably have some amazing way to take it apart or his suggestion was to find the blue bear claw his father had given us as a gift. My resources were different. I grabbed my daughter’s hot pink and purple unicorn toy. It’s the unicorn version of a horse-head on a broom stick. Instead of being a cowgirl and racing around in her cowgirl boots yelling “hee-haw” she parades in princess slippers and feather boas riding a unicorn.
The unicorn head stared at me with its plastic eyes as I jammed the stick down the chute trying to push the clothing clog down the chute. It budged! So I continued to use the poor unicorn to shift the clothes around until I could no longer reach the pile. Down to the main level! Jab, jab, pull clothes, back up to the top level! Add clothes, repeat.
By now my dog was warily following me back up the stairs probably wondering why I was making him follow me up and down so many stairs with the unicorn head stabbing routine.
And then-I found it. I reached the clog: a big toy puppy dog that had last been seen in my elder daughter’s room… The dog who made my husband and I laugh. Because it is the beginning. Soon we will be seeing plastic fruit, Barbie dolls, and many more stuffed animals at the bottom of that chute.
But next time we might hear the maniacal laugh that means she’s discovered something new. After all, when I returned the stuffed dog it was instantly discarded along with the request to shut her door.