Monday, September 16, 2013

Dear DILs: Dishes Aren't Really Their Thing

The dishwasher…let’s discuss. We have one. We all know that it works. They put things in it. But the dishes don’t usually seem to come out very clean.

I often reload it after they’ve walked away to avoid such issues; there's nothing I hate more than running a load in the dishwasher only to discover that most of the dishes are still dirty due to sub-par loading skills.

Ok, to say there's "nothing I hate more" is a little bit extreme but it's not too far off.

Also, apparently only people age 39 and older know how to fill the dispenser (with homemade detergent, I might add...) and actually start said dishwasher. So this will be good news for you when your husbands are older.

Thus far, we’ve had numerous chats, conversations, tense deliberations (ok, not really…I’m tense when I’m talking to them and they mostly sit there looking at me…there’s really no deliberating to speak of) regarding the loading and the running of the dishwasher, but we still can't get things to quite turn the corner.

Often I simply TRY to be thankful that they’re clearing their dishes and NOT leaving them on the table or on the counter.

Sometimes they do leave them on the counter, in which case they are called back into the kitchen to rectify their error.

If I don’t make them return and fix it, that leads to bad habits forming. How do I know this? Experience. It’s always experience. (That being said, you may want to simply chuck all the advice I have to dispense and learn it all for yourself...but please don't do that to yourselves! I assure you that I speak truth!)

Allowing them to leave their dishes all willy-nilly also leads to laziness. They are not lazy but will ACT lazy if given over to themselves. Also experience talking. And human nature.

The biggest pet peeve I have in terms of dirty dishes is the pair of aluminum, travel chopsticks owned by my oldest child. These little babies (I’m referring to the chopsticks here) come out anytime he eats anything “Asian”; but usually it’s simply a bowl of Ramen noodles (and yes, they both are skilled in the culinary art of Ramen noodles…this is how I know they won’t starve to death in college. Or hopefully ever.) which calls the chopsticks out of the drawer.

Said chopsticks cannot go in the dishwasher, so they must be hand-washed.

Question: If you know something needs to be hand-washed, and you really have nothing pressing to do, wouldn’t you just go ahead and wash them? Or even if you DO have something pressing to do, how long does it take to wash a pair of chopsticks? It’s not as though there are a bunch of pieces in which food can get stuck and you really have to scrub…just saying.

So…wouldn’t you just go ahead and get it done?!?

Me too.

This, however, is not usually the case with certain people who shall remain nameless.

We have the same issue with aluminum water bottles…and it’s not just one culprit. It is three (sure, I only have two kiddos, but Mr. Always Random can sometimes/often be lumped in with the PBA on certain things/issues.

I HATE them (the water bottles…not the three gentlemen who live with me…I am clearly having a modifier problem today!). And yet, because there is nothing physically wrong with them (again, referring to the water bottles), I cannot justify a) getting rid of them and b) getting some cute new plastic one which I can simply throw in the dishwasher.

I’m cheap in case you didn’t know…we will use them until another one bites the dust.

Everyone sing with me now:

And while we’re on the subject of the dishwasher, they also are a little bit fuzzy on the unloading of the dishwasher.

In spite of the fact that we’ve lived in our current home for over 8 years, they don’t know where things should be put away; this, in conjunction with the fact that the place something “lives” has probably never changed, should places this task on the "easy" end of the spectrum.

Or if an item has moved, it is probably only one cabinet over…easy to find if you (I’m really not bitter…it only sounds that way; I blame you for reading it with an insinuating tone.)

Case in point: my husband or my sons will help me empty the dishwasher. If they are doing it without supervision, it doesn't always go so great, so I try to be present if at all possible. They will put as many things as they can in either the drying rack or on a dishtowel on the counter, asserting that it is “still wet”.

Still wet? Seriously? It’s been air-drying for the past 8+ hours…I’m pretty sure you can put it away, or at the very least use that dishtowel and wipe the drop of water lingering on the edge and put it away.

Bottom line: they want credit for “helping” (which, it’s not “helping” when you should be doing it anyway…who assigned me as the official "dish-putter-awayer"?  Just my two cents...) but when little is truly put away, and is simply transferred from the dishwasher to the drying rack, that is not “helping”.

Tis true: now the dirty dishes from the sink and the counter are now in the dishwasher, but now I have a bunch of clean dishes in the sink and on the counter.


But they (again...referring to the boys...but Mr. Always Random too) are awfully cute and fun to have around. And they really do try...they try my patience most of all (I tell them that to their faces, so know that I'm not talking behind their backs.)

I suppose I will keep them.

I pray you do too.  And please know that I tried to train them in the nuances of clean & dirty dishes; I’m praying that it’s all turned around by the time they get to you.

Your Future MIL

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  1. I would extend just about any housecleaning thing to this ...not just dishes. When I give my boys the task of cleaning the bathroom---how can you clean the bathroom and say you're done when there is clearly still toothpaste spatters on the faucet?!?!

    We don't have a dishwasher and I only trust my 13 yr old to wash dishes, the 16 yr old is my trusted 'put the dishes away' guy. They really don't do half bad.

    1. Well, I am happy to report we are having marginal success in other areas of cleaning...stay tuned for more details! :)

      And thanks for sharing that there IS hope (and help) for those with the "y-chromosome" disease...LOL

  2. I find it interesting that everyone in my house (husband included) can locate and use dishes and utensils from the cabinets, but when it comes time to unload the dishwasher, NO ONE can figure out where to put anything, so they leave them stacked on the counter for me. Oh, and they kindly defer to me, saying they KNEW I wouldn't want them to put them away in the wrong place where I wouldn't be able to find them when I needed them.

    1. Yes, you have very succinctly made my point exactly. They will be tenacious in finding the thing they want but lazy in finding where to put it away. :)