Monday, January 26, 2015

Genevieve Washes Dishes

One day I asked Genevieve to take the full compost bucket out to the compost pile at the end of the yard.  She fussed and demurred. Her daddy jokingly offered to trade her his dish-washing stint for the compost run.  She wasn't joking and she accepted so fast, his mouth dropped open.

I had been meaning to start Genevieve on washing dishes, but I was not sure I had prepared myself adequately for the likelihood of broken dishes and vast, heedless quantities of water and soap. I could see myself turning into a shrieking harpy over this experience, and it was just easier to wash the ding-dong dishes myself.

Well, Genevieve is doing pretty well!  Probably because she's nine-and-a-half, she needs less instruction because she's seen her parents wash dishes so often that some of the moves just come naturally to her. I still have to remind her not to just dunk dishes, but to actually use the cloth to rub all over.  She also tends to hold dishes at her chest-level instead of down in the water, meaning the dish water runs back her arms and gets on sleeves and countertops (eek - the vast heedless quantities of water!).  At this point, my goal is for her to wash the supper dishes once a week.  And I think I'll start teaching Ben how to dry. . . 


Rozy Lass said...

Only once a week? Goodness, Mary and Laura Ingalls were doing lots more than the dishes everyday by that age. You'll appreciate here help when the new baby comes. She'll get much better with more practice. I know it's difficult to endure the messes and such, but from an older mother with much experience: relax, give praise, and enjoy the help. This is like learning any other skill, practice, practice, practice. AND she is willing! Take advantage of that by not stifling her with too much criticism (like I did). You're doing a good job, keep it up.

BLD in MT said...

Gosh you make me laugh sometimes, Margo. "shrieking harpy...ding-dong dish, etc" Fantastic. And good for you all. My, my is that child really almost ten? Amazing. I bet she will be a big help to you with this new baby.

Margo said...

Rozy, thanks for the helpful advice. And just to clarify: my kids do most of the house cleaning every week and fold all their own laundry, in addition to other small jobs that my husband and I dole out as needed. They are definitely pulling their weight in our household :)

Jan said...

It's lovely that she's prepared to help...Jx

jenny_o said...

You caught her at the perfect time - when she's old enough to do a decent job and while she still considers it a privilege :)

We wouldn't let our kids answer the phone until they were a certain age (had something to do with a neighbour whose child was a menace answering their phone) - and by the time they were old enough to be responsible about messages, etc. they were too shy to answer it.

G deserves a pat on the back!

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

SO proud of G.. She is growing up..[hard to believe she is 9 1/2 yrs old.] They grow up so fast..
I know she and Ben both are such big helpers to you.. So proud of both of them.
How are you and baby doing? Sending prayers.

Sarah Barry said...

Good for Genevieve! And you.

Lately, it has been heavy on my heart to spend more time teaching my children how to help keep the house tidy. It's for my sanity's sake! I cannot be the only one who maintains order and cleanliness,right? I know it's more work to teach them on the front end but will be worth it in the long run. Maybe I will set summer goals for my children like you do.

Polly said...

Her hair is getting so long!

"A shrieking harpy"-that cracked me up. I don't know anything about that. No, not at all (yes, yes, I do).

I am impressed! I look forward to the day when my people can wash dishes...good for you for letting her give it a go.


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