The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 5, 2012

Mike Pound: Time to teach teenager to iron

I ruined Emma’s day Friday.

As she does every school morning, our 14-year-old daughter brought the clothes she wanted to wear into our bedroom where we keep an ironing board and an iron. If you’re wondering why we keep an ironing board and an iron in our bedroom, I have one thing to say: “DUH! That’s where we keep our clothes.”

My wife and I aren’t exactly the type of people who iron our clothes ahead of time. We are more the “wait until we actually need to wear something to iron it” type.

When Emma brings her clothes into our room she always says, “Here are my clothes.” I then say something to Emma to let her know that I’m awake and then I go back to sleep. I can do this because for Emma, getting ready for school is a big deal and she gets up much earlier than I do. Emma does this so she will have plenty of time to get ready. Emma spends two hours alone, doing whatever she does to her hair.

What Emma doesn’t do is spend much time in the morning deciding what to wear. That’s because Emma plans out her wardrobe weeks, sometimes years in advance. This may be an exaggeration, but I think Emma knows what she is going to wear on her first day of college.

After I sleep for a little while longer, I finally get up and begin to iron Emma’s clothes. Yes, that’s right, I iron Emma’s clothes.

Note to judges: Please mail the Father of Year trophy directly to my house.

On Friday morning, as I began to iron the shirt Emma had picked to wear, I noticed a stain that for some reason did not come out when the shirt was washed. I thought about not saying anything and letting Emma wear the top with the stain, but then I realized that if Emma found out that she went to school with a stain on her shirt she might have to drop out of school.

Since I didn’t want that to happen, I took the shirt to the bathroom where Emma was doing something to  her hair and showed her the stain.

That’s when Emma’s world collapsed.

The shirt that Emma planned to wear Friday had, I think, red and white stripes. The white stripes were  important to Emma because Emma planned to wear a pair of white pants.

Emma didn’t pick the red-and-white shirt to wear with the white pants by accident. She spent hours matching that particular shirt with those white pants. Pyramids were built in less time than it took Emma to pick out that red-and-white shirt to go with her white pants.

So, when I showed Emma the stain on the shirt she said, “OH NO!!!” She then ran out of the bathroom toward her clothes closet in her bedroom. While I stood in the hallway I could hear Emma frantically searching for a replacement top and muttering to herself.

Finally, Emma came back into the hallway carrying some sort of blue top and a sweater with white trim. I started to take the top and sweater from Emma, but she pulled them back.

“Hold up the pants,” she said.

“What?” I said.

Emma sighed and grabbed the pants out of my hands and held them up to the blue top and sweater with the white trim and studied them intently. Then she stepped back and held the clothes directly up to the hallway light.

Then she said, “This will have to do,” and handed the clothes back to me.

I took the clothes into our bedroom and made a mental note to teach Emma how to iron.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at

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