Washing Dishes

Whoever said that washing dishes is zen did not have screaming kids hanging off their legs.

One of the benchmarks of motherhood for me is the concept of being downright thankful for the opportunity to wash the dishes, all by my lonesome at the end of the day, while My Man is playing with kids in the other room. Ahhh. I’ll concede that that there might bring me closer to enlightenment.

Lately though my almost 2yo has been thoroughly enjoying dish duty. I remember when the now 4yo went through this phase– washing dishes would actually fix a bad mood for her. Those are the good days, happy toddler by your side, discovering the properties of water and gravity. Another kind of enlightenment.

Little Guy stands up there on his stool by my side, pouring water from one cup to another, with occasional success, on the very edge of the sink. I am so thankful that I let go into the Mess long ago. I was thinking of you new mamas today, as the puddle at our feet grew into a small lake. I just want to make sure you have some good mama friend who’s given you the key. Have you? The key to open the Mess Lock in your mind. I guarantee you will not regret it.

So what if a literal gallon of water hits your floor, half cup at a time. It’s water. Just a good start to a floor mopping is what I always say. Helps combat the other more righteous messes. I guess if you live in a desert and water is truly precious, it would be wrong to waste it. But anywhere else, just give it up baby. Give it up now. Water is boss.

A friend pointed out recently, as we watched our kids play with the hose for half an hour, how much water goes into making toys? Kids toys and adult toys alike? Should we begrudge our kids a little via direct line? Screw the toys, my little man can play happily with water for at least an hour a day.

Combine that with standing up next to mama while she does some real live grown-up chore? Involving brushes and bubbles and clattering? Awesome. He can splash, pour, fill, dip dirty dishes in the rinse water, try to nab the scrubbie, it’s a haven of trouble to get into. If he can break a dish while he’s at it, why that’s pure nirvana.

Breath deep sister. Another day, another load. More neurons fired. All’s well.

14 thoughts on “Washing Dishes

  1. I told the kids this morning that they are now old enough to start doing more jobs with me. Clothing onto the drying racks. Fold up the socks. Wash the dishes. Clean the bathrooms. They can dust (sort of) with the long handled wool dusters, they can spray (everywhere) the vinegar, and they can clean the sliding door mirrors (mostly), so about time to expand their repertoire I say. Very useful, having some minions around (kind of!)

    1. An old Moody Blues line is “every happy ending has to have a start”. You are choosing to train your children and as you do so you and they will reap the benefits. There is a great high when you can sit back and watch your daughter shop and cook a complete meal and clean the kitchen because you took your time to train her. She cooks for co workers who have had babies or been sick and they think she is amazing-she is! To help your children have survival skills is very important and what a blessing they will be to their fellow man/woman and to your grandchildren.

  2. I take back what I said about you giving us your eloquence for free (tip jar aside). I genuinely think you have something truly valuable to share and perhaps a book would be a way of bringing your insights to a broader audience. Am I being mercenary? I don’t think so. Besides, isn’t this the way our society works? Especially in this global community that we exist in, we can’t completely barter and grow our way to sustainability. So money has it’s place as a way of exchanging goods of value. Your goods are seriously valuable. They bring sustenence and comfort, inspiration and encouragement to both new Mamas and, ‘um, experience ones too.

    ANyhow, this was another ripper post. Thanks. I’m off to create some wholesome mess with the little munchkins. Maybe some mud in the garden?

    Cheers from Down Under, Katja

    1. thanks for your always enthusiasm. the thing about a book is, people always seem to think i would just write a book and then voila, money would arrive in the mail. equal to the number of hours invested. somehow i suspect that is just not true. even if i could garner a book deal. any published authors in the audience (harriet) feel free to add your (hard earned) 2 cents.
      if i’m writing for more or less free anyway, i’d just as soon do it here. more fun than a pesky book.
      that said, i probably will try to write a book. someday in the future when i have loads more time. it’s just too tempting. temptress.

  3. Washing dishes is a fascinating chore for my middle child (not so much for oldest child). he loves to help with anything involving the sink… the other day, he scrubbed out the garbage can for me, just for the opportunity to use “the spray thing” on the sink.

  4. Yes we do the water thingo. This morning he filled the sink as I was in the next room and I heard a water fall. He was beside himself in glee… me and hubby tried to appreciate the fun… and good clean up!!! Clean floor and recleaned 2yo and water filled puppy!

  5. These ‘games’ are so much more enjoyable for kids than regular toys, and educational to boot. Who needs fancy electronic games or expensive toys? I will try to take your advice about opening the “Mess Lock” At the moment I’m a bit of a neat freak but I will soon have to let go a bit when my first baby arrives in September.

    1. well, you’ve got a good year before you really need to open up. babies aren’t so messy. spit up everywhere, but other than that, not so bad.

  6. Am seeking publication at the mo and it is VERY flipping stressful. I think you’re absolutely sane and right to stay “just” blogging – tho maybe get yourself a little paid column somewhere – that’s a much more fun way forward I find and gets you a little cash and more exposure – your stuff would work great for that – tho you need to get a number of features under your belt first and an editor in your pocket before you get the column – but it’s fun when you do.. Books, booooo!

    Totally with you on the kids pulling off your legs when washing dishes/ cooking – HATE it! Appreciating your blog as always.

  7. I am getting a bit obsessed with water..! my kids cant get enough of playing with water… from the 11 year old down to the 4 year old… pool, beach, stream water bombs, painting the fence, it all seems to involve water. i know I pay for the water that comes ut of my tap but it seems a cheap toy!

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