Listening to Grace teach Claire to do the dishes the other night made me smile.
After they got all the dishes crammed in there, detergent loaded in and door closed, Grace wrapped her arm around her sister and pointed out that although there are a lot of buttons on the dishwasher, the only one she needed to know about was the middle one that starts with an “s” for “start.”
As the water swished away behind her once the “s” button was pushed, Claire strutted around the kitchen as proud as a peacock. She was a mighty “dish-do-er” like her big siblings. She claimed that she would help anyone do their dishes when it was their job. She glowed. She beamed. All was right in the world.
I had to smile because her enthusiasm reminded me of each of her siblings when they learned to do dishes. Man alive were they ever excited. The sad thing is that I know the steps in the dish-doing enthusiasm cycle from experience. This is how it goes:
1. Do them all perfectly. Gleam at your wonderful performance.
[one week goes by]
2. Smile fades when you see the mounds of dishes piled up in the sink, but you do them anyway.
[another week passes]
3. Fights ensue over who’s turn it is or who should do it for who since so-and-so missed their turn yesterday, blah blah blah.
4. The sudden urge that you HAVE to go to the bathroom mysteriously hits as soon as dinner is over and the dishes are filling the sink. And it’s a long bathroom break you need. Yes, maybe even long enough that your Mother will get sick of waiting for you and absent-mindedly do them herself.
Yes, I know the routine.
Hmmm…maybe this time I can keep the enthusiasm going a little longer.
Oh wait, my enthusiasm for keeping up the kids’ enthusiasm has a cycle as well…
QUESTION: What cycles have you noticed in your home?
CHALLENGE: If there is a cycle that needs to be broken in your home, get started on that today. If there’s one that works, good for you!