Sunday, October 5, 2008

Laundry Baskets

You’d think the new, shiny trampoline with the 13-foot enclosure would be the big hit at our house these days.
Or, perhaps you’d guess everyone’s favorite would be the pool. Filled with 35 floaties, various wooden boats, several diving toys and a waterfall, you’d think it would get a lot of love during the dog days of summer.
But, alas, even the tri-colored plastic roller coaster that sits in our vast, forested backyard sits dormant these days.
No, the hit of the month has been—drum-roll please—my laundry basket.
It is fabulous if I do say so myself.
I bought the white plastic model at a Linen-N-Things seven years ago in Rockville, Maryland. It came with a thoughtful indent for the hip. There’s also an oversized lip around the circumference for ease in gripping the container when an Everest of clothing spills over its edges.
Alas, I’m not the only one to note its form and function.
Sometime in early August, my four-year-old twins commandeered the laundry basket for higher purposes.
Suddenly, I began finding mini-moguls of shirts, pants and socks piled up in various rooms throughout the house. No sooner would I stack an ironed, folded load of darks into the basket and someone would tip the load into the bathtub and steal away with the container.
Last Friday, I found five separate heaps of clothing dumped unceremoniously in the hallway like piles of fall leaves recently raked.
Meanwhile, the laundry basket was having a marvelous time.
It first morphed into a boat. Will pushed various stuffed animals—and then his screaming sister—“through” the “Small World” ride at “Disney World.”
When that was over, it became the only prop in a dramatic afternoon at the Olympic Games. First, Will used it as the uneven bars, straddling the sides like Nastia Liukin before sticking a dismount on the playroom floor.
Next, Elizabeth had a turn with my laundry basket.
Following a hair-raising floor routine performed in a tutu to the tune of Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” she upended the container and accepted a gold medal standing atop the laundry basket. It was, of course, a podium.
Afterwards, she pushed it over to her dolls, stripped one nude and gave it a bath in the container.
The laundry basket also had a turn as a grocery cart, a car and a circus cage.
I’m pretty sure no toy has seen this much action in my house since my kids discovered balls moved at around nine months.
So I wasn’t surprised earlier this week when Will made a simple request.
Following a rather rough day at physical therapy, I offered him a reward for his endeavors.
“Would you like a new truck from Target?” I asked, “Or how about a new Matchbox car?”
Will shook his head.
“Momma,” he said, a huge grin spreading across his face, “May I get my own laundry basket?”
And so we did.
It is bright blue.

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