Tiny Red Kitchen: Child Labor and Dishwashing Wisdom

No recipe today.

No marginally tolerable pictures.

Just a bit of zen wisdom from a conversation with my two (almost three) year old Portia.

I made homemade oreos last night (Curse you Anne Meijur for teaching me!!!)and chocolate with whole wheat flour animal crackers this morning so you might be able to imagine the pile of dishes. My toddler, in that witty conversational banter of her age group has asked me no less than three bajillion times "What are you doing Mommy?"

She knows what I am doing. I hate this question. I know it is good developmentally blah blah blah but it makes me want to put her outside with the dog. A lot. (I've been out of the running for Mother of the Year for some time now, so don't look so mortified. Sheesh.)

I cope with these questions by: A) Telling her I am doing something ridiculous like flying or brushing my teeth. B) Completely ignoring the first thousand. C) Asking her the questions over and over. (I hear it is good for my development too.)

This morning when the questions arrived, I eventually got around to telling her as soon as she is able, dishwashing will be HER task because I hate it. Well that is harsh, I dislike it. I LOVE the clean kitchen and shiny sink...and I have timed myself to see that it really doesn't take all that long. And of course I remind myself I am grateful to God for all the yummy food that went on the dishes. But I would rather not wash them, dishwasher notwithstanding (getting them OUT of the DW is a whole 'nother post!)


I told my sweet Portia there is a lot she will learn about life from doing dishes. I thought some of you may like these too. Maybe you have a teenager in your house to share them with?

What you will learn while washing dishes:

1) To be grateful for food, dishes and running water

2) To do the job right the first time.(My folks peeled me OUT OF BED to rewash sloppy work.)

3) That what is done (cooking) also needs to be undone (washing). Also known as clean up your messes.

4) Teamwork can be trickier than working solo, but it can also be more fun.

5) Material things are not as important as relationships with people. A dish is just a dish, even when it is shattered on the floor.

6) Pretty although mundane things are worth having. Purple rubber dishwashing gloves are prettier than yellow ones. They also protect your 60 second quick dry polish manicure(or lack thereof) and keep you from having to touch gooey nasty remnants of whathaveyou.

7) Take care of trouble NOW. Dishes ignored until the morning are crusty, smelly, and take up too much counter and sink space. Do them NOW. (They can also block coffee preparation, DEADLY!)

What are the life lessons You and Your Family have learned through tasks? I would love to hear from you and share zen....I often need the help!


Suzie Thomas said...
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Kathy Friend said...

You are hilarious! I SO miss seeing you!

Anonymous said...

Your honest expression of feelings made me laugh out loud this morning. I look forward to reading more!