At the risk of branding myself overly obsessed with all things laundry, there is trouble with a capital T brewing in this house.

No, I’m not talking about the overpowering stank at the bottom of the kids’ hampers.  Or socks so stiff and crusty they could walk themselves to the laundry room.  It’s not even the omnipresent mountain of clothes that creates a real danger of suffocation should it collapse.

The passage of time has brought forth a new problem, and the struggle is real.

Doing the laundry itself is a pretty straightforward chore: dirty clothes go in, clean clothes come out, said clothes are returned to their proper owner.  Done and done.

But we’ve entered a land of laundry complexities where too many items look like the exact same size, so now I’m expected to have some sort of superhuman recall.  Me.  The woman who walks two rooms over and can’t remember why – I’m supposed to know the wearer of each and every t-shirt, sock, and pair of basketball shorts that comes through.  Yeah, right.

BrightSide’s still the only freakishly tall person in the house (though eventually T-man will give him some competition for that title) so he’s not part of the problem, but the rest of us cause all kinds of laundry sorting strife.

Socks.  Bear and I wear the same size which necessitates a somewhat complicated system requiring more active recall than working your average tv/cable/dvr remote.  We both have white ankle socks, but Bear has the pink heel while mine are gray.  My no-shows are Under Armour, so all others belong to the youngster.  Except black – those are mine.  The perpetually mismatched socks with vibrant colors go back to the girl, and the matching crews are mine. Then there are soccer socks and Nike Elites, which I can never seem to keep straight between Bear and T-man.  The system works for me, but if I want BrightSide to fold a basket?  Who can explain this mess without sounding like a nut?!

Workout clothes.  Bear and I wear very similar items, especially now that she’s able to buy active wear in the misses department.  My only saving grace is that we’re different sizes, but later?  When I have to actually recall who owns which yoga pants, tank top, sports bra, or t-shirt?  I think we’ll be pulling out the Sharpie for those years.

Shorts.  T-man and Bear are close in size for shorts, and since Bear’s dress code requires these be a certain length she typically wears athletic shorts to school.  It doesn’t help that I need to buy most of her sports shorts in the boys’ department anyway – apparently I missed the marketing memo about bootie baring athletic wear for girls.  Even the Nike store’s girl clothes are cut differently.  Can’t a mama just get a decent pair of mesh basketball shorts?!  But then we’re back to the “Whose are these?” question again.

Hand Me Downs.  There was so much strife over this one that I actually had to make a rule to handle hand me downs.  Bear, being the low maintenance gal that she is, has exactly zero problems with boys’ clothing.  If it’s comfortable and she likes it, that’s all that matters.  (Thank you, Jesus.)  Which means when T-man outgrows his awesome (and broken in) Nike and Under Armour t-shirts they’re fair game for the girl.  We ran into several problems with this, though: I’d see a shirt I knew no longer fit and pass it on only to see T-man pitch a fit when Bear wore “his” clothes; Bear would pull a shirt from T-man’s donation pile only to have T-man pitch a fit, etc., etc.; or a shirt would be passed on but I’d forget and return it to T-man, he’d shove it in a drawer, then I’d get blamed for the disappearance.  I mean, what the what.  Now I mark the tags myself with a Sharpie, fit pitching be damned.

I can’t help thinking this is a little too ridiculous.  Surely cleaning clothes doesn’t need to be this convoluted.  Maybe I’ve just gotten caught in some bizarre vortex of laundry sorting madness.

It gets easier, right?  Tell me it gets easier.

Pretty please?