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April 16, 2011

Lightening My Load

No single task makes me feel more like the Greek Sisyphus – working all day to roll my boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down, forcing me to start over each day – than loading and unloading the dishwasher.

The cycle is never-ending.

I usually run the dishwasher overnight, full to its absolute brim (with the occasional dish or two left in the sink that I just couldn’t manage to engineer to fit). Greeting me each morning is that scorching red light: “Sanitized”.

I dry off the plastic ware, unload the dishes, and put them away, my goal always being to do that before I start dirtying more dishes to take their place (i.e. making breakfast).

I run the dishwasher every.single.day., occasionally twice a day if I do a lot of cooking. From time to time I’ll switch things up on myself, just for fun.

How about if I run the dishwasher during naptime? I’ll unload it before supper, and then that horrid red light won’t greet me in the morning? What a great idea!!!

But I usually don’t get the dishes unloaded before dinner. It’s usually after the girls go to bed that I face the drying-unloading-putting away, followed by the big stack of dirty dishes from supper waiting on me in the sink. Suddenly that didn’t seem like such a good idea after all…

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no tricks. This is most certainly my fate for eternity.

...but…

Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed a definitive lightening of my load – my dishwasher load, that is.

I can trace this beautiful gift of the dish gods to two factors.

1) The girls have started drinking all but their evening milk (which they have upstairs) from plain cups with disposable drinking straws. Each cup consists of only two pieces – the cup and the lid. There aren’t five itty bitty parts that must be contained in a special little basket that consumes 1/3 of my top dishwasher rack.

2) I’ve stopped heating all but the girls’ evening milk. I know…I know…they’re almost seven years old and I probably should have stopped this a long time ago…but I just never want to mess with a good thing. The girls seem to love ice cold milk, though, and I sure love not having all those extra cups I used to warm their milk in the microwave.

So…

…I am still running the dishwasher every day…loading, unloading, putting away...but it’s much less of an engineering feat to make everything fit.

I dare say there’s sometimes additional room in the dishwasher, such that I could make it a day and a quarter before I ran it…

...but then I wouldn’t be greeted by freshly sanitized dishes every.single.morning…

…and on some level I guess I like having a “clean start” to the day.

14 comments:

Wiley said...

Heating milk at seven? You are a saint!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Our kids never ever got warm milk. LOL I got this advice at the one multiples seminar i went to while still pregnant and it was my best practical advice. No worrying about microwaves, carting boiling water around with you, nothing.

I know I seem mean :)

I love that your dishwasher load is so much lighter - isn't it sad and happy at the same time? The girls are getting big!!!

Andrea said...

I am all about lightening any sized load! Good for you! Is it wrong to admit I have never had to do 2 dishwasher loads in one day. I guess that is admitting we cook very little! In our defense we use the gas grill a lot! Winter or not! That leaves very little pan clean up. Hope your Saturday has been great! We went to the zoo today. It was beautiful outside! Fun times!

Mandy said...

I would die without my dishwasher. I could live without my right hand, my car, and my husband's check but I would die without my dishwasher. I have accepted this fact and stick to my system. It's just like yours! Now that I spend most of my days at my cousin's house, I do it there too. I've almost trained her and her husband to my system! Bwhahaha!

Dishes in the sink is one of my pet peeves. They can be dirty in the dishwasher, but not in the sink. I absolutely want to get a really nice dishwasher, the kind with the disposal built in so you don't have to scrap the food off and little people inside that make all your dishes sparkling clean on the first run!

Amanda said...

That is so funny that you post this, b/c I was just playing around with running the dishwasher at different times of day to lessen the burden. Ideally I would run it after dinner and unload it before bed so I could wake up to an empty dishwasher and lessen the morning mess, but thats just not happening! Paper goods are very appealing, if only they didn't use trees!

Holly Ann said...

Laundry is the chore that does this to me. Every time I put folded clothes away, part of me just wonders why I bother with all that folding anyway. I run my washing machine about 1-2 times per day for an average of about 12 loads per week. Yeah, crazy right?

Deanna said...

I love using the 'delay start' so the dishes are washed in the middle of the night and I don't even hear it! It's the little things that make me happy. : )

Jenner said...

I WISH I had a dishwasher! I have to do dishes at least twice a day to keep up around here.

James said...

Laundry is the bane of my existence. We do one to two loads of dishes a day, but it just doesn't grate on me like the laundry does.

Of course it helps that Darwin LOVES to help me unload the dishwasher. Once I get the sharp stuff out I just stand by the cabinets and he brings me each dish, one at a time (and says "Herego, Dadda" each and every time). It's a slow process but at least I have help!

Dolli-Mama said...

I feel the same way about dishes and laundry. Oh, I can't wait until these kids are old enought to do laundry and dishes!

Quadmama said...

I run the dishwasher at night. Now that my girls can feed themselves, I can give them breakfast and then unload the dishwasher while they eat. It's no fun waking up to a chore, but at least it's an easy one!

Barbara Manatee said...

I can deal with the dishwasher...its washing the things that need to be hand washed (i.e. all our pots and pans) I would hate to have to wash all our dishes every day...

*****
April is Autism Awareness Month. I'm dedicating my blog all month long to Autism.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

omg...you warmed their milk...i am dying at what a mean mommy i am!

i hate our dishwasher...i run it right after dinner while we're giving the crazies their bath. it's too loud if i wait any longer...i can't hear the television (the horror!!!). i don't unload it until the morning...

i loathe dishes...all the space they take up and how much effort is involved. i could have never lived during the colonial era.

other things that help? we use paper plates for breakfast. the crazies get one sippy per day for milk and one for water. i hate sippy cups and while they're capable of drinking from regular cups, i am incapable of giving up that small piece of control.

write a book much?

reanbean said...

I'm glad your dishwashing duties are getting easier. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but sometime around when the kids were born, I handed all dishwashing tasks over to hubby. There are a few of the kids' dishes that I wash by hand, but otherwise, the dishes are all his responsibility. :o)