I did laundry this weekend and actually washed ALL the things. Sheets, towels, tablecloths, clothing — by the end of the weekend, all the fabric in my house was clean. Go, me!

Except it turned out to be a terrible idea. I was also freezing all weekend long, wondering whether my heater was broken. I didn’t have two feet of snow, but the temperature was down in the 30’s and 40’s, which for us is cold. It was only on my last load of laundry that I realized that my thermostat is on the wall outside the laundry room. With the dryer running all weekend, the thermostat thought the house was lovely and warm. In my bedroom, I thought socks under the covers were barely enough to get by. Grr… or maybe I should be saying Brr…?

Post all the laundry, I needed fresh towels in my bathroom. I went looking for my favorites, the ones that belong in there. They’re blue, soft and thick, and big. Bath sheets, really, not towels. I’ve got plenty of towels, of course, but those two are the best. I couldn’t find them. I checked all the places towels might remotely hide. The other bathroom, the cupboard, the linen closet, my closet… no towels. I hadn’t seen them for a while but I’d just been assuming that they were somewhere — in a laundry basket or in the laundry room — but no.

And then I remembered — before R went back to school, he asked if he could take towels with him.

I told him, sure, of course.

He asked whether it mattered which ones he took.

I told him to take whichever ones he liked.

He pushed, said, “Are you sure? Any of them?”

I said, “Yeah, we’ve got plenty of towels. Take the ones you want.”

He started explaining to me how he really didn’t like the towels he had, because they weren’t absorbent enough and they didn’t dry fast enough and he liked softer towels, and I, frankly, tuned him out, because a) towels, not the most interesting subject, and b) I was in the middle of getting ready to have people over and thinking about food and cleaning.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have paid more attention.

There’s a part of me that’s annoyed — if I had not thought that MY towels were safely in my bathroom or laundry, I would not have told him he could take whichever towels he wanted. But mostly, I feel a mix of pleasure — I have raised a boy who is aware of the importance of quality linens, ha — and amusement — that teaches me to not pay attention when R is talking! He might even have specifically asked about the blue towels when he was telling me why the towels he had at school were not good enough. Oh, well. I do have plenty of towels, so I’ll survive.

Have I mentioned how much B loves the blow dryer? I don’t usually use a blow dryer but I’d gotten it out recently when I had to leave the house and it was cold and my hair was wet. B danced with delight. Up on his back legs, which he does not usually do, to tell me how excited he was. He knew exactly what it was and he loves it. Since then, I’ve been blowing him dry after his bath. It’s his favorite thing. Z watches us from two feet away, a little jealous of the doting attention that B’s getting but also really reluctant to come near the thing that makes noise. She’s not fond of noisemakers that might be vacuum cleaners.

Anyway, the other day we went for a walk in the rain. Typically, B refuses to walk in the rain. That day, he thought about it at the door and decided to come with us. I was surprised, but when we got home, he went straight to the spot where I’ve blown him dry (a floor outlet) and sat down. It was a very clear demand. My dogs have me so well trained.