First let me start by apologizing for the pictures in this post. My camera hasn’t worked well for over a year. I need to take it to get cleaned and repaired, but only after I figure out where to go. In the meantime, I’ve been used my iphone which, you know, is pretty awesome under ideal settings. It’s not so great with low light and saturated colors, which is what I have today. I normally don’t apologize for things like photography, but between the grainy crime scene photos and KonMari’s fussy folding technique, I’m primed for a first-world temper tantrum.
You read me right. KonMari and her little origami folding methodology can pound sand.
I love her folding method when it comes to t-shirts. I do. But this week I tackled the rest of the boys’ clothing which, if you have boys, you know means cargos in 438 different styles. If you aren’t familiar with cargos (KonMari), they are military trousers first seen in the 1930s. They are loose fitting and have several large pockets soldiers used to carry field dressings, maps, rations, and ammunition.
Americans took one look at them and said this is exactly what all boys need: more places to put stuff.
The other day Mikey went to his friend’s house to swim. I told him to pack his bag. He came out wearing his swim jammers and his cargo shorts. In the pockets of his shorts was a change of underwear, sunscreen, and goggles. “I don’t want to bring a bag,” he said.
“Too bad,” I said.
You can’t avoid cargo-style clothing for boys. Unless they’re uniform pants from K-Mart, there will be pockets. We have cargo casual shorts, cargo dress shorts, cargo trousers, cargo sweat shorts, and cargo sweatpants. We even have cargo pajamas because even if your goal is to carry around all your possessions, you still have to sleep.
Tuck in the crotch and fold them in half, she says. Then fold them again. Find the sweet spot!
I tried and tried and tried but the pockets kept getting in the way. I had the best luck with the “dress” cargos because those pockets laid flat. They’re essentially for looks. The cargo pockets on everything else was a different story.
I googled, to no avail. I found a plethora of videos by girls in college teaching me how to fold everything from bras, to underwear, to socks, to shirts, to shorts–but no boys’ cargo shorts. The moms (are there any out there?) were silent on the issue. I gained nothing from the experience except for eye strain from over-rolling. Don’t tell me how to fold soft pants! First, calling them soft pants won’t change the fact that those, my dear, are harem pants. Second, how dare you proudly wear “soft pants” after what they did to innocent people in the 90s. How dare you.
After much trial and error, I came up with a complicated 24-step process to fold cargo bottoms.
I was feeling good. Sure, it took me a while to find the “sweet spot,” but now that I cracked the code, doing the rest of the pants would get easier as time went on. I was the dominator of cargos. I was ready.
When I get angry, really angry, speechless angry, I become unrecognizable. I stand very still, schooling my features into submission. I am the outward appearance of calm. The giveaway is the red face or the eyelids blinking so fast I must subconsciously want to use them to lift me off the ground and whisk me away to somewhere less annoying.
I stared at those pants while my bangs fluttered in the breeze my blinking created.
Those pants were mocking me. Standing up tall and straight like an obedient soldier, pretending excitement at the prospect of being filed, but I knew. I knew what they were doing. Cargos aren’t KonMari’s humble socks, looking for a break, happy to stay wrapped around their mate until it’s time to go to work. Cargo pants are players. They tell you what you want to hear and then use your own words against you until suddenly you’re apologizing for the size of your drawers.
Not today, cargo pants. Not me. I’ve met far too many of your kind. I tucked in your crotch (small compared to the pockets, frankly) and rolled you into a loaf. You don’t deserve a sweet spot.
The rest of the clothing went as such. I tucked and rolled and put them away for me, for you, and for all the other mothers who have had to deal with cargo pants.
I moved on to the boys’ top drawers, which are meant to hold underwear, undershirts, and socks. They don’t hold underwear or undershirts, but they do hold socks. Their sock drawer would give Marie Kondo the vapors and, thanks to that book, makes me feel like I’m secretly running a puppy mill.
First I folded all the underwear, which before today were in a bin in the closet. I took a break for lunch and lost the pile. Nico, trying to help, put the underwear away in the bin in the closet. I told him and Mikey that while I appreciated the help, I decided to move the underwear to the dresser. Both thought that was a terrible idea. They didn’t want to change the underwear, though they love the t-shirts and have kept the system up perfectly, even when putting away their laundry.
They’re right, I thought. The underwear bin is easier for them–they just toss the underwear in. Sometimes they don’t even put away the bin. They let it sit on the piles of whatever it is they keep on their closet floor. I don’t want to be that mom who strips away every last shred of youth from her kids’ room. I should let them have their messy closet. Right?
Screw that, I thought. I spent who-knows-how-long folding 19 pairs of underwear into the size of a postage stamp. I’m filing them in an underwear drawer and by God, they’re going to love it.
The other drawer is now for belts and ties. I’m hoping this is the year Nico realizes lamp shades are not tie hangers.
“But dad said to keep my tie somewhere I will always find it!”
I have one final drawer to finish–uniform pants and shorts. I ordered them a while ago and they finally arrived while I was typing this post. After that and the closet, I’ll be done with the boys’ clothing.
My clothing should be easier to handle; I only have two pairs of cargo pants.