Washing Dishes

Monday mornings are always a bit slow around here.

Sunday evenings blur as we rush to leave for Awanas by 4:45 P.M. (too early to eat supper–see my latestThis is the Way We Wash Our Clothes sidebar survey), and we return home by 8:30-ish just famished! Thankfully, my dear husband always has his special dish prepared for us: peanut butter and scrambled egg sandwiches on toast, plus whatever he can scrounge up for a side. Still, we all get to bed after ten o’clock, nothing unusual for me and hubby, but it’s enough of a late night that my two older girls sleep in a bit on Monday morning. (Another plus to homeschooling!)

I normally am the chief dishwasher on weekend nights, while the girls do them on weeknights, but lately toddler has been champing at the bit to finish her supper, dump her plate in the sink and begin the washing all by herself. She just LOVES to wash dishes, usually with 7 yo by her side. Since it was wa-ay too late for such a long drawn out process last night, I promised her I’d save them for her to do this morning while we started school.

Up early (of course, when are toddlers not, I ask you?) she dragged me out of bed, slurped down a carton of strawberry yogurt and protested at me filling the sink with hot, soapy water.

“Don’t wash without me!” (wish you could have seen her yogurt besmeared mug!)

“I’m not, I’m just filling it up for you.” (and discreetly pre- scrubbing all the silverware and cups–just in case…)

We pushed two chairs up to the sink and tied her Winnie the Pooh halter-apron on, and got to work. Two chairs? One for the soapy sink, and one for the rinsing sink–this way she could walk her way to the dish drainer. By the way, this is a great way to ensure your kitchen floor a clean start for the day…

Anyway, children even as young as 3 love to help, don’t they? And when it comes to washing dishes, I don’t know if any toy compares, at least not currently, to my three year old.

Well, excepting maybe “Frog”, our four-week-old fluffy Border Collie…

31 thoughts on “Washing Dishes”

  1. That’s adorable! My 3 year old loves to help too–I think it makes them feel like big girls. Peanut butter and scrambled eggs? Now there’s something we haven’t tried with eggs. Maybe today ???

  2. Um…the sandwiches…um…I don’t know what to say but that shore is, ah-hem, sweet?!? of you hubby….don’t think I’ll be tryin’ that though! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Monday mornin’s are hard for us too and this year our piano teacher put us on her schedule for 9:30a! Oh man…we are stilling trying to get a good routine going. That time works better for us than afternoons with naps, etc but it comes SO early!

    Wow…dish washing by hand already. Impressive! I need to step up B’s kitchen training I think!

  3. Interesting sandwich, hee. No thanks. lol!

    Since I am blessed with a dish washer, all I ask my little guys to do is dump their food in the trash can and put their dishes in the sink or dishwasher and they have complied.

    I have noticed that little ones are eager to help do chores, it is when they are teenagers that that is not the case.

  4. Well, we all agree on the sandwiches sounding less than desirable, and actually, it took hubby a while to convince me to try them. It’s been a family fave in his family for years, kind of like dipping fries in vanilla ice cream…anybody go for that? So anyway, I actually came around to liking them…

    Georgiana, let me know what you think… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Colleen, she’s grown into big sisters toddler apron, pooh was middle daughter’s favorite thing for a while there…I need to make her another one since hers was usurped!

    Jana, I really dislike mornings that have an agenda other than being home. Then you have so much catch-up to do once you arrive home that the day is gone before you know it! Yep, put B to work, lol, it’s the cutest hearing my youngest go on and on about how she’s going to wash dishes after whatever meal…she even washed our lunch dishes today! Wouldn’t have it any other way…of course that mean nap time had a very late start…she plays as she washes…

    Leticia, I have a dishwasher, but it’s broken! Some dishwasher…I’ve almost given up ever getting another one, but thankfully the girls do a great job. Maybe God is training them to be missionaries in a foreign land without perks!

  5. This is a test, to see if I can comment! It is great when you get the kids involved – I find it’s best when I start having them help first thing in the morning – then the pattern is set, so to speak, for the day. For us it’s making beds, getting dressed, cleaning up breakfast, etc. Happy day to you!

  6. bless your hubby
    yumm never tried peanut butter and scrambled egg sandwiches on toast

    Mary My Little Man likes to “help” and hes quite 2 yet

  7. I think all young kids like to help. O(19 Months) is such a good helper that my younger brother and sister that still live at home could not wait for her to come stay with them when the baby was born so she could help them with their chores. I was recently at a friends house who said that the only chore that her 3 year old had to do was make her bed. I felt sorry for both of them. The little girl was missing out on the satisfaction of a job well done and the mom was missing out on such fellowship time. O delights in the smallest tasks. She likes to help wash dishes but she also finds satisfaction in handing me hangers when we put away the clothes. She loves to help plus I don’t have to worry about her undoing work in a different room. Work is so much more fulfilling when you have company even if you can only understand half of what they are saying.

  8. Haley, glad to see you are now able to comment! Maybe Word Press or my account provider was having a glitch the day you tried…Anyway, that’s a good point, starting the day off working together is starting it off on the right foot. It’s the same way with my homeschooling…usually if start off with the Bible portion, everything goes much better!

    Jen, isn’t it amazing how much these littles can do? I’m impressed with your little guy, especially as I’ve never had boys and have no clue what to expect from them. I imagine them pushing trucks around with gruff rumbles and toots…lol. Aren’t I ignorant? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Andrea, you’re right about that little one missing out, and the mommy too. Unfortunately our culture frowns on “making children work” thinking they’re only young once and they should have a carefree childhood, etc. In doing so, I think we’re missing a crucial training time in which our children go from willing helpers to resistant ones, or ones that expect an allowance for doing even minor things around the house. Hmm, this could turn into a post of it’s own! Thanks for coming by! I’m excited about your baby shower coming up!

  9. About the suppertime thing, isn’t it funny how families can differ?

    We are pretty set “6:30p” people, it’s rare not to have the supper on the table by then. I like to be able to plan accordingly. But we have lots of friends who wing it or even don’t eat until 9p or something! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ That would be so hard for me!

  10. Thanks, Amy! Now if you could share how to do that with all my other “Blogspot” friends! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Jana, that surprises me, you guys being agricultural, or maybe it shouldn’t…my own farming grandpa expected supper at the same time every evening. It was a big adjustment to me, getting married to a guy that never ate till he was done working for the day, which could be as late as 10 PM! The girls are old enough now that their “loyalties” to daddy keep them waiting up with me, unless it’s a fire meeting night, or we have something big the next morning that they need their sleep for. We usually eat around 7:30 PM, but like you, I’d prefer to get it started by 6:30 and still have the evening ahead. It’s funny though, now I hardly have patience for people who expect to eat at 5 sharp, kwim? My own dad is that way. When they’re here for Bible study, he likes to be sitting down to lunch at no later than 11 AM, which is an hour earlier than we’re accustomed. Heehee. Oh well. To each his own.

  11. My boys like to put the laundry down the chute, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and I’m going to try to have them help me match socks and fold washcloths.

    Pray tell, Linda, what am I training them to be?

  12. well, let’s get real, mary. you’re raising your girls to serve men. it’s not like you’re aiming for the next nobel prize winner or president of the united states, right?

  13. Good for you, MIn. Neat that they’re not only learning it from you, but learning it at all. Folding washcloths has always been a favorite of my kiddos. In fact, littlest lays claim to the job loud and clear whenever I’m folding towels!

    Linda, I think it’s pretty cool that my 3 yo likes to help out. That she likes spending some of her time in a productive and thoughtful manner. Maybe she’ll be the good woman behind one of our future Presidents. As far as raising Nobel Prize winners, do you have any tips?

  14. Linda, may God bless you and give you peace. Iโ€™m sorry this has turned out the way it has, but Iโ€™m not going there as itโ€™s obviously a waste of my time. And yours.

  15. Hee…he got the name “Frog” because the first sound he ever made in our arms was the most adorable croak!

    I can remember wanting to do dishes when I was really young, but my older sisters didn’t have the patience to do it with me! They always told me I’d hate it when I was older too! Thankfully, my middle daughter has the patience of a long-suffering mother who chooses to smile even when her toddler has just painted the living room in butter (!) and she lets youngest piddles alongside her “helping” do pretty much anything. I hope she always has patience like that! It’s something I strive to have more of!

  16. Get this: for the 12 of us at home we wash all the dishes by hand. We have an elderly house and I have not been able to give up any of the cabinet space for a dishwasher in my somewhat small kitchen. You get used to it. And, Mary, you are absolutely right about the floor getting a good washing after the toddlers help! I don’t like to make complicated chore charts that I have to work hard keeping track of checking up on who is supposed to be doing what. So our “dishwashers” (all kids who don’t have outside the house jobs) have the dishwashing job for all three meals for a month straight. They don’t mind because they don’t wash any dishes then for about 5 months! Tidying the table, chairs and floor after each meal is monthly too. Every other job is yearly, we change all the chores around on April Fools Day. My 4 year old son asked for a chore chart for his last birthday:) His has pictures.
    We also celebrate Groundhogs Day by getting socks and underwear for everyone. I buy them throughout the year, and wrap them up in wrapping paper & ribbons, they look forward to it. My oldest 4 girls have even gotten their first bra’s this way and it’s usually hysterical, but not embarrassing (they’ve never complained.) I give my oldest three girls gift certificates for that store at the mall with the pretty underwear because their fabulous annual sale is a little later in the spring and they can get the good quality bras they like themselves…My husband stated early on in our marriage that he didn’t want any socks or underwear given at Christmas, he didn’t have great Christmas’s growing up, so this was my response.
    My children all do their own laundry as soon as they can reach the washer to put it in and get it out. I am NOT raising boys who cannot do laundry or cook. And for the most part they just do it all. They are taught that its part of having a home and living in it for all of us help keep it livable and inviting.
    The peanut butter thing: one evening while my husband and I were dating, we were at my apartment at the kitchen table making out our separate Christmas card for friends, and realized we were famished! He said he had an interesting peanut butter sandwich he could make me. I told him I had a weird one too. So we tried not to watch each other in the kitchen and made our sandwiches. His turned out to be peanut butter with marshmallows broiled open face. Mine was peanut butter and sliced dill pickles (crunchy and salty and sweet!) Well they were both good, but we split them to share, and the date ended up with indigestion…

  17. Lol, Cena, at the peanut butter story! I certainly didn’t expect either of the results you guys came up with! We made hubby some “special” quesadillas for April Fools day once…told him they were bean and Monterrey Jack cheese quesadillas when really they were peanut butter/marshmallow. The perfect food trick…he thought it was great–dessert first! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You have fabulous ideas for keeping chores straight! And I really like your groundhog day tradition! My oldest is going to need her first bra anytime now, though…sigh. Can’t believe it!

    I’ve got to work on my girls more with laundry. I usually end up doing most of it, leaving the folding for them. They do crack me up though, genuinely “thanking” me whenever I happen to fold the clothes for them…

    So how many girls/boys of each do you have, Cena? Sounds like you had girls first! Don’t they make awesome helpers/babysitters!

  18. Mary, 5 girls, 5 boys.
    Jessica 18 (and 11/12ths)
    James 17
    Kirsten 15
    Rachel 14
    Ben 12
    Bonnie 11
    Susanna 9 next week
    Joshua 7 in three weeks
    Matthew 4
    Brian 2
    We thought the girls were way ahead, then the last three were boy, boy, boy! The boys were happy. I like boys but somehow wished for a girl every single pregnancy:)
    I do have great helpers, and I think the girls were great to have older first. The boys are just as helpful but they take longer to mature into it. My oldest son now makes lunch on most school days. This was his idea, and he makes wwflour tortillas by hand (I never did that, he found the recipe on the internet) and all sorts of yummy things for us. He also does PE with the kids after lunch and its crazy, they are red, hot, and sweaty when they come in after 45 minutes with him. He makes up games and creates obstacle courses, and they do sword play (wooden swords Ben has made, which are heavy and exercise in themselves.) James also “babysits” an autistic boy of 8 years old every Friday for a couple hours. He is by far the favorite babysitter around because he plays with the kids and they love it. And having sisters when he was younger he know about tea parties and fingernail polish. When he babysits they all have intricate pictures on their big toe!!!
    I thought having 3 to 4 children was the hardest on me, then it got easier because I taught them to help. Ask any employer these days and they would pay alot for a young employee who has a good work ethic and can hustle. How sweet that your girls thank you for their clothes, that shows grateful hearts.
    Gotta go, Jessica (18 and 11/12ths) is watching over my shoulder and maybe wanting my chair here.

  19. Cena, I think God has been readying my heart for more children…for several reasons, but having a mother of ten share what you’ve shared in various threads on this blog recently has really contributed to it!

    Your oldest son sounds like a keeper! Wow! How wonderful to have a built-in coach on the premises, and chef as well! You’ve done well, Mama! Loved seeing the names and ages of your sweet ones! I’ll email you mine, I try not to say their names here on the blog for various security reasons.

    Sleep well, and good luck tomorrow on the Hallelujah diet!


  20. I’ve often thought that myself! Wouldn’t that be a sweet confirmation of our deciding to have more!

    Over at a blog called Seeking Faithfulness, Holly, mother of 8 shared her testimony of how God changed her and her dh’s hearts toward being more quiver-full. They were within days of her husband getting a vasectomy when she just couldn’t let him go through with it. Shortly after, one of them had a boy’s name come to mind. And sure enough, she found out she was pregnant and it was a son. Each child after that (5 more) God told them the “gender” through providing a name either her or her husband…and she shared her girls name with her readers this last time, before they knew what she was having…and sure enough…it was a girl! Little Mariam…

    I just love stories like that!

  21. I went there through your link and was skimming through it…wow! Planning to stop at 3 and then having 5 more is a big change of heart!

  22. It is, and I just love Holly’s sweet spirit and testimony about how God brought them to that point. Glad you checked her site out!

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