The following conversation actually took place in my kitchen this evening.
Scene: Kitchen, post dinner. Kid clean-up is happening.
Backstory: I have asked the kids to please be more thorough in their post dinner clean-up because we’ve been discovering food left out and spoiled after the meals and I have mentioned that I get tired of doing post clean-up clean-up.
Child C (the girl): Ok, I need to set some guidelines here. Child A, [only she doesn’t actually call him that] you only do the drying. You’re doing fine work. Child B, [only she doesn’t call him that either], you need to work on your finish.
Child C: When I do the last of the dishes, I wipe down the counters, and wipe down the stovetop, and finish the last of the dishes and put things away. But if I’m not the one who does the last few dishes? Then I have to come back and still wipe down the counters and wipe down the stove.
Child B: I wipe down the counters!
Child C: Not very often. Mostly, I’m the one who comes back and wipes down the counters and the stove, even when I’m the one who did the first batch of dishes. [looking at Child A] You’re still fine here.
Child A(the youngest): But while we’re on the subject of people not doing things…
Children B and C [tentatively]: What?
Child A: I would like to request that I not be the only person who replaces the toilet paper in the hall bathroom.
Children B and C [simultaneously and with great vigor]: You’re not the only one who puts new toilet paper in the bathroom! A lot of people use that bathroom! We all put toilet paper in the bathroom!
Child A: That’s just not possible. If everyone put new toilet paper in the hallway bathroom, we wouldn’t ever be out of toilet paper in the hallway bathroom. And we’re out of paper in the hallway bathroom a lot.
Children B and C: grumbling about not being the ones who fail to put toilet paper in the hallway bathroom.
So, dear reader, I ask you.
Am I raising Monsters or raising Marthas?
Although fundamentally, if the kitchen gets cleaned after dinner, I don’t really care all that much.
PS – They did a great job on the kitchen. It took three teenagers an hour and a half to get a kitchen as clean as I could have cleaned it in about 20 minutes.
But at least I didn’t have to do it.
Guest Post Alerts! For reasons that remain a mystery, I am 14 shades of popular today. Please check out my guest posts at MommyPants, and The Red Dress Club which, if you are not familiar with, is a wonderful writer’s blog and forum.
Also, special wonderfulness pointer. Katie at Sluiter Nation had Pursey Galore this weekend and she wrote an absolutely beautiful post about taking time to reflect on the beauty of your small town roots, especially if you have a trashy sequined handbag on your shoulder.