Friday, April 17, 2009

All of this to explain that there is a right way to load the dishwasher

When my siblings and I were growing up, we weren't allowed to change the dishwater.

At least, I don't think so. The process of washing those dishes was very specific. The "lucky one" got to be the washer. (Although why putting your hands in increasingly dirty water was prized more than drying the clean dishes, with a partner or two, I don't know. Maybe because you were finished first?) The washer always started with the glasses - the least dirty of the lot - rinsing if he or she had left room in the sink for extra water. Then on to the plates and the cutlery, and finally, the serving dishes and pans. Sometimes fresh water was permitted for the pans, I remember.

Even though we were a family of eight we didn't have a dishwasher.

(My father used to say we had six dishwashers. Ha. Ha. Ha. Still funny, that one.)

In reality, we did have a dishwasher, but it sat in the corner for years collecting junk. It was cumbersome, having to be rolled over to the sink and hooked up with a big hose. But it was my mother who decided that the dishes were never clean enough when they were run through the machine.

I'm guessing she just wanted to keep some of us busy in the crazy hour between dinner and bathtime. Even with one child, I think I understand.

(Of course, that doesn't explain why, when we were little, we weren't allowed to change the bath water either. I know. Ew. And the decision was terrible: bathe early with hot clean water - but go to bed early - or stay up as long as possible but end up in tepid grey water. The thought just makes me shiver.)

One of the happiest days of my life was discovering a dishwasher in our first living-together-married apartment. Another one came with the house, but it's awkward and the dishes don't load easily, so we want to replace it soon.

Strangely, having a dishwasher doesn't really keep the kitchen as clean as I expected: the top gets filled before the bottom, cereal bowls and cups pile up in the sink, and there are just so many things that don't fit in there at all.

And there are so many things I would rather do than clean up the kitchen right now.


Swistle said...

I wonder when I can make my kids do the dishes. They're such butterfingers, I'm worried they'll break them all.

Ha ha! I make them share bathwater too! But usually just two per batch of water.

Swistle said...

Well, okay, sometimes three.