Did you clean the sink?

When I was growing up, I hated washing dishes.

I especially hated it when there were pans to scrub and pots to soak.

But washing dishes after dinner was one of my assigned chores.

I wish I could say I happily washed away thinking my hands were getting softer like Madge’s clients in the old Palmolive soap commercials.


Instead, I grumbled, gagged, and hurried my way through the chore just to please my mom.

The problem was, I never pleased her.

“Mom, I finished the dishes!” I always proudly proclaimed.

Her immediate response was always the same.

“Did you clean the sink?”

Couldn’t she just ever acknowledge I did the dishes?

Did she always have to indicate I didn’t do it right?

I always groaned and went back to scour the sink with Comet.

I don’t know why I didn’t make the Comet cleaning part of the job because I knew she’d ask!

But that’s not what teenagers do.  They try to get away with doing the least amount of work.

At least I did.

A few years later, a Latter-day Saint church commercial came on TV that showed a proud daughter telling her mom she did the dishes.

The mom replied, “Did you clean the sink?”

I glared at my mom.

She glared back at me.

Then she said, “I hate this commercial!”

At the end of the ad, the announcer said, “When you ignore accomplishments, you rob your children and yourself of some very satisfying moments.”

Then my mom said, “They sure know how to make you feel like a horse’s ass.”  (Sorry about the language but that’s my mother for you!)

Now that my daughters are home for the summer, I’m trying not to be that mother from that old commercial — the one that ignores accomplishments.

So, when they happily do the dishes (insert sarcasm here), I go into the kitchen and rinse out the sink.

(No more Comet cleanser though, thank goodness.)

Then, I wipe off the table and get the kitchen back to my standard of clean.

I appreciate their efforts.

I really do.

I appreciate it when they help with the grocery shopping, the cooking, and the cleaning up.

Having grown-up daughters is great that way!

But I still have to resist the urge to say, “Did you clean the sink?”

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