I like to think we're a fairly equal and forward thinking household here in Tooting. Husband does his fair share of chores, possibly even more than his fair share at times and he loves, I mean really loves, putting a wash on. It's kind of weird.
I'll often get up on a Saturday morning to find he's already put a load in. He's an early riser you see. It won't necessarily be the load that needs to go in, of course. You can bet it's not the school shirts or that P.E. kit that would benefit from a jolly good sterilisation at an extremely high temperature but there'll be a load in nevertheless, usually his own stuff, some shirts or running gear or something, but often with other bits and bobs out of the washing bin as well.
Oh and he loves stripping a bed and putting that in. "Shall we do the boys' beds?" he'll say and before you can say Ariel, he's denuded all three down to the mattress covers and got the whole lot whirring around in some suds. And then there's stain remover. Don't get him started on stain remover...
(I should point out that this photograph is merely for illustrative purposes and in no way represents an accurate portrayal of my husband.)
Then there's hanging it out on the line, he loves that too. Adores it. He'll even go out there late in the afternoon in winter and peg it all out in that last hour of daylight. Consequently I'll sometimes accidentally-on-purpose leave a wet load by the back door. "Does that need to go on the line?" he'll say, tripping over it, all unsuspecting like.
"Oh yes!" I'll say, "Did I leave it there? I just haven't got round to it..." Because I hate it, I've got to be certain it's a warm sunny dry day before I'll venture out there. I mean, pegging it all out properly? Bit by bit? Shirts upside down, sleeves the right way out with socks paired together? Jeeez! I have much more important stuff to be getting on with, like reading the paper or updating my status on Facebook. And what if the weather turns? I might have to bring it all in again and hang it inside. No thanks.
Recently he's got into extra spin cycles as well. I'm not allowed to take towels out or the duvet cover unless it's had that extra spin. "Aren't these things build into the wash cycle already?" I ask.
"Oh no!' he replies, "You must spin heavy things like towels again to get all the water out." Apparently he read it in the manual. He loves the manual. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than read a washing machine manual. I'm funny like that.
He's not so keen on putting clean clothes away though. Not likely. In fact he never does it. Ever. Show me a man who actually puts piles of clean clothes away and I'll... Well, I don't know what I'll do, but I'll be very surprised that's for sure. They'll even step over a pile of clean washing in this house, if it's left at the bottom of the stairs to go up, all three of the blighters. They're collectively clothes blind the lot of them.
But I do have to concede Husband is a bit of a whizz with the washing. And the ironing. I never do any of that. He irons all his own shirts without a word of complaint. But we all make mistakes, don't we? I've never let him forget that time on holiday in Italy when he took control of the top loader in the villa we were renting and did a great big white wash along with something very, very green that was left behind the lid.
My sexy white shorts have never been quite the same since.
Here's some washing he did earlier, on Saturday...