Saturday, January 23, 2010

On Laundry

This isn't a post about the drudgery of housework. This morning when I was folding a bit of washing I began to ponder the mathematical implications that the clothing of infants entails. While a grown person has perhaps twenty or twenty-five items in a load of wash, maybe a few more if there are a lot of socks and under-things in there, it doesn't take that long to fold a load. Five minutes and you've got a nice pile, ready to head for the bureau.

Babies on the other hand, being of much smaller stature, can go through several thousand items before the laundry basket is full. Out of a typical load of roughly a million items you can expect to find nearly five hundred thousand to be onsies, all inside out. The rest of the load is comprised mostly of various "cute" items that are also inside out but relatively easy to fold and classify into piles. These account for roughly another one hundred thousand items.

The balance of the load is roughly four hundred thousand socks, all somehow big enough to cover the foot and thigh of a chubby baby but not big enough to easily admit the thumb and forefinger of the adult trying to turn them right side out. And of course in a batch of four hundred thousand baby socks, there are two hundred thousand pairs... all different. (Makes me slightly ashamed of my own selection of just two kinds of Hanes.) One could write a doctoral thesis for a masters in statistics on the problems encountered in trying to pair up baby socks.

Anyway, not complaining, just marveling at the every day science of raising little ones.



steenky bee said...

Socks. Hate 'em. I am well known around these parts for giving up on even washing them, let alone matching them up, and just tossing them in the garbage. Horribly irresponsible, I know. But on the other hand, I am single-handedly responsible for keeping Hanes in business in the Mountain Time Zone during these tough times.

Irish Gumbo said...

Dude, I think someone has written a doctoral thesis in statistics on that subject!

I know someone with a degree in stats, I'll ask :)

SweetPeaSurry said...

See now ... situations like this are exactly why I plunk down next to said laundry basket of yummy smelling clean clothed goodness, in front of the coffee table which is strategically placed in front of my television. As a self-proclaimed TV junkie ... it's the ONLY way to fold laundry. In addition, there's nothing like watching Tinkerbell get into trouble when matching and folding troublesome socks.

forgive my grammar .. i know it sucks


Middle Aged Woman said...

Babies are just that much more attractive when they where unmatched socks.