We have a dishwasher. We use it quite frequently. As a matter of fact, we run it practically every day; sometimes twice a day. My children seem to be unaware of this fact until I point it out to them. Every day. If I don't specifically say "Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher" they will put them on the counter above the dishwasher. Six inches away from where they should put them. And when there isn't room on that little sliver of counter(that area is also occupied by the dish drying rack, for when dishes get washed by hand), they'll make little piles all around the kitchen on the other counters. It doesn't help that Hubby does the same thing. It's apparently too much to ask for anyone but me to actually look in the dishwasher to see if it holds clean or dirty dishes and whether there is room for more.
As a result of their lack of using-their-fricken-eyes, dishes inevitably fall off the stacks, or get dropped(sometimes even on purpose) and broken. It happened yesterday. The dishwasher had room. The piles were everywhere. Angel and Princess know that it is their job to "take care of the dishes", so it wasn't that I was being lazy; they were. So I told them to get to work and fill the dishwasher and start it. Of course, they are unable to work together without fighting. Combine that inability with wet, slippery dishes; and it's inevitable. A tempered-glass pan lid was "dropped". Yes, we do have tile floor in the kitchen, so things that are dropped can get broken. But these pan lids have been dropped umpteen times and have never broken before. Which makes me a little skeptical of the accidental-dropping story. But I digress. Tempered glass, when it breaks, shatters into tiny, sharp pieces and flies everywhere. My lovely children were condemned to spend the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen until it was "clean". Of course, their standard of "clean" isn't exactly the same as mine, but that's a rant for another day.
I came to the conclusion that my incredibly privileged children are unaware of what a great blessing a dishwasher is. I grew up without one; I was the dish washer. My sister Rebekah still doesn't have one; a fact I was reminded of when she called me while the kids were cleaning up. So I decided that my children need to be deprived of the dishwasher for a while so that they'll appreciate it. For the next month, our dishwasher will stay empty and locked, and the girls will wash every dish by hand. Yes, I mean it. I got a little notepaper and wrote on it "April 17" and hung it on the front of the fridge. Until that day, they are not allowed to use the dishwasher. If they haven't learned the lesson by then, I'll add another month.
Yes, I am a mean mommy.