Love knows the routine

By Mir
July 15, 2010

We are more than halfway through the Summer of Pitching In, and have met with varying levels of success on that particular front. Someone—and I am not naming any names, but it is someone who lives here—has not been so much a fan of the whole “helping out” concept. That particular someone has participated very grudgingly, and appears to expect a ticker-tape parade in celebration of every semi-useful activity said person deigns to commit. (Said person has been extremely disappointed by our reaction to said “helpfulness.”)

And then there is Monkey. Monkey is the kind of kid who would happily give you the shirt off his back. (Heck, he’d give you his pants, too, if you weren’t there covering your eyes and yelling “DUDE! PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON!”) The Summer of Pitching In is just his speed, because he has little difficulty discerning how to help, and helping is His Thing. He loves nothing more than to make life easier for those around him when he can, possibly because he is all too aware of ways in which he (unintentionally) sometimes makes things harder.

If I asked Monkey to scrub the floor with a toothbrush, I’m pretty sure he’d only pause long enough to ask 1) what kind of soap to use and 2) if it was okay to use his sister’s toothbrush before getting to work.

Thanks to a recent growth spurt, Monkey is now tall enough to reach just about every cabinet shelf necessary to reach in order to put away all the dishes. Armed with this new height and his perpetual desire to help, Monkey has become the self-appointed King of the Dishwasher.

On any given morning all I have to do is say, “Hey, buddy? Could you unload the dishwasher for me?” and he’s on it. Then when he’s done he reloads it, clearly convinced I’m going to be TOTALLY SURPRISED, as if he doesn’t always do that, but you know, I only asked him to UNload. So.

But the best part is that I can sit here in my office, off the kitchen, and it’s like being sucked into a Vaudeville routine, every time. Monkey doesn’t just do the dishes. He extends a running commentary peppered with observations and questions while he does it.

Him: This is a barbecue tool. It goes in the far drawer.
Me: Okay.
Him: Or maybe I should just take it outside and stick it in the grill!
Me: Good idea! But no.
Him: Is this a spatula that goes in the thing or in the drawer?
Me: The drawer.
Him: Why does this Pyrex thing not go in the same cabinet with the other Pyrex stuff?
Me: I don’t know. Because we’re weird?
Him: Probably.
Me: Sorry.
Him: Sokay. I’ve almost got everything out! Just a few more cups!
Me: You’re awesome. You rock the dishwasher!
Him: I’m the greatest!
Him: And modest, too. Don’t forget that.
Him: Hey, this knife smells like peanut butter.
Me: Hey! I bet that’s because someone used it in peanut butter!
Him: Hey! I bet you’re right!
Me: Go figure!
Him: Hey! This mug smells like coffee!
Me: Hey! I bet I had some coffee in it!
Him: Hey! THIS mug smells like peanut butter AND coffee!
Me: Hey! I bet I had… wait a minute.
Him: Haha! I got you!
Me: Indeed.
Him: Hey Apple!
Me: Hahahaha. NO.
Him: Hey Mom! Hey Mom! Hey Mama!
Me: Yeeeeeeeeesssss?
Him: I’m all done. I am awesome, and now I need to give you a hug.

There’s a statement I’m never going to argue.

[It also bears reporting that when I snuck around the corner for this picture, Monkey turned around when he heard the camera and said, “Why are you taking a picture of the DISHWASHER??” Poor dumb Mom, always doing unfathomable things. Thank goodness I have him here to keep me from hurting myself with my wacky ways.]

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Here’s to the simple routines that never fail to remind you how sweet life can be.


  1. elz

    What a sweet Monkey. I have one helper who loves to do “jobs” all the livelongday. I actually have to come up with things for her (my little one, M). I can not wait until she’s tall enough to actually put dishes away or reach the dtergent, but she is a pro at sorting, folding, and putting clothes into the dryer.

  2. Heather

    Freakin adorable. <3 I wish I could teach my cat to do dishes heh.

  3. Rachel

    Yeah, love that Monkey. My monkey (who happens to be a 10 year old boy) was so excited when I came home the other day, because he had unloaded the dishwasher, WITHOUT ANYONE TELLING HIM TO DO IT!!! I squashed his excitement by telling him I unloaded it last time without anyone telling me to do it… ha! He hasn’t done it since, maybe I should have praised his efforts instead?

  4. laura

    I want a monkey…

  5. Megan

    I have one of those. It’s a bit LESS charming that said person never, never EVER notices when something actually needs doing. You know, such as stepping OVER the socks he shed like a snake last night until, on the fifth time, I ask if he’ll pick them up and put them in the hamper, at which point it’s “what socks? Oh! My goodness! Look at the socks in the middle of the floor! YES! Of COURSE I’ll pick them up! Delighted to help!”

    Sigh. Still, I do love the happy cooperation.

  6. Jamie

    I want a Monkey-boy! Both of my boys are in the “less than helpful unless you pay me or give me candy or maybe a parade” category with your nameless other child. Oh dear, how are they ever going to grasp the concept that it takes ALL of us to make the house run?! I keep trying, that’s all I can say.

    KNIFE! (In response to your “Hey Apple!”)

  7. Tracy

    That kid just makes me smile. Hey Apple…how funny!

  8. diane

    How incredibly sweet this is – “*I* am awesome, and now I need to give *you* a hug” (emphasis mine). That he knows he’s awesome, but that he proves his awesomeness not by asking for adulation and praise, but by making someone *else* happy, is about the awesom-est awesome-ness there can be!

  9. Suzie

    I need to adjust my mental picture of Monkey, because he is very tall!!

  10. Sheila

    Why can’t I get that excited about unloading the dishwasher?

  11. Karen

    If you ask me, Mir.. Aspies have got some things figured out that we are still struggling with.

    And OH, how I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the other attitude environment going on. My same-age child sighs with heavy and dramatic eye roll every time he’s asked to do ANYTHING… and then acts like it was a huge favor!… WHAT… did I do WRONG???…

    But I”m working on it… this is the summer of whipping that ass into gear. Pardon the french.

  12. JennyM

    Thank you for introducing me to The Annoying Orange.

    (“Hey, Pear!” “Oh, God.”)

  13. Brigitte

    I think “marshmallow murder” is my favorite of those . .

  14. debbie

    My kids (3 and 4) are totally into helping with the housework..the only downside is they actually have full blown arguments over who should dry and the dishes and empty the washing machine…seriously..there are tears if they can’t help!!

  15. RuthWells

    Love that Monkey…

  16. MamaChristy

    <3 <3 <3

  17. Heather Cook

    That is awesome :)

  18. Krissy @ ArtsyMom

    Where the heck did you get a kid like that? LOL!!! I wish my girls would help out. He seems so sweet and it’s so great that he’s willing to help!!

  19. Lynda M Otvos

    I can barely get my 25 year old to do anything for me or in her own place. What’s up with that?

  20. liz


  21. Rocky Mountain Woman

    I had one of those a long time ago, but he grew up and went on and had a monkey of his very own. Now I have two of them to love!

    Cherish these moments, they leave home all too soon!

  22. Aimee

    Monkey *is* awesome — no arguments here, either. Oh, and thanks for the link to Annoying Orange. I hadn’t seen that, and I needed a laugh this morning!

  23. StephLove

    Very sweet, but it’s a shame Otto is dragging his feet about pitching in.

  24. tracy in ohio

    My kids job is to load and unload the dishwasher too. I love that they can help out. They use to wash the dishes by hand but it made me a cranky momma since they somehow wouldn’t see the food still stuck to the plate and I would have to rewash the “clean” dishes. Yay for growing!!

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