Dishwasher memories

wpid-rocky-and-bullwinkle.jpgOur new house is considerably smaller than our old house, especially the kitchen.  There’s no dishwasher and a lot less counter space, so I had to do dishes yesterday morning by hand; the lack of dish-stacking space required I do them in two batches.  The boys were watching The Little Mermaid in the living room and “Under the Sea” drifted into the kitchen, calling to mind the ants from Garfield and Friends (I know, my mind makes weird connections sometimes).  While I was drying the first half of the dishes and humming along, I got to thinking.

It’s a dangerous pastime.  I know. 😀

wpid-underdog-taking-off-color-crop.jpg.jpegMy sister and I used to get up early on Saturday mornings – we had to if we wanted to see Underdog and Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Eventually our parents would get up and, while we were occupied with Garfield and Friends and The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, Daddy would do the dishes.

He always washed them by hand – we never had a dishwasher growing up, but even if we had, I’m not sure he would have used it.  Years of scrubbing dishes in scalding water had left his hands immune to the heat, which always made Saturday night bath time a hot affair.

Daddy always did dishes in two batches: plates, bowls, and cups first, and silverware and utensils next.  He’d get a sinkful of fresh water and let the silverware soak while he had a smoke, and sometimes, if we’d been good, he’d come in the living room and watch Bugs Bunny with us for a bit.  He loved Looney Tunes, especially Sylvester the cat, Yosemite Sam, and Pepe LePeu, and we loved watching those old cartoons with him.

wpid-pepe-lepeu.jpg.jpegThe appearance of any one of these characters onscreen would send us racing into the kitchen, hoping that if we chanted the character’s name loudly enough, he’d leave the dishes and watch cartoons with us.  We’d squeal with delight as he impersonated Porky Pig‘s goofy stammer and Sylvester’s slobbery lisp.

Saturday mornings now are different, and not just because I’m the parent instead of the kid.  Those old cartoons aren’t on anymore and the ones that are on aren’t the same.  Luckily for me, I can share the shows I loved as a kid with my own children, thanks to the wonders of the interwebs and those lovely DVD box sets, but the kids don’t always share my taste in cartoons.

At least they share my taste in Disney movies. 🙂

I wonder now what went through Daddy’s mind, how he felt, when we begged him to watch with us the shows he’d enjoyed as a younger man.  Joy?  Amusement?  Sadness, perhaps, over his poor relationship with his own father and his other children and hope that his relationship with us someday would be different?

wpid-garf.jpgWhen I sit down to watch the movies of my youth with my own children, I can’t help feeling a mix of emotions.  I love just relaxing on the couch with them all snuggled up on my lap.  I love how they’re so easily enthralled by Mulan and Aladdin.  I love watching Bubbles and Tadpole gain a new understanding of things they overlooked when they were younger (like that “horse with two rear ends” joke in Aladdin that I thought was hilarious as a kid but totally didn’t understand).

But these happy feelings are tempered by the knowledge that I can’t share them with my parents, that I can’t benefit from all the things they learned while raising me.  Such lessons would be enormously valuable – Thumper is stubbornness personified and rumor has it I was little better.

And then I wonder – what will my kids remember about Saturdays when they’re parents someday?  Will they remember temper tantrums and naptime battles that have lately become routine?  Or will they remember the fun, the togetherness, that warm feeling you get when you’re surrounded by people who love you unconditionally?  Because if nothing else, that is the one thing I would wish for them to remember: how much they are loved.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.


19 thoughts on “Dishwasher memories

  1. Sophie E Tallis says:

    Ah..I grew up with Looney Tunes too! Loved it. In our house, my mum did the washing up, the boiling water with too many soap suds always made her hands warm and soft. On Sundays after bath time, she’d take fresh sheets off the radiator and wrap us in them like Egyptian mummies, they were as warm as her hands…just lovely what memories can do, little windows into the past…ahhh, thanks for sharing honey. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      You know, I don’t remember whether my mom did dishes regularly or not. I know she did when we would go to visit family because all the women helped with the dishes then, but I don’t remember her doing them at home. I remember my dad sliding his desk chair over to the dining room table to fold laundry and yelling at us when we dug through the baskets like puppies.

      It really is lovely what memories can do, isn’t it? Your bath time memories sound just lovely – I can almost feel those nice warm sheets myself! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

          • Kay Kauffman says:

            I still can’t believe she’s gone. I haven’t sat down to read Wicked Game yet – I’m in the middle of Chasing Azrael at the moment.

            Also, huge congrats! I saw the news on Facebook this morning. So exciting! 🙂


          • Sophie E Tallis says:

            Ah, thank you sweetie. I’m over the moon!!! To be honest, I had such a terrible time with my ex-publishers and was so badly battered and burnt by them, that I never thought I’d be able to move on or ever write again! To have a publisher who is actually FRIENDLY and approachable, knows their stuff and doesn’t bully you but works with you, boy, I can’t tell you what a difference it makes. It’s like comparing wine and vinegar! 😀 Thank you honey, I’ll be floating for a while! 😀 xxx

            Liked by 1 person

          • Kay Kauffman says:

            I’m so sorry that you had a rough time with them. But now you have a shiny new publisher and I’d be tickled pink, too! Enjoy your time in the clouds – you’ve earned it! 😀


          • Sophie E Tallis says:

            Thank you sweetie, onward and upward, eh? Lol, but seriously, thank you honey it’s been a very bumpy, rough road to get here but I’m absolutely thrilled to be with Grimbold Books. Thanks Kay! 😀 xxx

            Liked by 1 person

  2. M T McGuire says:

    With McMini, sometimes I have to do what I call ‘boot camp’ when he’s just got too cheeky and needs a bit of discipline. It always feels hard at the time but boundaries are good and sometimes you have to stick your toes in and say no. I assure you you’ll remember you with love and even the rows with fondness.




    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Honestly, it’s a good thing Thumper wasn’t my first-born, or I’d have probably stopped there. He is so stubborn and ornery – I’m not sure there’s a limit he hasn’t pushed. But I, too, believe that kids do better with boundaries…Now if only Thumper agreed! 🙂

      This boot camp thing sounds intriguing. Tell me more!


      • M T McGuire says:

        It just means it’s crack down time. Zero tolerance to all naughtiness. It makes for a week of shouting and rows but it usually leaves us with a much better behaved boy afterwards… or at least, a slightly more obedient. Er hem…. slightly.


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