Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can We Survive Without Our Household Gadgets?

This week, my dishwasher broke. My first thought was, "NOOOOOOOO!" But then I took a minute and thought about it. I realized it wasn't the end of the world at all. I am one of those people who it took a long time to even get dependent on the dishwasher in the first place. I always did my dishes by hand when I was single because unless I had house guests, I didn't really have enough dishes to load a dishwasher anyway without creating an unhealthy environment holding on to dirty dishes! It became so miniscule really that I forgot to even mention to my husband that the dishwasher broke till two days after I noticed it.

It got me thinking however. As I did the dishes by hand last night, I thought to myself, "If my daughter was a teeneger and this was her chore, would she be able to switch it up and just do the dishes by hand?" Then I started to ask myself questions like: "Will I be teaching her how to do a lot of dishes by hand like I was taught just so she knows how even though we have become somewhat dependent on the dishwasher nowadays?" I also asked myself this: "Will I be teaching her how to wash clothes by hand like I was taught or will it all be the washer and dryer?" "If the washer broke, would it be fair to just go to the laundromat and pay for it or a drycleaners as opposed to learning how to wash clothes by hand?"

I decided I would definitely teach her to do dishes by hand but I was torn on the issue of washing clothes by hand though. The dilema here in my mind (it's really all in my mind because this child is two years old!) is this: Where is the balance between preparing them to survive in the world on their own and being well equiped for it and going overboard and taking them back to the dark ages?

I have a lot more examples having been raised partly in Nigeria. We used to sweep manually, even the carpet! We had special brooms that would sweep the carpet or rug well if you didn't want to use the Hoover/ vacuum cleaner.

We even had alternatived to a blender back then in the form of little rock slabs and oval rocks to grind stuff like pepper with. I never got the hang of that one though due to my carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists!

So, what do you think people? Where do we cross over from wanting to raise responsible kids to just plain taking the fun out of life in this century by taking them way back to the dark ages.

Please comment. I am really pondering on this.

Enjoy your weekend.



  1. Very interesting. I definitely think kids should be taught how to do the dishes by hand. However, washing clothes by hand? I'm not so sure. I think one of the major reasons we make kids do household chores is so they don't grow up being dependent on others. However, doing laundry by hand, like grinding pepper using the Olo, is just a little too far in my opinion. I'd rather send the child to the laundromat if our washer breaks down. That way, the kid still learns that he/she should be able to do her own chores without necessarily hurting herself from trying to wash heavy clothes (my sister hurt her hands from trying to wash jeans while she was visiting in Nigeria after 8 years in the U.S.).
    Nice blog here. I'm sorry I am just discovering it.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I do agree the washing clothes by hand may be pushing it and nobody really does that in the Western world but simple things like dishes by hand, definitely cooking, etc should be taught to our kids.