I’ve decided to conduct a “Household Life Skills 101” workshop this summer for my two oldest children – it will be FREE but attendance is required. High on the list of skills that we will examine will be LAUNDRY (1. explaining, step by step, my sorting methods and 2. using anecdotes of the horrific sorting mishaps that have occurred in my past to illustrate how crucial it is to adhere to a strict set of “sorting practices;” 3. offering advice on how to remain composed when unsightly laundry scenes come your way; 4. the wonders of well aimed spot removal and proper “set time” so a stain can be properly “worked” and then adequately dissolved during a wash cycle.
Next on the agenda: MAKING THE BEDS. During this section of the course, I will present my theory that a person’s day is apt to run much more smoothly if the bed is properly made, right from the get-go. Nothing sets the tone for your work day or school day quite like a bedroom quickly made ship-shape and a bed made crisp and taut. By employing a few of my tried-and-true bed making techniques, I am confident that my students will feel empowered and strong, able to depart from their lairs with the confidence and fortitude necessary to meet, head on, whatever challenges the day presents.
DOING DISHES and LOADING THE DISHWASHER. In this house, the only correct way to wash or rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher is MY way, thereby creating a bit of a challenge in arranging practice schedules for the students to refine their techniques. While the professor is still working out details for hands-on training during this part of the workshop, the best approach may be for the students to restrict themselves to clearing the dirty dishes from the dining room table and then standing beside the professor, with rapt attention, as she applies great skill and speed (without chipping the plate ware or glasses) in the proper placement of all dishes on the bi-level dishwasher racks. The students will note that the professor thoroughly rinses all the plates, glasses, cups and silverware before placing them into the dishwasher cavity. The students will also observe that the rinsing part of the process will go much more quickly if they properly scrape the food from the plates into a nearby trash receptacle beforehand. Guest plumbing lecturer, Uncle Roger Lates, (highly rated within the lecturing circuit) may be invited to speak via teleconference at this year’s workshop. He will discuss with the students the perils of overloading a garbage disposal. His famous quote from last year’s lecture series: “The garbage disposal is not a pig; you don’t feed it!” He will give gory details and recall famous plumber anecdotes about what happens if you do not respect the disposal.)
CLEANING BATHROOMS and TOILETS. The final segment of our week-long workshop will delve into the history of bathroom cleaning, from outhouses to present-day bathrooms – many of which feature massive square footage of stone tiles (and the grout that lies between) as well as the more modern, water efficient commode – presenting new challenges for today’s home cleaner. We will explore, in depth, the best tools for the monumental tasks of cleaning tile grout and toilet rims — brushes (large and small – such as old toothbrushes), rubber gloves (including thoughtful essays about the pros and cons of latex versus non latex brands) and cleansers (with a discussion of how many of the “green” products now available in stores are not really “green” if you read and understand the labels correctly and how many of the natural cleaning substances already sitting in wait in one’s kitchen cabinet can actually be utilized to great effect in cleansing a bathroom from top to bottom.)
This FREE Household Life Skills 101 Workshop is my gift to the future roommates, girlfriends, boyfriends, significant others, wives, husbands and partners of my elder children.
My proposal of said summer workshop this morning was met with great consternation. The elder offspring may be puzzled and feeling bitter now, but I know that someday they (and perhaps their offspring) will thank me!