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Monday, April 26, 2010

Big B schooling little b and H on the fine art of loading the dish washer.

One thing I am not good at is teaching my children how to work, and how to love it. I really want to but sometimes (always) it's easier to do it myself. And when I do gather them to work they moan and groan and complain. It's very frustrating. I keep trying though and some slow progress is being made.

Recently H learned how to unload the dishwasher. She is good at it now, I do have to occasionally search for a particular dish but she's pretty good and can reliably be left alone to do the task.

After dinner tonight she was told to unload, little b was supposed to gather the trash from around the house and take it out to the can so it could go to the curb, J was supposed to pick up the downstairs, Lu was putting away shoes and I was going to load so we could get ready for FHE.

H disappeared, she was called, she went to the bathroom, she was called, she looked at the wall, she was called, she looked out the window, she was called, she was threatened, then she came down to work and hit her brother on the way.
I then told her she could also load since I was a) upset she didn't do her work in the first place
b) upset she hit little b
c) tired of waiting for her

after some weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, a little lamenting her bad luck and misfortune at being born into such a mean family, and a brief spell of cataloging the injustices of her life which included but was not limited to the fact that she lives in a child labor camp, she is the "only girl in 5th grade" who doesn't have a cell phone, and she feels a cold, or perhaps a tumor coming on (we're not sure yet which)

SO, we left her to it.

later she came upstairs.

much later we went down and saw
dishes on the table, the dishwasher open, watermelon on the counter, the trash can in the living room and nothing clean.

So, we called her down (he just came because really is there anything more fun than sensing that perhaps your sibling was going to "get it" and you could watch)and began:

How to load the dishwasher 101
*where the physics of how oatmeal turns into cement when left in the bowl all day and how to deal with such a phenomenon was discussed.
*where the trajectory of the water coming from various spouts was analyzed and various shapes and sizes of dishes were matched with the optimal spot for getting them clean.
*where the height of the different cups we have was measured and assigned a row on the top shelf, so that the stemware doesn't block the arm from swinging around and the plastics don't flip over and fill with water.
*where the general slovenliness of the rest of the family was bemoaned since dishes had to be scraped and cement oatmeal had to be soaked.
*where....can you picture the fun? hear the tears? feel the stress??

so, tomorrow she loads on her own.

THAT should be fun


Anna said...

OH.MY.Gosh. That is hilarious.
Yep - tomorrow sounds like fun.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

Oh my The the fun of having an engineer as a Daddy are endless and I mean it I bet E LOVED it and H kinda did but she is at the age that being mopey is a requirement

Yvonne said...

Oh, the injustices of being born into SUCH A MEAN FAMILY ; )

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

My kids like to complain about unloading also. Once, I (made)let my daughter wash and dry and then put away all the dishes by hand so she could better appreciate how easy unloading is. She still complains occasionally- but only once, because then I remind her of the alternative.

The Texas Bakers said...

I love the lecture! My boys unload, as well, and you should hear them complain if we've had company so they have to do it more than every other day!

The two old crows said...

It sounds like everyone has NORMAL children.

SevenVillageIdiarts said...

I totally understand your point about teaching kids to work. . .it's so much easier to do it yourself. . .and we've gone through many of the same tutorials. I think kids MILK their agony to prolong ours, so we'll just stop asking them. Keep at it. . .soon she'll be proficient enough to help you, without the whining and your life will be easier. And don't give in to the cell phone. We gave Emma one in 7th and it was a mistake. She had it about 3 months and I don't think she'll have one again until she graduates and leaves home.

Nicole said...

ahahahaha so the joys of parenthood get even better, huh?! LOL. That is seriously great.

Debby said...

One nice thing about blogging is you realize you are not alone, your children are not the only ones complaining, etc. Thanks for sharing! I'm wondering how tonight will turn out.

Anonymous said...

My wonderful husband is great about working with the kids on chores. I too often do too much for them. One advantage of a big family is that there is more work than I CAN do, so I have incentive to keep having the kids do what they can so I can do what I must.
BTW, kids can do amazing things with laundry. My husband has taught our 4 yo to throw stuff down the chute to the laundry room, our 5 yo to sort clothes, start the wash, move stuff to the dryer, start the dryer, and take stuff out of the dryer. Our 7, 8, and 10 year olds fold the laundry, put it in baskets, take it upstairs, and put their stuff away. Blows me away how much they can do. Again, I'd probably be doing way more if it wasn't for a firm husband who doesn't mind the complaining :-).


David and Shelly said...

I am loving this post. You are hilarious!