A Certain Day
Gwen has just finished her dinner. "Come to the sink and let's wash your hands," I say. "Please bring your plate." She picks up her plate and carries it towards the kitchen. A piece of food falls off and she starts to bend over to pick it up, threatening to tip the remainder of the food off her plate. I intervene and show her how to hold her plate flat while she retrieves the fallen food. She carries her plate through the kitchen to the laundry room and helps me scrape the food off the plate into the compost bin. Then we open the dishwasher and place her plate and fork inside. Then we wash her hands and face, and she takes off her bib and puts it away.
A Certain Other Day
Gwen has just finished her breakfast. I'm busy making my lunch, so Chris prompts her to come to the kitchen and wash her hands. Soon, they leave for daycare/work. A few minutes later, I find her plate - with food still on it - sitting in the sink, along with her cup and spoon.
I have achieved a good measure of success at teaching Gwen how to tidy up after meals. Perhaps someday she can teach her dad.
It's the same thing at my house; we're both good about reminding the boys to rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher. But who's plate is left sitting on the table? I don't even need to tell you.
I HEAR YOU.
I love tidy-up time with Steve. He just sits there, doesn't put a single toy in the toybox (toys HE'S PLAYED WITH) and does a lot of demanding and bribing and dolling out punishments, and in the end I usually end up tidying up after they are in bed, or intervening. Dude, sing the damn song and HELP THEM. Why the hell would they clean up, he's not?!
That said, my kids are trained with the dish situation. Both of them ask to be excused, and then scrape and put their plates in the dishwasher (well, now the sink since said dishwasher is broken). Thanks be to Preschool for that one. Steve is maybe at a 70% success rate with getting the dish in the sink.
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