Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Zen and The Art of Loading the Dishwasher.


I hated loading the dishwasher when I was a child.
It was one of my chores and the most dreaded.
Part of the reason for my disdain was the fact that my father
was raised by a meticulous Marine.
Everything had to be done in a certain way or my dad had to do it over.
It's a wonder that my sweet dad can function at all
after all the white glove inspections that he had to endure through out childhood.

So, there my dad would tower over me as I loaded the dishwasher,
instructing me in the proper spoon placement to maximize dish washing potential.
They had to be placed spoon up in the basket
or my dad would get worked up into a tizzy and
I would get a healthy talking to about living up to our responsibilities.
I would sometimes fantasize about a world where all the spoons were washed face down.

Fast forward to present day and I have held on to my disdain for dishwasher loading.
So much so that I often find myself doing the wash of shame in the afternoons.
Last night's dishes sit piled up in the sink, laughing at me as I walk by.
They taunt me as I rinse them, saying things like...
"You are such a lazy person, look at yourself,
scrubbing extra hard because you left us here all night."
The spoons sit lurking, waiting to bully me
into putting them in spoon side up.
Maybe I'm the only person in the world that finds
themselves bullied by their dishes.

Well, I've grown tired of all the negative self talk
and I am practicing the art of cleaning the kitchen right after dinner.
Roger takes the children into the living room and
they take turns riding on his back and him tossing them in the air.
I like to call it the "Daddy Carnival".
As squeals of delight resound in the other room,
I load the dishwasher.

It feels very zen,
the warm water running over my hands,
a few moments to myself all alone in the kitchen,
the dishes smile at me and say "thank you" as I rinse them.

It's actually become one of my favorite moments of the day
and I feel myself growing as I place each dish into the dishwasher.
Rebellion from a teenager is expected
but rebellion by a Stay at Home Mom is just kinda sad.
I am choosing to take care of my home.
I am choosing to silence those negative dishes.
I am no longer taking abuse from my spoons.

You can bet your sweet cheeks that

they are going in that damn dishwasher
spoon side down.

11 comments:

Holly said...

If the spoons happen to get unruly again, throw one in the garbage disposal as an example to the others. I find it's rather therapeutic. Let's all take control of our dishes and show them who's boss!

June said...

You had a dishwasher growing up??
Lucky you!

Okay, so the knives do need to be face down, that's my only rule.
(alright, I lie)
I have set rules on how my dishwasher gets loaded. Sick, I know.

BUT I always think of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner as a way to burn just a few calories.

singedwingangel said...

BWHAHAH have you ever heard Bill Engvall talk about the come to Jesus meetings at his house dinner table. His wife will let out a long sigh, they all set their forks down and the wife says' Apparently I am the only person in this house who will load the dishwasher"
Bill replies ,' apparently you are'
Which of course gets the mouth agape look of death to which he says, "now wait WE put our dishes in the dishwasher YOU come back and rearrange them repeatedly cause according to you they have family lines they have to stay in"

Thought you would appreciate that humor this morning..

Dixie Mom said...

Well that sounds a lot like my house growing up, except that my mom wasn't raised by a marine! But Dad hovered over me...Mom yelled at me. It was the most horrible chore ever. We had to wash ours by hand first before we could put them in the dishwasher. Geez. I used to trade jobs with my little sister because I dreaded it so much.
And after 40 years...it still has no "zen" for me. I hate it. But no one else will do it even though I am not picky at all! Except that I can cram more dishes in there than anyone else. My daughter will put in two bowls and say it's full because she doesn't want to do it anymore and start the dishwasher and walk away. So the next morning, I come in to unload and there's only two bowls in the washer and all the dirty dishes in the sink. Nice.
I have issues with dish washing.

R Montalban said...

Ha, ha, ha, this post made me laugh, and I could imagine the dishes and cutlery talking, I could even imagine voices (I am clearly going mad). My sister and I would even have given them names and alter identities (my goodness, you are now seeing that I have a very over active imagination)! Loved this post and you have made my mind start buzzing with ideas....

R Montalban said...

Ha, ha, ha, this post made me laugh, and I could imagine the dishes and cutlery talking, I could even imagine voices (I am clearly going mad). My sister and I would even have given them names and alter identities (my goodness, you are now seeing that I have a very over active imagination)! Loved this post and you have made my mind start buzzing with ideas....

Sarah said...

I'm not allowed to load the dishwasher, per my husband. ;)

Angel Rogers photography said...

After I finished reading your post aloud, my husband (who is also a spoon nazi) said Grrr! lol I loved your post!

Sue said...

When I was young, we had to load ours a "special way," too.

Now I just throw them in helter-skelter!

=)

PS. Fun post, Leigh.

Mel said...

so thankful I'm not the only one who wants to do things differently just because i can. :)

Mother Theresa said...

Good for you! You let those spoons know who's boss. We didn't have a dishwasher when I was a kid, so I really don't mind loading it, I'm just happy not to have to wash dishes by hand. I'm kind of picky about how the dishwasher gets loaded, but mostly because I don't like taking out the dishes later to find that they have baked-on crud on them. We have a cutlery tray at the top of our dishwasher and I love it, that's the best way to get clean silverware ever.