March 1, 2011

The Curse of the Dirty Dishes…

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I dream of waking up to a clean kitchen. Unfortunately there are two things preventing me from realizing that dream:

First, I refuse to empty the dishwasher.  It was long ago established as a children’s job in this house.  What kind of precedent would I be setting if I started doing it now?

Second, I refuse to do the dinner dishes.  I made a deal with the Hubby and children that I would continue to cook them delicious dinners if they would clean up the dishes afterwards.  It worked for about two weeks and then it stopped working. I’ve been in a vicious dish cycle ever since! 

Consequently, I often go to bed with my kitchen looking like it does in this picture.  Wait, you say, this picture wasn’t taken at bedtime.  That is correct, because these dishes have been sitting out overnight, the caked on food becoming one with the dishes.  I see scrambled eggs AND oatmeal in this picture – repeat offenders! Now they are sitting on my counter staring at me while I eat my breakfast.

What to do?  I can’t do the dishes because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes that my kids have to unload after school. And I may not be able to make dinner tonight if these dishes don’t get done because I really need that measuring cup by the sink.

What a predicament I’m in!

PS. Updated the photoblog!

14 comments:

Apis Melliflora said...

In the winter, I love emptying the dishwasher...the warm dishes and steaminess are like a spa treatment. But the rest of the year, I'm with you!

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

I woke up this morning and was jolted by the fact that my kitchen was sparkling clean but I had no memory of spending 30 minutes nagging my children.

Then I remembered that we'd gone out to dinner last night and it all made sense.

On any given morning, my kitchen looks the same as yours unless I'm really on my game and enforce the mandate that dishes be done after dinner. (oh - and there are no basketball, soccer or other evening distractions.) E & T unload, L loads and I do the pots, pans and knives after that's all done.

Keep up the good fight Sam!!

Tracie said...

I'm so glad to hear this is practically a universal predicament that you too, the domestic goddess in my estimation, also struggles with!! I'm still trying to plant the seed of that dreamy evening routine so mornings don't spank me. Kids aren't quite there yet and I'm not always on my A game after a long day, nor is Ryan. I can't figure out the balance w/ the kids in school so long. If I have them do chores after school - when do they get to be buddies and play together? We don't have near the activities of others, but I always feel like I've gyped them if they haven't gotten in a good romp together by the end of the day.

Kernal Ken said...

You can always just pack up and head to Illinois to hang out with the AWOL Dems from Wisconsin and Indiana.

While you're gone, thousands of demonstrators will fill your house , banging on drums and hanging signs from your walls. People won't even notice the dirty dishes...

Burton's blog said...

Some thoughts to try--
When kids don't do their chores, they agree to "hire" someone, usually Mom to do them. So you work out a type of currency to your liking. Maybe they have to fill in for you on one of your daily chores. I always pick folding laundry because it is always available, and kinda fun because they loathe it!
Another thing to try is not cook until the kitchen it clean! I love a good excuse not to cook!

Gentrey said...

I can totally relate.

BUT...

This website is awesome:

www.myjobchart.com

My kids will actually do their jobs now without me yelling at them. I highly recommend it.

MelancholySmile said...

J and I took a Love and Logic parenting course a few years ago, and one of the concepts they taught had to do with natural consequences.

Therefore, if your deal is that you cook and they clean, a natural consequence of their reneging on their end of the deal would be: you guessed it. No delicious home cooked meals.

If you have a rule that dishes be done before bed, you have to enforce consequences when the children ignore the dishes. One example might be to wake them up after they've been asleep for an hour {my kids HATE that} and tell them that sorry, they can't sleep until they uphold their promise to do dishes before bed.

Also, we use the 'pay someone to do your chore for you' trick as well.

Good luck!

christy said...

As another reader suggested, myjobchart.com has made a difference for us. We'll see how long it lasts.

I, like Traci, struggle with giving my kids too many chores because after a long day at school for them, I also want them to be able to have some down time when they can play outside and run around. Then it seems the time slips away from us. After dinner it's scriptures, baths, and bed. Sometimes doing dishes keeps them up (and in my hair) later than I want them to be. It's such a struggle. If you find a magical solution, I want to hear about it.

And, to me, there's nothing better than waking up to a sparkling clean kitchen, even if I was the one who worked to make it sparkle.

Kasey said...

Little Caesars tonight? :)

Bells said...

One of my kid's chores is to empty the dishwasher too. Sometimes they don't have time in the morning so I'll do it and fill it right back up. After school the 2nd load is ready to empty before dinner. Tonight, I think you should have sandwiches or whatever is in the fridge until dishes get done.

The Queen Vee said...

Lots of good suggestions posted. I'd probably do the dishes before going to bed as I wouldn't want to wake up to that mess.

Susan said...

Just had a discussion with Linnae and one of the ladies we visit teach about getting children to do what we ask of them. I don't really know the best answer because each family is so different.

Aiketa said...

I see this is a problem most of homes have. Also in a shared student flat, well probably four-fold the mess, happens. When the kitchen at my flat is clean and sparkling I am the happiest person alive, but unfortunately that doesn't last much.

In your case, the no cooking policy if you don't have what you need, I think is the best solution. May be this way you can wake up to a sparkling kitchen. Let's hope!

tktakesphotos said...

I'm beginning to believe that my self esteem is directly tied to how clean my kitchen is. While I want it to sparkle 24/7, I'm not diligent enough to make that happen.

A and C are responsible for keeping the living room and their bedrooms clean.