Our dishwasher is broken. It has been broken for about two weeks now, after a couple of warnings that something might be going on. It started small. We found some small, white plastic pieces on the floor. The first thing we wondered was what Holly ate. We told the girls to keep small plastic things away from Holly so she didn't choke.
A couple of weeks later the dishwasher handle broke. We figured out that Holly didn't have anything to do with it. She received a treat as an apology.
Once the handle broke we knew we had to call in a repair person. I looked at my calendar and decided I'd call to schedule the appointment in ten days. I wasn't looking to have someone come in ten days. I was planning to call the repair shop to schedule the appointment in ten days.
There were two reasons for the delay. First, the repair shop needed a four hour window to schedule the visit. My work schedule was already crowded. I didn't have a four hour window to spare. I certainly couldn't have a repair person show up in the middle of a call. Second, it's the dishwasher. It's a convenience. People have been hand washing dishes for centuries. We could wait until it was convenient to get it fixed.
At first the girls thought it was fun to wash the dishes. The more I stood at the sink explaining why they had to use soap, scrub the plates and rinse properly, the less interested they were in washing dishes. Last weekend they started fighting about who had to wash dishes. They complained like we were asking them to dig dirt with their bare hands. They whined about how much work it was to wash dishes. They argued about who had to dry the dishes. They said it was terrible that we made them do so much work.
I explained that washing dishes was a life skill they needed to master. Even if they somehow always manage to have a dishwasher, they will still need to hand wash some dishes. The girls rolled their eyes as if I was explaining something so boring they couldn't concentrate.
The dishwasher repairman took the broken part and said he'd call soon with news. We expect his call soon, but I'm not in any hurry. The more the girls complain the more I want to stall the repair. If they think they complain their way out of doing dishes, they are sadly mistaken. Maybe we'll just let the repair drag on long enough that they just accept the new chore. It might help them appreciate the dishwasher when it does finally work.