A few weeks after we arrived in Australia, my sister and her boyfriend came to spend a weekend at the beach with us. They live inland and don’t get to the beach often, so it was a great weekend of sun, sand, surf, and catching up.
It was the last day of their trip, and the boyfriend pulled out an ironing board and iron, to iron his shirt.
My kiddo walked by, and asked him what it was he was holding.
“What, this?” said the boyfriend, holding up the iron. “It’s an iron!”
“What does it do?” kiddo asks in all sincerity.
(The boyfriend is flabbergasted by the turn of events.)
“You iron things with it. It makes your clothes neat. Have you seriously never seen your mother use an iron?”
(Kiddo is somewhat perplexed, but losing interest fast, given that the strange object wasn’t a toy, chocolate or a something to pull apart.)
“No, she doesn’t use that thing, our clothes are already neat.”
I actually heard this conversation from the other room and tried to dodge the proverbial bullet, by escaping into the kitchen – without a confrontation – but had no such luck and was accosted by an incredulous boyfriend near the refrigerator. He gave me the rundown, and demanded an explanation as to how an almost-seven-year-old did not know what an iron was, nor what it did.
Valiantly, I explained about the miracle and wonders of dry cleaning in America, (where I had lived for the preceding 10 years). In the USA dry cleaning is cheap, efficient, easy to access (most have drive through windows) and thus, used regularly by me. If the truth-be-told, my son had probably never even seen me use an iron.
Here in Australia, (The boyfriend will be pleased to know), I iron all the time and the kiddo has now become intimately familiar with it, as I curse my way through his school shirts. Some bright spark on the board of his institution – in their infinite wisdom – decided that it would be a fantastic idea to put 7-year-old boys in white, button up, crisp cotton collared shirts, for school (along with a tie, no less)!
This necessitates me washing and ironing on a weekly basis. These shirts get indescribably dirty, requiring the use of industrial-grade stain remover (and shirt replacements every couple of months), due to the stubborn marks that appear and defy all laws of stain removal.
My grandmother always says; “You’re never to young to learn,” and since my love of old quotes is far greater than my love of ironing, I’ve decided to pass the baton and allow kiddo to experience the thrill himself.
That said, can anyone tell me the legalities involved in allowing a 7-year-old to use an iron? I mean, it’s not like it’s an AK-47, I couldn’t get arrested, right?