A typical day in my house

Some people think that we writers have exotic lives. I know one person personally who once imagined that we sat on beaches somewhere, laptops on thighs and tropical drinks at our sides, to write. Not so. Decidedly not so. In fact, allow me to prove just how unlike my life that is.

As I’ve mentioned before, in addition to working at home, I also homeschool my kids. This means they’re home with me 24/7 – well, we do go out, but they don’t go off to school.

As part of their education, I make sure to teach them life skills – things like vacuuming, dusting, laundry…and loading the dishwasher. All easy tasks, right? Right.

As I taught them how to load the dishwasher, I knew to show them the physical how of how to load the dishes in so that all would get clean and none would block the rotating arms. I knew to explain very carefully why we had to use the detergent specially designed for the dishwasher, as opposed to the stuff we use in the sink for handwashing dishes.

They’ve gotten very good at it, so in recent weeks, I’ve taken to letting them do it without my immediate supervision. I go out when they’ve loaded it to double check that everything is loaded properly and then they start it up. Today was no different.

Until the dishwasher had been running for a few minutes, and my oldest walked into the kitchen, followed very quickly by a very panicked, “Mom!” screeched from the room. I immediately dropped everything and ran, thinking I’m about to find the child injured or bleeding (though I couldn’t figure out how injury could have occurred so quickly!). Instead I enter the kitchen to find…lavender scented soap suds everywhere.

Now, you must first understand that this dishwasher, though only a couple of years old, has leaked occasionally in the past. Generally very small, sudless leaks, but a leak is somewhat unsurprising these days. But it was the magnitude of this leak that shocked me. There were suds going straight out for about three feet in front of the dishwasher, and off to both sides. Water flowed like a pretty, little, unwelcome river across the blond wood floor.

I immediately turned off the dishwasher and initiated the drain cycle. Then I grabbed old towels and started sopping up the mess. My kids both insisted they’d done nothing different, and when I looked, the detergent tab was in the dispenser, as yet untouched.

I was, needless to say, perplexed by this. If the tab hadn’t yet started to dissolve, where on earth had all these suds come from? I looked all around, thinking hard, trying to solve this seemingly simple mystery. Then it came to me. The tabs don’t smell like lavender.

So I ask my youngest child, the one who did the loading, what had been put in the dishwasher. Child looks at me, and with wide, innocent eyes, insists everything was done exactly as always.

I know now that something is up. Finally, the confession comes: While loading the dishwasher, the child had used the regular, Dawn dish detergent on some of the dishes. It seems those dishes did not get rinsed before being placed in the machine.

Many, many long minutes later, we’d managed to remove the suds from the dishwasher, rinsed off the dishes which had had the Dawn on them, cleaned up the floor and restarted the dishwasher. It is now happily churning away – without putting suds on the kitchen floor.

And now, as I go back to work on the finishing touches of Ripped Away, you know that my life (and the lives of all the other authors you read) is no more glamorous than yours. In fact, right now, I think I might be willing to trade lives with you. You don’t mind cleaning up soap suds, right?

(In moving this post from my old blog, the comments didn’t tranfer. They are listed below)

Some people think that we writers have exotic lives. I know one person personally who once imagined that we sat on beaches somewhere, laptops on thighs and tropical drinks at our sides, to write. Not so. Decidedly not so. In fact, allow me to prove just how unlike my life that is.
As I’ve mentioned before, in addition to working at home, I also homeschool my kids. This means they’re home with me 24/7 – well, we do go out, but they don’t go off to school.

As part of their education, I make sure to teach them life skills – things like vacuuming, dusting, laundry…and loading the dishwasher. All easy tasks, right? Right.

As I taught them how to load the dishwasher, I knew to show them the physical how of how to load the dishes in so that all would get clean and none would block the rotating arms. I knew to explain very carefully why we had to use the detergent specially designed for the dishwasher, as opposed to the stuff we use in the sink for handwashing dishes.

They’ve gotten very good at it, so in recent weeks, I’ve taken to letting them do it without my immediate supervision. I go out when they’ve loaded it to double check that everything is loaded properly and then they start it up. Today was no different.

Until the dishwasher had been running for a few minutes, and my oldest walked into the kitchen, followed very quickly by a very panicked, “Mom!” screeched from the room. I immediately dropped everything and ran, thinking I’m about to find the child injured or bleeding (though I couldn’t figure out how injury could have occurred so quickly!). Instead I enter the kitchen to find…lavender scented soap suds everywhere.

Now, you must first understand that this dishwasher, though only a couple of years old, has leaked occasionally in the past. Generally very small, sudless leaks, but a leak is somewhat unsurprising these days. But it was the magnitude of this leak that shocked me. There were suds going straight out for about three feet in front of the dishwasher, and off to both sides. Water flowed like a pretty, little, unwelcome river across the blond wood floor.

I immediately turned off the dishwasher and initiated the drain cycle. Then I grabbed old towels and started sopping up the mess. My kids both insisted they’d done nothing different, and when I looked, the detergent tab was in the dispenser, as yet untouched.

I was, needless to say, perplexed by this. If the tab hadn’t yet started to dissolve, where on earth had all these suds come from? I looked all around, thinking hard, trying to solve this seemingly simple mystery. Then it came to me. The tabs don’t smell like lavender.

So I ask my youngest child, the one who did the loading, what had been put in the dishwasher. Child looks at me, and with wide, innocent eyes, insists everything was done exactly as always.

I know now that something is up. Finally, the confession comes: While loading the dishwasher, the child had used the regular, Dawn dish detergent on some of the dishes. It seems those dishes did not get rinsed before being placed in the machine.

Many, many long minutes later, we’d managed to remove the suds from the dishwasher, rinsed off the dishes which had had the Dawn on them, cleaned up the floor and restarted the dishwasher. It is now happily churning away – without putting suds on the kitchen floor.

And now, as I go back to work on the finishing touches of Ripped Away, you know that my life (and the lives of all the other authors you read) is no more glamorous than yours. In fact, right now, I think I might be willing to trade lives with you. You don’t mind cleaning up soap suds, right?

Comments

MOM
02/12/2013 6:12pm

Finish mmmmmmmmmmmmm isn’t that what we normally use. Lav. mmmm dawn Big smile boys are still learning. Panic isn’t in my one my things lately leads to heart attacks. Good to have the mother around to take panic away šŸ™‚

Reply
Wendy
02/12/2013 8:04pm

I don’t panic much. They’re good kids. They just tend to…not think at times. lol