Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Smart People

Yesterday one of my daughters called me from the kitchen to say the dishwasher was leaking. I would consider this dishwasher new because we recently replaced the one that we purchased when building our house. When you are building a house, you try to cut every possible corner, and we didn't pick the highest grade of appliances. So I'm muttering a few choice things. I go to the kitchen and what I see is soap suds spewing out the sides of the dishwasher.

"Ok, who started the dishwasher?" It was another daughter who called from another room that she had.

"What soap did you put in it?"

"That liquid soap under the sink." (I'm thinking I didn't have any liquid dishwasher soap). I was right. I pulled out the bulk container of "dish" soap and asked her if that is what she used. By this time she had appeared in the kitchen (and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that someone besides me even started the dishwasher).

"Yes. That's what I've used before."

"No, it isn't. What you used before was liquid yes, but it was in a green bottle and it says 'Cascade' on the front."

In case you don't know, regular dish soap is made to produce a lot of suds. Dishwasher soap is absent that ingredient for the obvious reason. I wouldn't have known this except I remember the wife of one of Ed's law school buddies told us a similar story about her husband putting regular dish soap in the dishwasher and the mess it made. I really didn't grow up with a dishwasher, so might not have known that myself if I hadn't heard this story.

So, what is similar about these stories? Well, think about it. The man who did this to his wife was a law school graduate...he's smart. The daughter who did this to me graduated 13th in her class. She is going into the honors program at DePaul to study biology and chemistry, with possibly a minor in Spanish and/or Theater. She wants to maybe go to medical school. She just got a 4 in Calculus and a number of 3's in other areas on her AP exams and already has a good amount of college credit....she's smart.

There is another issue here. What does this say about me as a mother and how many times I've actually demanded that my daughter(s) do the dishes?

I'm now in the process of teaching her to do laundry, starting with the towels we used to sop up all the soapy hot water inside the dishwasher and all over the floor.

"But mom, this is clean water. Can't we just put the towels right in the dryer?"


  1. i love my sister...but man.

    and btw - i do the dishes a lot - "(and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that someone besides me even started the dishwasher)."


  2. Hey now- hush up Erin. You make mistakes too, you know. Next year, you guys won't have anything to laugh about when I screw up every "house task" I am given.

  3. Oh yes, just wait...I have lots of material from all my daughters for Mary actually gave me permission to write about some other How brave are you?

  4. Oh husband has done the exact same thing. I came home to find suds extending the length of the kitchen. I called his cell and asked him what he did and he just laughed. Somehow he KNEW it wouldn't work, but did it anyway.

  5. I'm pretty brave, Momma. I like laughing at my mess-ups! :)

  6. I'll trade graduating 38th in my class (or something like that) for the street smarts I've acquired--you know, things like doing dishes and laundry!