Today’s Table Talk is by my friend Brenna Stull. She’s an author, speaker, mentor, teacher … and a mom in the thick of things just like us. (But from the looks of her kitchen sink (below), she might be a bit more on top of it than than some of us (although we all know that’s not saying much for me … Have I mentioned my Disorganization Recovery Program among all the others?!)
All I can say is, get a cup of coffee and enjoy this wonderful guest blog that is right on par with the rest of us. Isn’t it nice to walk the road together?!
… and thanks for walking it with me.
I really hate to complain, since in the last few hours of me sitting to write this post the words “cool mom” came out of the mouths of both of my teenage boys (for the first time and at two different moments) in reference to me! That actually almost led me to drop this post and complaint all together! However, I must forge ahead and share my fight to end a sickness that I’m noticing is popping up for some reason in ever-increasing frequency at my house.
It’s LDDS (Loading Dishwasher Disability Syndrome), and it seems to have infected all six other members of my household. I’ve been astonished to observe, one after the other, as someone eats a meal or snack and sets a plate, bowl, or cup in the sink, sometimes with a rinse, sometimes without. The worst is the oatmeal/flax bowl that is left beside the sink without a rinse. They think they are cleaning up their dishes…but dare not touch the dishwasher in this process.
Pondering this, I’ve tried to figure out the source of this LDDS.
- Time constraints? Well, the last time I checked, it only took about five seconds to rinse a plate or bowl and utensil, open the dishwasher door, and place it inside.
- Not smart enough? My son has a 101 percent grade average in AP Physics, but can’t seem to demonstrate that he has figured out the law of dirty bowl/dirty plate will need to go in dishwasher before it can go in cabinet to use next time.
- Takes too much energy? It takes considerable less energy than running at full-speed for an hour on a soccer field, riding a unicycle for a half hour, dueling in a two-hour tennis match, or riding a bike at 17 mph for two hours (all of which some of them do by choice regularly and with joy).
- Don’t know where to put things? How could they not know this? Because of my own aversion to emptying the dishwasher, I delegated this daily chore ten years ago to them! Is a Loading Dishwasher 101 class still necessary?
I realized it’s really just a matter of educating them on their responsibilities. How would I best make my point? Trying to stay away from the nagging option (which always proves to be ineffective and frustrating for both parties), my thoughts went to the power of poetry. Perhaps that would be a fun way to educate my brood. Thus, the poem, now framed and prominently displayed in our windowsill:
When you finish with your cereal bowl,
Please give it a little rinse,
Then put it in the dishwasher.
Now doesn’t that make sense?
Then when it’s time for you to humbly eat of your next meal,
There’s space and strength for mom to cook.
My son, now that’s a deal.
It has been up a few days, and I have heard a few grumblings of, “C’mon, Mom, that’s cheesy.” I’ve also been questioned on my choice of words in the last line, addressing “son” when I have not only four sons, but a daughter. I heard my ninth grader explaining it to his little sister this way: “’Son’ is used the way it is in the Bible, KJ. It applies to everyone.” Right on, Derek. Though there have been some minor complaints, I’ve also heard a few reciting the poem under their breath unaware as they loaded their dishes into the dishwasher. The LDDS seems to be losing its hold on my family.
Now if I can just find a way to address the kick off your socks here, there and anywhere problem….
Brenna Stull, a pastor’s wife and mother to five children, has helped hundreds of moms make every minute count through her teaching, speaking, and her book, Coach Mom: 7 Strategies for Organizing Your Family into an All-Star Team (New Hope Publishers).
Engaging and transparent, Brenna is known for her practical applications and life stories.She and her husband Chris are thankful to have survived four home remodels, ten straight years of babies in diapers, and ten triathlons. Brenna and her family live in McKinney, Texas. For more information or to sign up for her monthly newsletter, please visit www.brennastull.com.