An Emergency I’m Right, You’re Wrong

by Marinka on February 24, 2011

OMFG.

My kids have a chore chart. Every week, they sign up for chores. This has been going on for years.

This morning, Young Ladrinka and I had this conversation:

Marinka: Don’t forget to empty out the dishwasher, Young Ladrinka.

Young Ladrinka: I don’t have to do it until Wednesday.

Marinka: Today is Wednesday.

Young Ladrinka: Right, but the dishes in the dishwasher are from Tuesday.

Marinka: Yes, but you are unloading the dishwasher on Wednesday.

Young Ladrinka: THAT MAKES NO SENSE. I am emptying the dishes of the past.

Therefore, our “dilemma”.

Dilemma: What does “Empty out the dishwasher on Wednesday” mean to you?

Disageers: Marinka and Young Ladrinka.

Position One: If it’s Wednesday, and it’s your turn to empty out the dishwasher on Wednesday, and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, empty it.

Position Two: If it’s Wednesday, and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, empty it ONLY if the clean dishes were made dirty on Wednesday. If they were dirtied on Tuesday, the person whose job it was to empty the dishwasher on Tuesday is responsible. Also, EVERYTHING IS UNFAIR.

What do you think, oh, wise readers?

One year ago ...

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Backpacking Dad February 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

If the dishes in the dishwasher on Wednesday were clean on Tuesday and they were not unloaded on Tuesday and there was someone who was supposed to unload the dishwasher on Tuesday, then Ladrinka is correct.

If the dishes were not clean on Tuesday, or if they WERE clean on Tuesday but no one was supposed to unload them on Tuesday, then it falls on Wednesday’s unloader, as a victim of the onward march of time, to unload the dishes, lest he participate in the bottlenecking of the dishes, culminating in an avalanche of loading and unloading activity performed by 82 migrant workers between the 27th and 31st of March, 2012.

Punishment for failing to unload the dishes, if it is determined they ought to have been unloaded, should be as follows: Invite friends to bring their dirty Wednesday dishes over in shifts and wash them in your dishwasher, and force Ladrinka to unload each and every one of those loads as they become clean (ON WEDNESDAY), and, since “unload” implies putting them away, he will also be required to return these dishes to their rightful owners and replace them in the shelves and drawers whence they came.

Then there will be no further messing with mom.

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Noelle February 24, 2011 at 2:22 am

My position: Young Ladrinka should be happy that Marinka is not married to Backpacking Dad!

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MommyTime
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:07 am

And, seriously, I have never heard ANYONE come up with a better “punishment fits the crime” than Backpacking Dad just did — made even easier by the fact that Young Ladrinka lives in an apartment building, and there are no doubt SCORES of people with dirty Wednesday dishes to be done. Genius. Pure genius.

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Cherie Beyond February 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

Clearly, this is the solution. I would say that this would even be worth the inconvenience of hauling oneself down to the nearest restaurant supply store to purchase one of those big ass bins that restaurant busboys use. Perhaps even a wheelie cart so as to properly collect dirty dishes from the neighbors. After the punishment is complete on midnight, the cart can sit in an obvious location as an ever-present reminder of what happens when one messes with mother.

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Mwa (Lost in Translation) February 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

Well, he put it perfectly. I was just going to say “Mama is always right.” But he got the rest of it as well. Bravo!

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Hallie February 24, 2011 at 3:06 am

Since Young Ladrinka only wants to empty the dirty dishes of Wednesday, it’s only natural that he unloads the dishwasher on Thursday.

I’m rooting for position one, anything else just isn’t natural!

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From Belgium February 24, 2011 at 5:04 am

Young Ladrinka has an interesting mind.
I would have to go with position one (if only to protect my futher chores chart interest), but I must agree with Young Ladrinka on one point : everything is unfair.

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Sheila
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 5:20 am

If there are any clean dishes in the dishwasher on Wednesday, he unloads them.
Offer him the option offered by Backpacking Dad and he will unload immediately.

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Halala Mama
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 5:25 am

Umm…. it means empty the damn dishwasher all day on Wednesday. I would make sure I washed every single thing on that day. A load of pots and pans? A load of dinner dishes? All the knick knacks in the house? EVERYTHING. I’d run fifteen loads and have him empty every single one. 🙂

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christy February 24, 2011 at 6:06 am

Well obviously you are right! But I have to say this made me laugh out loud from the very first line – and smile all the way through – so thank you!

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Fairly Odd Mother
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 7:49 am

Throw out the dishes and just use disposable plates! Problem solved!

And, I LOVE this, “THAT MAKES NO SENSE. I am emptying the dishes of the past” OMG, he is your son for sure. When will he have a blog too?

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Donna February 24, 2011 at 8:28 am

Backpacking Dad is a hardass. But – he’s also correct. If someone was supposed to unload the dishes on Tuesday, and that someone didn’t do it, then technically, Ladrinka shouldn’t be held responsible. If the dishes went through the wash in the nighttime, then Ladrinka has to put them away.

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hokgardner
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 8:48 am

In our house, the dishwasher gets run overnight. So Tuesday’s dirty dishes are never clean until Wednesday morning. So whoever’s job it is to unload on Wednesday takes care of the dishes that were cleaned overnight.

And as we tell our kids on an almost hourly basis, Life isn’t fair.

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alexandra
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

Sorry, life isn’t fair.

Sometimes, you have to do more work than the other person. Sometimes, the other person has to do more work than you.

That is life.

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Jen February 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

Position One for sure!

So we had this dilemma with our 2 oldest children (now 13 & 11) we finally went to weekly chores. One child does dishes for the week, one does garbage/vacuuming–Saturday to Friday. The Friday dish person must leave the kitchen in good enough shape that the new dish choree (?) should only have to empty the dish washer in the morning (i.e. all other pans that would have normally air-dried over night must be hand dried and put away before the Friday night shift is done. Also, a big thing was that my kids started making every pan on Friday night a “soaker” and would leave it in the sink for his/her sibling on Saturday.

The consequences if they think they leave a mess for the brother or sister: an extra week of dishes (along with garbage/vacuuming duty–and the knowledge that said sibling is doing nothing–a much worse punishment than the actual work).

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MommyTime
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

Also, I completely agree with both hokgardner and the empress: life isn’t fair, and dishes pretty much always get washed over night. Also, I’m the mother, and I said empty the dishwasher, and it’s Wednesday, and lo! there are dishes to be emptied, so you have to do it, kid.

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Peajaye
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

Has Young Ladrinka read the New Yorker article about Scientology yet? You should at least read to him the part about Sea Org, where parents sign up their children to work as slaves on ships or for Tom Cruise. Emptying the dishwasher might not seem so bad after that.

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Kati Seiber
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:30 am

Clearly, you just need to save up all the dishes next week and not wash any of them until next Wednesday morning so young Ladrinka can do his job efficiently and cheerfully without the horribly injustice of unloading dishes that were washed on the wrong day.

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Frannie
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:42 am

In principle I agree with you BUT if said dishes were in fact clean left-overs from Tuesday, then Ladrinka has a point. The Tuesday person should empty.

Although, in an effort to nip said agruement in the bud I’d make all chore perons involved empty that load of dishes and call it a day.

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Roxanne February 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

Position One is correct. Don’t listen to what anyone else tries to tell you. They are dirty stinking liars. And possibly communists.

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Frannie
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

Oops, that should’ve said “chore persons”

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Ginnie February 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

You’re the mom, and he is not. Don’t you know that you’re always right? Make him empty the stupid dishwasher.

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Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups February 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

The kid has a point. He at least deserves kudos for his creativity, but it probably won’t serve him well when it comes to sibling compatibility. I am reminded of my family’s experience with Newton’s little know 4th Law of physics…the immutable Law of Sibling Rivalry: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Followed by tears.” With 4 kids of my own, I saw this confirmed more times than I can count.
🙂

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Awesome dude February 24, 2011 at 9:55 am

A couple of weeks ago I had similar encounter with the future “Bond promoter”.

He said to me: Dedulia, you should learn how things are working in this house.

At that point you were smiling.

We ave to smile together now, I guess….

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deborah l quinn
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

If Young Ladrinka would like to trade his dishwasher emptying chore and concomitant unfairness for cooking all meals on Wednesday, all of which must be served hot and be nutritionally balanced a la Michelle Obama, then of course he may cede dishwasher emptying responsibilities. If he, like Bartleby, would prefer NOT to do all the cooking, then he should bloody well put the dishes away and keep quiet. As I like to tell my 10 year old when we are locked in similar discussions over the finer points of household law (similar to Islamic Shari’a law but without the public stoning aspect), “life sucks and then you die.” He has yet to quibble with that particular line of reasoning.

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CSY February 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

Life is UNFAIR!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?!?! I did NOT know that! My children haven’t been harping on that since they started puberty!

Position ! is correct: I said empty the dishwasher – EMPTY it! Of course, my children have to wash dishes by hand…I know, we live in ANCIENT times!

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CSY February 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

* that should be POSITION 1…

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Rima
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

I think the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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annie February 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

Try approach #3 otherwise known as mine: You look said child in the eye – give them the evil mom look and say “unload the f*&#-ing dishwasher!”

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Kimberly February 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

Actually I think this means you save all dirty dishes now from Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Stack them around the kitchen. Then start and finish several loads on Wednesday that have to be emptied.

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Megan February 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

If the dishwasher is full of clean dishes on Wednesday, the Wednesday unloader unloads it. Unless the Tuesday unloader didn’t do it and they are leftover.

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tracy
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

I can’t believe you make your kids do chores! What kind of mother are you? That is so 1938.

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magpie February 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I am not letting my husband read this post. He might try to get me to put away dishes.

(The girl is too little to reach the cabinets, so she’s out of the dishwasher rotation.)

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Allyson February 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

The real solution here would be paper plates.

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Vicki
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Kid’s gonna make a great senator.

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Well Read Hostess February 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

What Backpacking Dad said.

But then again, that’s could be my answer to pretty much anything.

I’m going to try that at home and see how that flies.

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Sarah at the Stroller Ballet February 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I hope Peanut has one eighth the creativity of Young Ladrinka. I think scenario #2 has too many variables – for example, if the dishwasher is started before midnight but finishes after – what happens? Therefore, I’m defaulting to #1. And indeed, life can be completely unfair ;).

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mosey February 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

He is a master negotiator, that one. I’d watch him very closely. (while he is emptying the dishwasher on Wednesdays)

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I can get one of these kids to unload the dishwasher? That’s awesome.

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dusty earth mother February 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Do not cook at home any more. Eat every meal at Outback. And it must always involve a Bloomin’ Onion.

Sorry, I’m very tired and can’t be held responsible for this comment.

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tammigirl
Twitter:
February 25, 2011 at 7:32 am

Tell him “No more dishwasher.” Make him wash, dry, and put away Thursday dishes. He will likely be more willing to unload a dishwasher afterwards.

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Lady Jennie February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Sorry Young Ladrinka. I think you lost that one. Try Debate Club to brush up.

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Marina at My Busy Children
Twitter:
February 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I cant wait for my 4 year old to grow up and to arrive at this logic.

I thought it was supposed to get easier as they can actually do the chores. was clueless as usual

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Sophie@Fabrications February 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Hah. Emptying is the easy part. Tell YL that if he doesn’t want the horribilities of loading the dish washer, or even worse, putting everything away at its legal place, he’d better start paying you cash.

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