Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Leading By Example WORKS!

Unless you're dealing with half-wits or children.

In which case you must resort to pleading and tears.

Or threats of  violence.

Take this summer, as a case in point.

Last summer, too, come to think of it...

We begin the summer with Summer Lecture #1: the "I don't care what you eat, as long as you clean up after yourself" lecture.

What the children/ half-wits hear?... "I don't care what you eat."

So, mid-way through the season, I, becoming increasingly frustrated with the never ending trail of debris, cutlery and crockery that litters my kitchen table, counter, sink and floor, decide to really "lead by example".

Uncomplainingly I continue in the futile attempt at tidiness, while making a pointed effort to wash every spoon, fork, knife, cup, plate and bowl that I use. I would dry them and put them away as well, (part of the instruction in the unheeded section of Summer Lecture #1) but I leave them as a blatant reminder that lo- these dishes were used- they were dirty, now behold! They are clean!

Why am I always surprised when it doesn't work?

Yesterday I expressed my irritation to the Lord and Master, and he gave Summer Lecture #1 another try, with, to my utter amazement, better results.

Today people were actually stacking cups on the counter instead of leaving them spread all over the table. There was a bowl and some silver wear in the sink!

We need to work on crumbs and the actual washing of  used utensils, but it's a start.

It's a start.

1 comment:

  1. Aren't you just waiting for an invite to all of your kids places? Obviously they will not be expecting you to help clean up in their kitchens since they never were self motivated to clean in yours!!!


    Somehow I think that if I walked in to my kids kitchens and started to help myself to whatever I would quickly lose my invite but, my house is still their house and by extension so is everything in it. Somewhere along the line this huge disconnect seems to have developed between eating and dishes and putting away - or putting away something used.