I’m a day late here, but did you know yesterday, May 18, was No Dirty Dishes Day? There doesn’t seem to be any record of who initiated this day. Someone suggested it was probably a teenager trying to avoid his or her daily chore. In my opinion, it could just as easily be a mother who can’t stand the sight of one more dirty dish in the sink.
In my family of origin, there were six of us kids. We liked to say we had an Armstrong dishwasher (while pretending to push up our sleeves). You can imagine the dirty dishes that piled up after eight people finished eating. Rather than spend her whole day washing dishes after each meal, my mother preferred to rinse and stack. Then she’d wash all the dishes at once after supper. And she was rather particular about the process. The wash water was usually hot enough to melt the skin off our hands. The rinse water in the other sink was, if possible, even hotter. Occasionally, we’d neglect to clean the butter dish or some other item that would leave telltale grease rings floating in the rinse water. In that case, Mother insisted on draining the rinse water, scrubbing the sink, and refilling it with hot water. And this time, we’d better scrub that dish well!
As exacting as Mother was when it came to washing dishes, she never failed to thank us for helping. Occasionally, she and Dad had to go out in the evening for a PTA meeting or a church event. I didn’t like washing the dishes by myself, especially if I had a lot of homework that night. But Mom always thanked me with a hug the next morning, and I knew how much she appreciated it. The one time she forgot, I realized how much her thanks meant to me. It was my whole reason for doing the dishes!
I’ve made a habit of thanking my kids for helping around the house, even for chores they are expected to complete. I don’t know if it ever motivated them like it did me, but I’m sure it never hurt!