I Have 99 Problems…

…and I’m pretty sure that 75% of them are dishes that no one will admit to dirtying.

We have instituted a new system in the kitchen.

(And by “we” I mean my oldest daughter, who came up with this idea and is convinced it is the Answer To All Things Dish Related, and made such a convincing case that I consented to give it a try, partially just to prove to her that even this wasn’t going to work.)

What is this brilliant new system, you ask?  We have packed away most of the mugs, glasses and dishes, leaving one of each kind for each member of the family, and wrote their names on the bottom of their dishes with permanent marker.  They are each responsible to wash their dishes, and if they don’t, well, they are the one left with nothing to put their food on at the next meal.

It worked wonderfully.

For two days.

The giant loophole in this plan is the fact that I ran out of boxes to stash the mugs in, so I left a shelfful in the cupboard that are not assigned to anyone.

The other loophole is the fact that pots and pans aren’t labeled, so at the end of the day it’s hard to track who cooked and didn’t clean up after him or herself.

And the final loophole is the 22 year old son who likes the new set of dishes I bought him and put his name on (this was also an attempt to prime the pump and encourage the establishment of a bachelor pad by giving him a preemptive housewarming gift), and likes the idea that I’m forcing everyone else to clean their dishes, and also likes to think that he, as an adult, is on board with me in this, but doesn’t, in reality, actually do his half the time.

No, wait, the final loophole is the 21 year old, who while being the creator of this scheme, is ADHD enough to wander off halfway through washing her dishes and leave the rest of them on the counter.

Wait, no, the loophole is the 16 year old who didn’t really agree to this scheme and therefore hasn’t changed her habits one iota as a result.  And who also likes to experiment with cooking and thinks if she shares things, she doesn’t have to clean up afterward because the person(s) she shared with should, without being prompted, do that for her.

Or it could be the 14 year old, who wants to do things the right way but has come to the end of his rope with cleaning everyone’s dishes for them because he can’t stand the mess, and has now decided he just doesn’t care.

It could also be the ADD husband, who I’m pretty sure was the one who at some point yesterday stacked two bread boards on top of a very greasy griddle and then left all three of them in the sink without even attempting to rinse them, effectively blocking anyone else in the house from washing anything.

There was, a few weeks back, a blissful few weeks where I fired all of them and cleaned my own damn kitchen.  But then school started, and somehow washing the dishes of a young adult just never takes precedence over planning tomorrow’s lessons, so there went that idea.

So I’m doing the mature thing and sit here in the dining room, typing my blog and glaring at everyone as they walk by.

Because that’s been proven to be such an effective tool of parenting.


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