In these days of entitlement and helicopter parenting, I feel it is of vital importance to teach our youth about responsibility and independence. Like any well-intentioned (and disillusioned) parent, I insist upon my children cleaning up after themselves and helping out around the house. My boys, they are a wealth of knowledge they are, and I fully expect them to share this wealth in teaching their younger sister how to help with kitchen chores. I’m proud to share the discerning advice my teenage boys bestowed upon their baby sister in teaching her acceptable methods for loading a dishwasher:
- “Just so you know, the dishwasher is a what, not a who. I know, I was confused at first too.”
- Make sure all the dirty cutlery is stuffed into the very first basket, leaving the remaining baskets entirely empty for no apparent reason whatsoever.
- Those prongs in the dishwasher rack? They’re apparently just a guideline.
- Loading the dishwasher with greasy hands from eating pizza means less dishes to load… guaranteed.
- It’s better to feign ignorance later than ask for instructions now.
- “Do not empty school lunch containers of their left-overs; the dishwasher has a built-in garbage disposal. Well, ok, it should”.
- “It’s not important to rinse off the dishes but if you do, make sure the faucet sprays tap water and food bits all over the kitchen window. Extra points if you can reach Mom’s curtains.”
- “Mom loves it when you use her electric toothbrush to get out that soured milk at the bottom of the glass.”
- “What are you talking about?! Of course it’s dishwasher-safe!”
- If the fork, spoon or knife has only been used once, it can go back in the cutlery drawer – don’t fall into their bourgeois trap about “clean” and all that.”
- When the food is really good and dried and caked on, apparently Great-Gram’s [heirloom] carving fork works really well.
- Breaking my wine glasses is part of their seditious strategy to get me to stop drinking so much wine. They won’t admit it, but I know their plan.
These kids are WIPs (works-in-progress) and it takes a lifetime to build a masterpiece. After all, Rome … blablabla. As you can appreciate, I’m not yet pushing them to do the laundry but we are working on vacuuming (“I know you’ve grown attached to it my dear, but that is a dust bunny, not a pet.”).