I can’t believe it, but it’s been almost a year since I went to take a rare nap one afternoon and woke up to a mini disaster.
I’ve always had a hard time sleeping, even as a child. As a mother to three children, all who have some challenges, it’s almost impossible. My girlfriends kept telling me that once all three kids were in school full time, I should get some sleep. It seems easy and logical, but how?
Experience has taught me when I let my guard down for a minute, that is the time the nurse calls me to pick up a sick child, or one of our parents is having a medical emergency or I oversleep and miss the bus dropping off one of the kids.
But a year ago, a miracle occurred and I managed to fall asleep–for almost an hour.
As I went to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee before the kids got home, I heard what I thought was water running. As I entered the kitchen, I was greeted by a flood of almost biblical proportions coming from my eight year-old dishwasher.
The water wouldn’t stop. Just when I thought I had it cleaned up, the dishwasher would start up again. Water was seeping into the basement. I was running up and down the stairs. It was a mess.
Frantically I called my dad and asked him to bring towels because I had used my large supply. Finally it occurred to me to turn off the water. My dad, who is so proficient at fixing nearly everything that my husband calls him “Yoda” declared the dishwasher officially dead. Joe and I bought a new one the next day.
My brand new and not inexpensive dishwasher started acting up the night it was installed. It worked perfectly when the men set it up, but about three hours it’s true demonic personality took over. It would beep and hum and light up like a Christmas tree. This would occur at all hours of the day and night. There was no pattern to when it would work or just beep and blink.
The repairman came once, twice, three times. The dishwasher worked perfectly each time he left. Then once his truck pulled out of our driveway, all hell would break loose.
After the fourth time and a new part it finally settled down. It sometimes still acts up but I now know how to calm the savage beast.
As I was thinking about my soon to be one-year anniversary with my possessed appliance, I realized that as well as being a great name for my blog, this silly dishwasher has taught me some very important lessons.
First lesson: Do not overload the machine.
This seems pretty obvious, but somehow it’s a lesson I never seem to learn with both myself and my dishwasher. It’s just so easy too overload myself, without thinking. The problem is, just like the dishwasher, when I stuff too much in at one time, there is always something that gets neglected. Most of the time it’s me.
This can be verified by any doctor or dentist that I make an appointment with and then cancel because something has come up.
Second lesson: The dishwasher needed to be on level ground so that it could work properly.
This was not discovered till our second repair appointment. Apparently our kitchen floor is not level. This meant the dishwasher was not balanced properly.
I too need to be on level ground to be there for my family.This is easier said than done. Balance has never been my forte in life.
This was confirmed one Saturday a few years ago. It was an extremely crazy time in our lives. Our daughter, Lizzy, who has a undiagnosed brain disorder, was having symptoms that was setting off all kinds of scary bells to some of the top specialists in Manhattan. I was getting calls at odd hours of the day and night scaring the life out of me. Some life threatening conditions were being thrown around. We were terrified.
I was also dealing with every other kind of crisis one could deal with at the same time. Parents being sick, the other children’s issues rearing their head and the middle of the holiday season.
My husband was out getting my mini-van repaired because I sheered off my passenger side mirror when I hit a repair truck while I was running from picking up Peter at pre-school, only to find out that Lizzy had to be picked up at her school because she was throwing up. Thankfully my mirror was the only thing damaged that day. Joe called to let me know what was going on with the van.
I’m pretty calm and pride myself on not really loosing it too often with my kids. I accomplish some of this by having spent the equivalent of a small house on therapy. The time I spend talking to someone who is paid to listen really helps keep me balanced. Of course with everything going on I barely had a chance to breathe not to mention keeping something like a therapy appointment.
That Saturday I was snapping at the kids in a way I just hadn’t before. I overheard Tom pick up the phone and say to his father:”Quick dad get home. Mom has flipped.”
This leads nicely to my third lesson from the dishwasher: If something is wrong, make noise.
Unfortunately my family does not have the power to read my mind, as much as I would like them to. If I need help I need to tell someone. Letting my husband know wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Unless there’s a flood in my kitchen or some other crisis, I really hate asking for help. Being a bit of a control freak I find it easier to do the job myself rather than explain how to do it.
I’m working on this. I have been pleasantly surprised to find out that I’m not the only human in the world who can make dinner or brush Lizzy’s hair.
I love being a mother. It truly is something I adore doing and I feel as if I’m really good at it. I adore my children and my husband. But, I’m a human as much as I would like to believe I’m not. I need to do a much better job of caring for myself.
Who would of have thought that one possessed dishwasher could teach me so much?
Coffee Lovin' Mom says
My son learned a valuable lesson from the dishwasher today..do not put regular dish soap in there even if it states on the label that it is dishwashing liquid…
I love your new setup – looks great!
Forgot to include that lesson!!!! Thanks! Hope it wasn’t to much of a mess for you!! Thanks so much for the visit!!
Karen Dawkins says
If something is wrong, make noise. We have such a hard time doing that… I felt that way when my son was just born. I wanted to treasure him, but I ended up screaming “Forget about the baby. Something’s wrong with me.” Within a short time, I was having emergency surgery so I didn’t bleed to death! MAKE NOISE!!! 🙂
Michael Ann says
Anyone who can find compare life lessons to a freaked out dishwasher, has my complete and utter respect. And you are so right!
Beck Gambill says
Who knew you could learn so much from a dishwasher! Good reminders for all of us thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much guys!! I wasn’t sure about this one!! Thanks for the support, it means so much to me!! Much love to you all!
I agree with Beck above .. who knew you could learn so much from a dishwasher. I love the way you have taken the troubles of this dishwasher and applied them to your life.
lol!! Great lessons! I’m going to have to start paying more attention to my dishwasher to see what lessons it has to teach me!! And super happy almost 1 year anniversary!!! Luv ya lots!!!
Pam at Two Loons says
I’m sorry to admit that I have had to learn many life lessons from various kitchen appliances. Dishwasher caught fire when my daughter put a plastic spoon in there that fell onto the heating element. Ice maker on fridge door got jammed and sent a torrent of freezing cold water out onto the floor. Blender sprayed strawberry smoothie all over white cabinets when husband didn’t put the top on securely. I have learned to bow in respect to my appliances.
Just Another Mom of Twins says
Your right…who would have thought that a dishwasher could teach someone…make that…all of “us” some things so important?!?!
Thanks for sharing, I need to implement some of these life lessons in my daily living!
Summer K. says
I’ve definitely learned a whole new meaning to “self time” since I had a baby. Sometime you just have to get away on your own or you will lose it. One night, about two weeks after I gave birth, I could NOT get the baby to stop crying. So he was crying, and then I was crying since I hadn’t really slept for those entire two weeks and I thought that I was losing my mind! Thankfully my dog (yes, the dog, haha!) went and got my husband and made him come into the nursery and my husband just said “go to bed, I’ve got this” haha!
Spilled Milkshake says
Great lessons your possessed dishwasher has taught you. We all need to make some noise when something is wrong! I’ll never understand why that is so hard for us women.
Another outstanding post, my dear sweet friend!
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
I love that your possessed dishwasher is teaching you lessons!!! I think the last lesson is so hard to learn. I really hate asking for help too! But I know I need to sometimes.:) Wonderful post!
Great learning.. Every single things around us tend to teach us many things everyday…right?
Thank you for yet another great post!
The Gypsy Mom says
Lessons from a Dishwasher………..ALL SO TRUE!!! Sounds so much like me and my life. I too, need to make some noise. I feel like I should be in complete control and take care of everything. I need to learn to ask for some help. Thank you for sharing this post.
Visiting from VoiceBoks
So True! The Dryer sure teaches us a lot of lessons too! Great post and love your blog. From Members To Remember!
Brae Craig says
LOL. I know it was a disaster at the time, but it’s funny now. And look at all the stuff you learned! I loved reading this. It was a great stre relief.
I’m following you now and i’m here from voiceboks.
Thank you all for such great comments!! It’s funny what crazy appliance can teach us!
I’ve been thinking of other lessons our appliance disasters can teach us. Pam at two loons, the blender disaster could teach me to sometimes put a lid on it, I don’t always have to say everything that comes to my mind! Also, the sheer act of remembering to put the lid on in the first place could be a metaphor for all of mothering!! I can get really carried away with this!!
As always I appreciate your kind and thoughtful comments my dear blogging friends!! Much love to you all!!
Shannon Milholland says
Love all these lessons learned in such an ordinary way!
Whew, that dishwasher is a therapist all in its own! These lessons are important ones for sure. I am curious about the therapy thing. After Evan was born last year, I tried a therapist. Didn’t like it. I just went to a new psychiatrist last week. Didn’t like it. Why in the world can’t I find someone I like? How did you do it?
Becky Jane says
Kathy…your perspective always brings laughter! It also brings deep thought! You are an awesome woman! I don’t have a dishwasher…maybe if I got one and it became possessed I’d be as smart as you!
So funny and great lessons! I’ll never forget when we were living in CA and my dishwasher wasn’t working very well. The dishes weren’t getting clean and it just seemed less efficient. So we called a repairman to take a look at it. After about 20 minutes of digging around inside, he looked at me and said, “I think you need to wash off your dishes better before you load the dishwasher.” Really? That’s you’re answer? What’s the point in having a dishwasher if I have to wash the dishes before I load them?! Ugh! Anyway, sorry for the mini rant… 🙂
Faith Confessions says
So I have not commented in a few posts and today I asked myself why? And I think it is because we are so alike. Not many people can find lessons in a broken dishwasher much less a fixed one yet I totally hear you. I find lessons in empty bottles or nightlights! I love that we have an unspoken friendship. So thank you my friend for starting this blog just about a year ago, thank you for your stories of family and friends. And most of all thank goodness for the broken dishwasher!
Mommy LaDy Club says
I love how you tied this together! You are definitely a talented writer. I think that last one is the toughest. I’m a control freak too. Next time your dishwasher acts up, you should record it, and post a video. It would be fun to meet it!;)
See, it’s my car that loves to teach me lessons. I hate it. I don’t like it when an alarm pops up on the dashboard when I’m driving.
An Irish Italian Blessing says
I definitely haven’t learned anything from my broken washing machine except that baby socks get stuck in the filter and it can’t drain. Am I missing some kind of life lesson there? Side note, we’re getting a new washing machine delivered tomorrow that catches baby socks in the filter, yay!
Love this post, I hate asking for help too and I’m slowly realizing other people are here to help me.
Oh and can I just say, I hate how when the reapir man is here, every thing works fine and the minute they leave, things go haywire, haa ha, just a way of life!
Not Your Ordinary Agent says
You’re my hero.
Love, love, love this post. I’ve been away from my blog from a while because of life and lack of motivation…but you’ve lit a fire under me with this post. Time to get back at it. The best lessons often come from the strangest places!
Sadie via vB
I love those lessons! SO TRUE! I just recently had a flood and OMG! I feel your pain. I also learned a lesson from your dishwasher that I need to put into practice. STAY BALANCED! School, teaching, booking events, car repairs I feel like I need to make some noise before it blows up. Then again this is why blog and visit blogs! You guys are my therapy.
Nan @ Playful Decor says
Oh, what a story! Who would have thought we could learn lessons from a dishwasher?!! And kudos to you for FINDING lessons within the chaos! I would have said a few choice words and grabbed the wine (whine!). And isn’t most of life about staying balanced…so true!
You have very wise dishwashers in your neck of the woods…..perhaps I live in the wrong area of Long Island. HAHA. My dishwasher doesn’t even let me know when it didn’t actually CLEAN the dishes during it’s cycle. I think it’s got issues, perhaps I can put it in touch with your dishwasher? Maybe a little video chat between them. Put it in its place?
Visiting from voiceBoks!
Rebecca Hawkes says
OK, I just love this post!
That’s all I have to say. 🙂
No way! Girlfriend, you’re my hero & I just luv you to pieces. God Bless your naps and your dishwasher.
How amazing that you are able to reap so many lessons from a possessed dishwasher!
I hope it wasn’t too hard to clean all that up. Life gets to you when you least expected it even with malfunctioning appliances 🙁
I love your post and take care.
I love this! Parts of it had me laughing out loud. And I love all of the lessons that you’ve learned from your dishwasher!! They sound like good things to know. Thanks for visiting my blog today!
Who knew that an appliance would be such a great teacher? I’ve loved reading your thoughts on your anniversary. This reminds me, our kitchen is totally uneven as well…and our fridge is making a weird purring noise. Am I next?
Gina from vB
Kim Bee says
Great lessons. That possessed dishwasher should get a teacher of the year award I think.
I love to read all your great comments!! I can never really thank you all for stopping by and spending some time with me and my crazed appliance!! It is fun and funny to think about how something as anoying as a broken dishwasher can teach me something!! Thanks again everyone for you great thoughts and kind words!! Much love to you all!!
I love that your dishwasher has taught you a lot!
Our first one was possessed! It was loud, wouldn’t always run the full way. We got a new one about a year ago to. I’m so glad we did because I found out that the old one was installed improperly. It was wired wrong and could have started a fire. YIKES!
I couldn’t agree more! Sometimes it seems like when it rains, it pours, doesn’t it? That’s usually the time to step back, take a breath…and go out for dinner!
Cookie's Mom says
I really enjoyed this post. I definitely have issues remembering not to overload myself. There’s always that little bit of extra space… right… there, next to the cutlery. It helps to remember that those times I stuffed too many things in there, nothing got clean and it ALL had to be done again. Great post!
Susie B. Homemaker says
Happy 1 yr. Blogoversary! And what a great look back at how it all began… love the life lessons tied to the dishwasher lessons. lol
kathy, this was a wonderful post!! i laughed and thought and totally had a complete visual of you and your crazy dishwasher. 🙂
i love how you take such lessons from a kitchen appliance and they totally make sense and bring insight to life!
i hope you’re doing well!!
have a wonderful sunday!
I can SOOOOO relate! I’m a DIYer but not good at asking for help or delegating. I need to work on that!
I absolutely love the design of your site! What would you have called your blog if your dishwasher was not possessed?