Modern Convenience

The New Dishwashers

My dishwasher went out last week.  Life was going along peacefully, or as peacefully as it can be in the summer with three kids out of school, when suddenly, with a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, there was water leaking through the kitchen floor into the basement.  After the panicking was over, the kids were employed as the new dishwashers.  I was astounded at how they stepped up to the task.  For nearly a week they washed not just their own dishes, but any that I asked them to.  For a minute I thought my kids had been abducted by aliens and replaced with extremely agreeable imposters, but no, it seems they didn’t really mind it, especially since they knew it would be short term.

Thankfully, it was short term because their agreeableness was wearing thin by yesterday.  I post this photo as evidence that 1) they actually did do dishes by hand, and 2) it did not kill them. Oldest kidlet looks pretty unhappy in the photo, but I have to add that he is a fifteen year old male and it seems to be what they do when a parent points a camera at them.  They were perfectly happy up until this moment.

I also have to add that every time I’ve been without a dishwasher in my life the kitchen tends to be more orderly.  After meals we tend to do all the dishes and it’s all cleaned up at once, including the sinks.  With a dishwasher it seems we are always in a state of doing dishes.  There are either dirty dishes waiting in the dishwasher to be clean, or clean dishes waiting to be put away, and a few in the sink waiting to be put into the dishwasher.

Sometimes I think if I didn’t work, or if I had more help from the troops, that we’d be a happier family without a dishwasher.  Then I come to my senses and realize that that’s crazythink and that I’d take hostages without one.  Or at the very least I would detest cooking and resort to writing people’s names on the plates and glasses to encourage them to only dirty one per day.  I found myself becoming a dish nazi this past week.  “Okay, here’s dinner.  You’re in charge of washing this when you’re done.”  Or, “HEY!  You can’t get another glass out, where’s the one you used a minute ago?”  I’m definitely a more laid back mom with a dishwasher.  But it’s nice not to buy into the  American pigginess that comes from using a dishwasher.  “Dirty anything you want.  Use four forks and three glasses for dinner if you choose. I have a dishwasher!”

I feel dirty every time I load a dishwasher.  Lazy, I feel lazy by using a dishwasher.  Without one I felt really good, like we are doing things the way we’re supposed to.  Chatting while doing the dishes in teams, and having it all done and tidied at once.  It felt real.  I am thrilled to have a dishwasher again.  The realness and tidyness are no more.  And I couldn’t be happier.

Sherman’s Rockin’ 13th Birthday

When I realized that Sherman would be at scout camp on his birthday I was bummed. He seemed okay with it. I sent him to camp with a birthday surprise to open on the day. He seemed not to care about any of it. As a parent it’s so hard to tell when to make to make a big deal of something and when no to. I chose to make his birthday special even if he acted like he didn’t care. Someday he’ll remember that and know he was loved. Right?
Yesterday was the family party at my mom’s house. My sister brought her new puppy, Skippy, who was the star of the show. He even outshone the two birthday boys. DH’s birthday was the day before Sherman’s. They share a cake every year whether they like it or not.

Sherman's awesome gift from his aunt and uncle
Sweet Skippy
Stella and Skippy

Hello Dolly!



Missy Moodle and her brood

A few weeks ago Missy Moodle asked if we could make a doll.  MAKE.  Can you imagine a child asking that?  It’s only a little unusual for me only because it’s sewing and it’s a bit out of my comfort level (note the knit scarf I added).  I made a trip to my local Joann Fabric store and found an awesome book called Sewing For Children.  This doll can be completely hand sewn, so it’s perfect for a beginner child or adult.

I began the doll on a Friday night and we both worked to cut out the pieces (it was finished on Sunday afternoon).  By the time we got to the sewing, Missy Moodle was off to do other important things.  I guess what she meant when she asked was not “can WE make a doll”, but “can YOU make a doll”.  But seeing her give it a hug and tuck it into bed with her made it worth all the effort.