one color to rule them all

I had almost given up my efforts to keep my clothes clean from yellow stains; instead, a few months ago, I narrowed down my home wardrobe to a few pieces that I did not mind too much getting all stained from everything having a baby in the house brings with it. Thinking about yellow in relation to being a parent started as soon as our son came home from the hospital. Back then I was wondering if so many baby clothes and blankets were yellow on purpose – to hide small mishaps and encourage tired mums and dads not to bother themselves with overcleaning their newborn’s clothes. Later I let myself get upset over the use of yellow decorations on the diapers, making it difficult to see what edges of the diaper were still clean, and hence what yellowish clothes that were still unstained.

Winter came and our son started to eat baby food. A lot. And it actually seemed like most food, if mixed, eventually ended up having a yellow orange color. Pumpkin, corn, carrot, potatoes, banana, rice and tomatoes and I could probably go on and on. Yellow orange stains, it turns out, are painfully obvious on white clothes, on blue clothes, on green and purple and pink and even brown clothes. I started to find yellow orange strains on the shoulders of all my home dresses. My shoulder seems to be a favorite part for our son to attack with his teething mouth that is so itchy. I had pumpkin stained T-shirts (leave it for a while and it is really difficult to remove the stain), corn bit T-shirts (a light yellow colour on white), carrot and banana decorated T-shirts (actually a bit artistic), and of course tomato stained clothes. And trying to clean all those stains was a pain.

Lately I have been a bit tired and stressed out – the new emergency situation in Tokyo, the preparations for moving from our apartment to a bigger place, and the increasing energy of our now able-to-walk-son makes it a triple punch for a not so young dad. As a side note, the words triple punch, actually pronounced much the same in Japanese, I first heard in a taxi. A few weeks ago I went as usual to the physiotherapist for my back pain, but that time while at the hospital a thunder storm swept by leaving the trains out of service. When I finally got hold of a taxi I was wet and longing to go back home to my family. As we approached the area where we live the taxi came to a full stop in a what seemed like a forever lasting traffic jam. The taxi driver turned around, looked at me and wondered if I better not walk the remaining kilometer. Is it always this much traffic I remember asking. No, he said, today is a triple punch. Triple punch? Yes, the trains are out of operation, the rain makes people take the car and rainy Saturdays many people want to go to the Takashimaya shopping center. I thanked the driver and jogged home in the rain, easily beating all the cars in front of us, while thinking of how I want to use the triple punch expression some day.

Anyway, back to the stains. Tired and stressed out, I came up with a solution to all my stain problems – I started to wear orange T-shirts and peach colored women’s home pants, the same as my wife. Very unlike me, but a bit adaptive I flatter myself. Not only do I not see the stains, orange is my favorite color, so as long as my wife do not mind, I will happily keep this new style for as long as necessary.

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