Sometime last year, I instated the 'Kids dish night' rule. I declared that Monday and Wednesday were non-negotiable nights where the boys did dishes. Having two days in the week meant that each one had one day to wash and one day to dry.
Yep, when given the options, siblings really can find ways to fight about everything.
Kids Dish Night worked GREAT the first week.
I think we had one day the second week... but then mom has to help with the pots. And they really shouldn't be washing the sharp knives at that age, should they? And mom puts away leftovers, and wipes the placemats.... and the counters....
Effectively, I had organized 2 days a week for the kids to wash plates, cups and silverware. When I was doing the cleanup around them and they were either playing or fighting..... Kids dish night took about 2 hours instead of the 20 minute kitchen cleanup I had most days.
I am not really sure how to get this one sorted out. But I've pretty much given up on kids dish night. It is still on the calendar, and I'm not telling anyone that I'm giving up. But this week was so much different.
More fun, even. Yes. Fun doing DISHES. I didn't believe it could happen!!
The night I asked for a sucker.... I mean, a helper..... and my 6 year old cheerfully volunteered, I learned something really neat! I don't have to enforce kids dish night and have a night off dishes. What I wish for even more than a night off, is the HELP. No, not even that. Company. Someone to talk to while I'm tidying is awesome. Having someone else there makes it more fun.
I don't feel like an appliance!
I do, however, find it disturbing that this dishwasher picture is, ahem, TOP HEAVY.
Dishwashers ARE built by men!
Having just one other person is nice. Dividing the kids up, instead of forcing them to do dishes together, provides TWO great benefits. Less Fighting and More One on One Time.
It was over dishes that I found out my younger son doesn't think it's fair that his brother gets to play at friends houses more than him.
We had a towel fight, we had bubble wars, we had races, we told jokes and talked. We 'guarded' the kitchen from outsiders, while we did our dishes. I even had a chance to explain WHY I wash the counters and placemats, and teach the kids how to put leftovers away or finish the kitchen cleanup.
Maybe when they are older, they'll have a better start than I did? Not that I had a bad start, but there were a lot of things I just didn't have to do growing up, adult life was a bit of a shock!
The little princess even took her turn. She had to use every cloth, sponge, scrubby and brush to do it, but those 5 tupperware bowls have NEVER been cleaner. The 6 year old had to get in on her giggles too, I laughed so hard when they were fighting over the scrub brush or which bowl was for which person..... Eventually, I had to fill the bathtub so she could still play in the water but I could finally finish the dishes.
This is life. If the only time I have to chat with my kids is during supper and dishes, then I just might start to look forward to it. Instead of dreading the dishes, I'm going to start looking forward to it.
"Who do I get to visit with tonight?"