Friday, May 18, 2007

And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

At our house, everyone likes to eat and a couple of us like to cook. (Erin has even taken up the mixing bowl and spoon!) The upshot of these two things, cooking and eating, is dishes, dirty ones and lots of them! You would think that dirty dishes would not be a problem given that almost every household has a beloved dishwasher. I mean the mechanical kind not the by-hand kind.

This morning I rose to the kitchen for what seems like the first time all week. With the end of school activities and late night rehearsals, I have not cooked much in the last week, maybe two, it could even be be three . . .So why was I greeted by a sink and counter full of dishes? I did make the girls return all of the cutlery and glasses from their rooms; that accounted for some. I think that Erin has been living on cereal the last week so there were many spoons and bowls. Brooke has had a few late night soirees in the kitchen while studying for AP exams. As I stare at this sculpture of stoneware and metal, I wonder what is wrong with the dishwasher. I discovered, thankfully, nothing! The question then becomes, what is wrong with these kids? I do not understand why it is so difficult to open the door and place the dishes IN the dishwasher rather than on the counter right above it. So close, yet so far.

I started thinking that it seems that every thing these days is marketed toward children and youth. Maybe dishwasher manufacturers need to follow this trend. What could they do to make this basic kitchen appliance more appealing to children?
  • Place a sign on it that says "Feed Me, I'm Yours" It's a learning tool. If you can't "feed" the dishwasher, how can you possibly take care of that puppy, kitten, goldfish, or boa constrictor that you want?
  • Create a Maytag Mania video game. Points are earned by seeing how many dishes you can get into your virtual dishwasher in the shortest amount of time.
  • Perhaps some entrepreneur could manufacture a kitchen cabinet that requires you to deposit a quarter to remove a bowl or plate and another quarter for cutlery, both to be refunded by the dishwasher once these items are placed in it for washing.
  • Maybe a talking dishwasher - "Open, Open, Open!"

There has to be a solution. Just saying, "Would you PLEASE put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher" seems to have little appeal or impact.

This musing came to me while I wash hand washing the dishes that were left after I had crammed the dishwasher as full as possible while still having some hope that everything would come out clean. Thankfully, there is something calming in washing dishes by hand. Perhaps it has to do with if my hands are occupied by warm water and suds, I can't wring their necks!

I am sure that I will continue to be amazed by the endless possibilities in the "installation kitchen art" that I find on the counter. I am also confident that the "cereal killers" will continue to do nothing to hide the evidence. So, i will try to not get angry and hope that washing by hand continues to keep me calm!