As I'm cleaning the kitchen this evening I'm wondering like many nights -- where did I go wrong? What happened to my bright toddlers who learned to walk early, learned to talk so early and proficiently, learned all those developmental skills like nesting, throwing balls, picking up cheerios with a pincher grasp. I know those same children knew those skills and many others and somehow they forgot them -- or maybe as DH suggests there is a teen stupid gene that rears it's ugly head making those lessons forgotten.
So really this is me just venting-- pardon me for a minute but how is it that when you make a cake mix the box and the bag end up in the trash but the little part of the bag you cut off remains on the counter?
Take for example the skill of nesting -- many places as a growing child that skill would be very useful. You know-- stacking things one inside another in a neat little fashion. The two year old -- she gets it- why is it hard for all everyone over the age of two. I'm putting away dishes tonight and I try to open the baking supply drawer-- try being the operative word here. I have to get something long like a knife to move whatever &!@#$% thing is stuck on the top of the drawer making it so I can't open it--so after about 10 min of my cursing and prying and coaxing the drawer and it's contents I find the problem. A set of nesting measuring cups that sits neatly in the front corner of the drawer -- has three of the 5 cups in the stack and the other two cups are the reason I couldn't pull the drawer open in one efficient smooth motion. Two were just thrown into the drawer randomly. Know I know all of the children in my house who put away dishes know how to nest items -- They have demonstrated it proficiently to the pediatrician at a young age-- and yet it's not possible for them to do this with some measuring cups in a drawer. Why is that?
Yet again I find an example of where the nesting skill would be very handy.. I turn around to see the leaning tower of dirty dishes spilling out of the both sides of the sink and all over the surrounding counters -- barely skimming the edges -dangerously teetering dirty dishes upon other ones-- small ones stacked on bigger ones and large dinner plates on a delicate balance of smaller bowls, cups and smallers plates. Now had they simply rinsed the dishes in the sink, and nested them inside of the larger dishes on the counter--bowls in one stack, plates in another and silverware say stuck in a larger dish someplace else--- dishes would have taken me about 5 or ten minutes -- as it is.. this job would take a good 20-30 min and if I was really lucky I won't break anything unpiling their jenga of dishes. That is -- once I get one side of the sink cleaned out enough to rinse dishes.
The clean tupperware type of dishes -- that nest and stack so neatly -- with the lids that fit on top of them -- well we just won't even go there! We'll just say the children have now resorted to putting them on the counter in piles since they can't even pit anything into that cabinet or much less open it without it all falling out on top of them.
Nesting I tell you-- it's not a difficult skill and yet my DH and I are the only ones except the two year old who understand how to do it!!
Let's take for example -- rinsing a dishcloth after using it to clean up spilled chocolate cake batter-- I've seen the children rinse a cloth many times and even ring it out in the sink -- and yet-- what do I find in the sink? 2 dirty dishcloths all soaking wet and nasty at the bottom of the stack of unrinsed dishes in the sink -- crumbs and little breadtie tags in them. And what else can I find but a large (one of my nicer ones) dishtowel all soaking wet with big blobs of chocolate cake batter all over it.. Imagine how lovely this would have smelled had I not gotten to it until morning. MMMmmm that's an appetizing thought. yummm... slimy, skunky, nasty dishtowels full of food and other lovely things on the bottom of the sink. Little treasures waiting for me. One day last winter I counted the dirty cloths I cleaned up at the end of the day -- just in the kitchen starting the day with one dry dishtowel and one wet dishcloth hung on the edge of the sink -- add 12. I counted fourteen total dishtowels and dishcloths that were unusable, nasty, dirty, stinky, towels that needed to be washed-- just from one day with 5 chilren. Now I know I've explained to them -- please look for the wet dishcloth on the counter or near the sink before you get out another one. Don't use the bigger dishtowels to clean up wet messes. Don't wet the corner of a clean dishtowel just to clean up a little mess that you can use to clean up with a smaller dishcloth or a sponge. When you spill some water on the floor don't get out a clean dishtowel to wipe it up -- use the one that is allready dirty and we've been using to wipe our hands on --the one right in front of your nose on the counter. When the cat vomits and you need to wipe it up-- please don't go get a clean dishtowel out and wet it and use it to clean it up and leave it in the sink-- for me to find. That's what God made papertowels for. And yet-- I have to tell these things to them repeatedly. FOURTEEN I tell you --in one day!!
And they wonder why I'm grouchy at times -- hmmm...