If Dishes Were Wishes . . .

The chore I hate doing the most is dishes.  I despise doing the dishes. I have a dishwasher now, but that doesn’t seem to change the fact that I still end up elbow-deep in dish soap at least twice a day.  Every day.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  There are only four of us in this house, and there is just no logical explanation for exactly how we manage to dirty so many dishes in a single day. Every single day. Granted, I do a lot of cooking and baking, which has a tendency to make the bowls and pans stack up, but that doesn’t account for everything.

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My clean dishes never seem to make it from the drainer or dishwasher to the cupboards. They seem to be in a constant rotation of use-wash-use-wash without ever enough time for a cycle or two of use-wash-put away.

I work in a high school/middle school lunchroom, so I occasionally have to jump in and help with the dishes as part of my job. I don’t really mind doing it there. Maybe that’s because I’m surrounded by other lunch ladies who are also working, or perhaps it’s because I’m getting paid to wash dishes there. Or it could be that the task of washing dishes at work is somewhat of a finite process; there comes a point each day at which the job is done. Completed. Finished.

There is no such point in my house.

I have a daughter who hoards coffee cups in her room, but she can be counted on to bring down an armload of them two or three times per week. I’m not sure how one seventeen year-old can manage to accumulate that many dirty cups in such a short amount of time, but at least they make their way back to the kitchen.

My youngest son tends to stockpile sippy cups and juice glasses on the coffee table in the living room. Like his sister, he can be counted on to bring them to me eventually. But again, it escapes me how one very small person can use so many cups and glasses in a day. Does he get a new one for each sip?

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And I simply cannot understand the spoons under the couch.  Why are there spoons under my couch? We don’t eat in the living room. Well, okay, we use TV trays and eat in the living room on occasion, but most family meals take place at the kitchen table. When we do eat in the living room, the plates and forks make it back to the kitchen with no problem, so why not the spoons?

It’s not just the sheer number of dirty dishes in a constant flow through the dishwater that bothers me.  There’s the fact that the dishes never seem to quite make it to the sink unless I am the one putting them there. They make it as far as the edge of the table, or the counter in the general vicinity of the sink and dishwasher, but God forbid anyone actually manage to put a dirty dish anywhere even close to a source of water.  I have one child who will carry dirty dishes past the sink to stack them on the stovetop. This should not surprise me, however, as this is the same child who used to walk past the bathroom and down the hall to my bedside to tell me “I gotta throw up” seconds before launching the flow in my direction.

On really bad days, I have started to wonder if there are other people living in my home that I am not aware of.  Perhaps there is a family of twelve residing in my basement, and they sneak upstairs to deposit their used plates and silverware on the counters while I am at work. They might be the same people whose shoes seem to pile up at my door; that would explain the twenty-seven pairs of shoes mounded up beside the door despite the fact that my children keep insisting “Those aren’t mine!”

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I can’t blame it all on my kids or the possible basement-dwellers. When it comes to my own coffee cup, I am just as bad as the rest of them. I drink my morning coffee out of a jumbo white and blue mug decorated with seagulls and lighthouses, and I like to carry it around and sip out of it while I get ready for work. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to set it down in various places whenever I reach a point in my morning routine that requires the use of both hands, after which I quickly forget exactly where I set the damn thing down.

At which point, my morning turns into an impromptu game of Find-The-Coffee, which rarely ends well because I have not yet swallowed enough coffee to jump  start my brain. I eventually give up and go back for new mug, and all is well until I have to put that one down so I can finish getting dressed. By the time I leave for work, I can sometimes go through an entire pot of coffee this way. I figure it’s not really all that bad for me, though, because I only manage to drink about half a cup.

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Part of my nighttime routine around here is a scavenger hunt for almost-full mugs of cold coffee before bed. I have found them in my bedroom, in the laundry room, in the refrigerator, and even outdoors in my son’s playhouse on one memorable occasion. I still have no idea how that one got out there.

As I read back over what I’ve written here, something just occurred to me.  While I still don’t have an answer about the spoons, I think I figured out how my daughter and youngest son manage to dirty so many cups and glasses during the course of a day.

They take after their mama.

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This is a Finish The Sentence Friday post: “The chore I hate doing the most is . . . ” hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee, Michelle from Crumpets and Bollocks, and Kristinjill from Ripped Jeans & Bifocals. Please take a few minutes to check out what some of the other bloggers did with this sentence!

Gesundheit

I have a cold.

As colds go, it’s a pretty miserable one.  Headache, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, the works.  Right now, there is a jumbo ball of snot in the back of my throat that refuses to go up or down, and so it just sits there, making me gag.  Which makes me cough.

Some of you men or younger women may not get this, but sometimes we ladies have an added bonus that takes place when we cough or sneeze.  In my case, let’s just say it involves my having given birth to three ten-pound babies over the past fifteen years.

There’s a reason why mothers always seem to cross our legs when we laugh or cough.  As my friend Lori likes to say, “I sometimes laugh so hard, the tears run right down my leg!”

So I’m sitting here with various bodily fluids escaping from various places, coughing up everything but my left lung, and I have decided to give myself the day off.

I am a stay-home mom.  When I am sick, I still have to work.  Laundry must be done, dishes must be washed, dinner must be prepared.  Even when I don’t feel good, I have to drag myself through the day, whining and wallowing in self-pity about being so overworked and underappreciated.  I jump on Facebook to whine some more, squeezing every possible ounce of pity out of my friends, and then I haul my sorry saggy ass through more chores.

Not today.  Although I do have to take a moment to veer off on a tangent for a moment about Facebook.   Folks, if you feel good enough to get on Facebook and announce to the world that you have a Migraine, you don’t have a Migraine.

People who work outside of the home are allowed to take sick days.  So I’m taking one.  This stay-home Mama is off the clock for the rest of the day.  I’m back in my jammies, on the couch with the Big Guy’s favorite afghan (hey, I’m not getting any assorted fluids on my favorite afghan!) and a big mug of hot Echinacea tea.  It’s noon, and I’ve already taken two naps.

I’m allowed to take a sick day.

Besides, I think I just sneezed up part of my spleen.  Which is probably going to give me a Migraine.