04 January 2011

If You Are The Mother Of Offspring, You'll Know Where This Story Is Going...

I've decided the blog fodder for today will be the memory of a lesson learned.  Several years ago, I spent a Saturday cleaning out all the cupboards in my kitchen.  All the shelves were cleaned and organized, the refuse removed.  I asked our daughter Rachel to unload the dishwasher and our daughter Danielle to load it.

If you are a mother, you'll know where this story is going...
One offspring to unload dishwasher.  One offspring to load dishwasher.  That is, what? Ten minutes worth of chores? Fifteen tops, if you are feeling particularly slow.  In return, I drive them to parties and friends and activities they want to enjoy. I'd say that was a pretty good deal for them, right?

**cough cough - roll of eyes**

I woke up about 3am Sunday morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I went downstairs and decided to put the dishes away and load the few that were left. The first dish I pulled out of the dishwasher had oatmeal baked onto it... and so did just about every other dish in the dishwasher.

Now we have a very cheap dishwasher, no garbage disposal due to our septic system, so dishes have to be scraped and rinsed well before being washed. The oatmeal that didn't make it onto the dishes... was now cement in the bottom dishwasher strainer and beyond. Danielle hadn't bothered scraping/rinsing them off before placing them into the dishwasher.

So now the dishwasher was unusable until my husband could get a chance to take the thing apart and clean it. I took all the dishes out and rewashed them by hand, using the dishwasher as a drying rack.

Then I pulled out a towel to start wiping and putting them away. I opened my newly cleaned and organized plastic container cabinet to put the first item away... Rachel had just tossed as many containers as she could stuff in there without  taking a few extra seconds to nest and stack them. Gah! I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw things. I wanted to wring two of my adorable offspring's NECKS!!!!

Did I do any of these things? Nope. I decided that getting my blood pressure up over this was not going to do any good. So I reorganize the cabinet... again, then went and did laundry. When my husband woke up about 5am to get ready for drill (this happened to be Drill weekend), I told him what had happened. Then I asked him to get the two girls out of bed (at 5am on a Sunday Morning) to SCRUB the entire kitchen. Ceiling to floor. Have I mentioned that my kids are NOT morning birds? They love nothing more than lounging in bed during the weekends until there is some activity they want to do.

I have no idea what their father said to them. All I know is that as I headed upstairs to put laundry away, the two of them were already out of bed (a miracle in itself for the amount of time it took him to accomplish that task) and dragging their feet to the kitchen. They didn't say a word to me.

(I did mention to all of the kids at breakfast that the dishes now had to be done by hand until their father could get around to fixing the dishwasher. My kids think life before a dishwasher was as barbaric as living in the stone age!)

A little while later, my husband came into our room to get dressed and go. He told me that the girls were not to ask me how the kitchen looked. They were not to ask me what needed to be done or if what they had done was done to my satisfaction. He told them they would find out at 4am tomorrow morning. If it was done right, they could sleep in until 6am when they had to get up for school. Otherwise, they would be up, redoing the kitchen before school.

You will be glad to know that they slept til 6am Monday morning. The kitchen looked stunning. Truly immaculate.  :)
QOTD: "Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival." W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)


  1. On this basis, I probably need to be getting up to clean at about 3:30. :)

  2. I wish this would work on a spouse thingy... ;)

  3. I need you and your husband to come over to my house and run tough love on my kids. How soon can I book you?

  4. I'm in love. You rock. What a wonderful idea. Must tuck it away for future use.

  5. I love it! As I was reading about you rewashing the dishes, and reorganizing the cabinet I was thinking you were letting them off easy. But then, the brilliant consequence was even better! Even better that they had to wait till the next morning to know how they had done. Glad they did it right :)

  6. Thank God Mom never thought of this punishment. I know what Dani is like in the morning!

  7. Just when I was going to get mad at you for cleaning up behind them...you pull the 'dad' card. You folks are models in how to handle kids!


Contents from normal neural synapsis goes here....
Should unnatural neural synapsis occur? Take one cherry chocolate Hershey Kiss and carry on.
Should NO neural synapsis occur? Take two full strength chocolate Hershey Kisses and
try again in the morning.