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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Multitasking Mom


My multitasking has reached a new high. Or low (depending on how you look at it).

Two nights ago I washed dishes while I was in the bathtub.
 
 
Now, before you get all squeamish and break out the hand sanitizer in a knee-jerk reaction to this image, hear me out.

Our plumbing at home is vintage. The house was built in 1956 and I love many things about it, but even the happiest homeowner would be hard-pressed to love vintage plumbing. We have plumbing drama now and then because over time tree roots grew into the pipes. But this is the first time in our twelve years here that I’ve found myself washing dishes while in the bath.

For a few days I’d noticed that the kitchen sink was draining more slowly than usual. But Hubby was out of town and I had bigger fish to fry, so I filed this fact into the Deal With Later section of my brain. Well, “later” became now when the sink starting backing up. Would. Not. Drain. (Even overnight.)

Naturally, these moments happen after dinner, when there is an abundance of dirty dishes and a lack of energy. What to do? I piled the dishes into a plastic tub and hauled them into the bathroom. I considered kneeling on the floor, reaching into the tub to wash them. But this seemed even more tedious than regular dishwashing (which I find tedious under the best of circumstances). A moment later a bright idea lit up my brain: I’d wash dishes while taking a bath. The dish scrubber would do wonders on the baked-on mess on my body. Just kidding. I wasn’t filthy. There was no baked-on grime. But seriously, this plan was genius, I modestly told myself. I put the big plastic bin into the tub, filled it with hot water, dish soap and the dirty dishes. Then I filled the bathtub with water and sat down in the remaining half of the tub. Washing dishes this way was actually a lot more enjoyable than regular dish washing because my body was relaxed by the hot water around me. Plus, I immediately saw the potential for a funny blog post based on this unexpected situation so it was a wash-wash-win-win. After I washed each dish I put it into the dishrack, which I’d brought into the bathroom and placed onto the lid of the plastic bin (to catch extra water). After I was finished washing dishes and washing myself, I hopped out, dried off and brought the dishes back to the kitchen.

This whole episode led me to wonder why there aren’t more ways to combine chores. We parents are so busy, and finding a way to do two things at once is always appealing. Sure, washing dishes while soaking your body may seem a little odd at first, but many good combinations have been discovered by accident. Think about the potential. Just off the top of my head: we could combine libraries and tattoo parlors. I’ve heard that big, detailed tattoos take a long time to create, and what better way to distract yourself from the pain than to read a long book for several hours while the tattoo artist pokes away? Another idea involves the obvious combination of the DMV and waxing salons. If you have to wait all day at the DMV, you might as well get your legs waxed while you wait. Plus, a little physical pain from the waxing is the perfect distraction from the mental torture of waiting for the DMV people to get around to you (finally). See? Multitasking at its finest!

I suppose washing dishes in a tub that’s inside a bathtub may not be for everyone. For a second I questioned whether I should write this piece. Would people think it tacky, germy or low-rent? A moment later I shrugged and said, “Hey, who cares? If people want to think it’s low-rent, they can. But I think most people will find it funny. Let’s laugh about these crazy real-life episodes.” My favorite writers are ones who are unapologetically honest about their real-life moments. Hey, we’re all human.

The story ends with Super Hubby fixing the naughty sink. Amusing as my bath-n-dishes episode was, I don’t anticipate its becoming a regular feature. But in a pinch, you do what you have to do. And maybe it’ll catch on. If this idea explodes and becomes The Hot New Thing, remember this: you saw it here first!

12 comments:

  1. I'm still laughing!!! This is the BEST laugh I've had in a long time! It produced a hearty laugh in, me, not just a chuckle. Very inventive thinking, my dear niece! Something I'll keep in mind the next time MY plumbing goes down. You have a GREAT mind, there. Love, Aunt Eileen

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    1. OH, yay! That means so much. I was hoping this would resonate with people. Isn't a really big laugh the best?!

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  2. Laughing so hard! Thank you!

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    1. Oh, good! That's what it's all about...

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  3. Well, I can certainly relate to the sink backing up. Having a house similar in age, we actually have a back up at least once annually. And I have had to wash the dishes in the sink. But to get in the tub at the same time, I am still trying to picture this... Definitely food for thought...

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    1. Yep, these older houses have many charms but plumbing isn't one of them!

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  4. I applaud your ingenuity! I used to do a quick bit of laundry in the shower in college/while sailing around Mexico. When else do you have time to scrub your bras when using a shared bathroom?!? It's not like you can hog a sink for the "delicates" to soak!

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    1. Exactly! One comes up with creative solutions when one needs to. Glad you connected with this, MM!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I absolutely love this! Your ingenuity and lack of procrastination (lots of people would just leave the dirty dishes in the sink!) come together to make yet another enjoyable post 😄 I love wash-wash-win-win!

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    1. Thanks! So glad you found it funny...

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  6. Ha! You're awesome! My house is also from 1956 and lacks a dishwasher and adequate plumbing. The other day, I threw two kids in the tub after they got involved with some type of fabric paint. After the kids were cleaned off, pieces of paint floated like a giant school of minnows. I couldn't let that go down the drain and clog the tub, so I grabbed all my sieves and let the kids go "fishing ". Now my sieves are embedded with the paint. Should I take them to the kitchen sink and risk another backup? Or how about the hosing them down out back? Thanks so much for your story. It really got me thinking about multitasking. I'm going to try doing dishes in the bath someday soon!

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  7. This story is very similar to an experience I had where I had to do some plumbing myself because my hubby was not around and I definitely had to multitask. A vintage home is fun and has always been a huge dream of mine. We bought the house about 3 months ago but with it, a lot of responsibilities and lessons.

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