If you've read my blog for very long, you know that I am a member of a blended family. I never had any siblings until I was almost 17 years old, when I gained a brother and a sister who were 2 and 4 years younger than me. At the time of this acquisition, I was used to washing the dishes . . . alone. But when I gained a sister, it was our job to wash the dishes . . . together. And now I understand. I understand what our mother was going through. The near nervous breakdown over another plate or glass or dish breaking. The coming down to the kitchen to hurry us up. Mother, now I understand.
Our children, being that we have 3 of them, are each responsible for cleaning up one meal each day. This job rotates each week, so that no child is always having to clean up after a "heavy" meal, and no child constantly gets the "easy" meals. I am a very fair, loving mother, or at least I try to be. We've been doing this rotation for probably 7 years or so.
Here lately, I've been serving our main meal in the middle of the day. The past couple of days, I've been having it late enough in the afternoon that I have both the lunch person and the supper person work on cleaning up the kitchen after the main meal. That way, supper person is not entirely free from dishes, and lunch person doesn't feel put upon to have to do all the dishes when someone else gets away with nothing. A nice, fair mother I try to be. Plus, I had the somewhat strange idea that the dishes might get done faster with two children working on them.
I am a sadly misguided woman. It just so happens that my two boys, ages 17 and 15, are doing the dishes together. I am hearing much banter coming from my kitchen, which includes an occasional thump of pounding feet or body being shoved. There's lots of sharing of opinion on how things should be done. There's lots of "gotta go to the bathroom - be right back." They've been "working" for about half an hour, and the dishes are just now beginning to be loaded into the dishwasher. I have spoken for the last time.
And I sincerely apologize to my Mother.