Dishwasher Roulette

We have a new game at our house, called dishwasher roulette. You see, our dishwasher’s teeny tiny brain has gone fritzy. Every 2nd or 5th (or 9th) time you hit the ‘on’ button, it functions perfectly and runs a load without a hiccup.

But between times it does one of two things. Either it makes herky-lerky threatening stop-and-start sounds, demanding that you turn it off and start it again, which feat requires an unknown number of button pushes.

Or it pretends to start, making all the proper sounds for exactly as long as it takes for you to feel encouraged and wander off to do something else. Then it quietly quits, only to be discovered when it is opened after the next meal by someone commissioned to dispatch a towering heap of dishes.

It has gotten bad enough that children have at times been required (gasp) to actually wash a whole meal’s worth of dishes BY HAND. You cannot imagine the weeping and gnashing of teeth that goes on when that decree goes out.

At moments like these, children can be seen standing imploringly in front of the beast, futilely pushing buttons and trying to convince their resolute mother that NOW certainly the dishwasher truly means business and WILL actually get through this cycle.

We might have actually replaced the thing by now, except for the fact that this dishwasher is clever. Fiendishly so. It seems to sense when we are getting fed up enough with it to send it to the dump, and THEN it runs 3 or 4 or 6 cycles flawlessly, leaving us ridiculously hopefully that it has somehow self-healed the glitch in its teeny tiny brain. But once we have relaxed, it is back to its old roulette-wheel tricks.

So, if ever you come over and see one of my children kneeling before the stainless steel beast, hands clasped imploringly– know that the dish-tower has reached epic proportions. Mom has once again decreed that the dishes must be done by hand. And now the child is doing all in his power to coax the blasted beast to work, so as to avoid that most dreaded threat of all–dishpan hands.


  1. You cruel, cruel woman. I bet you make them take baths too. Don't think of it as a pouty dishwasher so much as a different kind of slot machine. You know people pay big money to go to Vegas for this kind of thing. HEY! Maybe you could charge admission until you save enough for a new one?

  2. As I was reading this an old memory popped in my head: I was 7 and it was my job to clear the table. I was in a hurry to go outside and play so, I stacked them all together to carry them to the sink.
    You guessed it! I dropped and broke every dish! I was crying my heart out when I went to tell my Mom. (My grandma took pity on us and bought Mom a set of Melmac)
    Hope your children survive the dishes dilemma!

  3. Ha. The boys have fiddled with the knobs and switches so many times on our dishwasher that you have to turn it 'just right' for it to work. If you want it to run a full cycle, you have to turn the knob to rinse and it starts there. LOL. Goofy.

  4. hehe I can totally picture a bunch of kids praying at the dishwasher! too funny!

  5. You are truly a great woman….I bow down to you!

    By the way…you don't look old enough to have an 18 year old. Then again…what's old anymore?

  6. LOL, how did people ever survive without dishwashers?

  7. One would think this is an opportunity for the old "we're all in this together" family spirit.
    Or perhaps Not ;).

    Ours had that problem last summer. The control panel was replaced 3 times, and then the last tech also put in a new shield so that water no longer splashed into the control panel. The cycles then got the correct instructions for follow thru.

    It is a great 'picture' of the kids kneeling in front of the beast. I was doing the same thing for two months, and there are only three of us living here now.
    That smart repairman saved my sanity as well as my hands.

  8. I should add, the machine was still under warrantee at the time.
    If anything goes out again, we'll have to make adjustments until the budget can handle a new strain. After getting a stove under duress back in December, another appliance will have to wait until June at least.
    I like EUCERIN hand cream the best.

  9. Not the dreaded dishpan hands, so it ain't so! Cute post, Mary.

  10. CREEPY…our dishwashers must be sisters. As I stood in front of ours watching smoke–yes, SMOKE–come out of it today, I thought to myself that the dishwasher might be finally winning.

  11. Dishwashing is the chore I hate most. On this day I am SO grateful for one that works! Going to praise it right now…

  12. Mary,
    Hey, I'm with the kids!! I absolutely despise washing and putting up dishes. I love to cook, so there is a slight problem there, LOL. 🙂 I am very fortunate that my hubby does almost all dishes, and I cook. A right good bargain, I think. 😉

  13. love the picture of your kids down on their knees imploring the dishwasher to resurrect. that is good.

    gotta side with the kids on this one – dishes by hand is cruel and unusual punishment.

  14. We're playing Dishwasher Roulette, too! Inherited quite a doozy in our most recent home. SOME day, when they're running a 0% for 12 month special, AND a rebate on delivery and pick up, we'll hopefully get a new one through Lowe's or Home Depot. 😉

  15. Oh by hand! The horror of it all!

    We still don't have a dishwasher. I think my children are really going to feel deprived as they grow.

  16. We have a washing machine like that. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one who has the magic touch.

    Your blog is awesome! I'll be returning frequently!

  17. I'd be careful…..Child Social Services may be knocking on your door anytime soon!

    🙂 Diane

  18. WHAT? Hand wash dishes? Yuckety, yuck, yuck, yuck! You are leaving germy germs smeared all over the china and glasses, or in my case, the non-breakable china, which by the way, breaks. Shatters, actually. In a gazillion pieces.

    But seriously, my biggest fettish? ALL THINGS RELATED TO EATING MUST GO THROUGH THE DISHWASHER TO BE DISSINFECTED and CLEAN. Period. End of discussion.

    Didn't you know?

  19. After just getting my first dishwasher after 10 years of marriage, I can see myself on the floor with your kids, praying for God to heal the sick dishwasher! 🙂

    Maybe we should pray for the dishwasher to just "let go". And die in it's sleep. That way you can move on. 😉


  1. […] Maybe in October we will look to buy a new dishwasher. Or maybe sooner if our resolve declines. What we need is an all-metal something-or-other. This is the second dishwasher we’ve owned that went into a rapid decline after its plastic door-handle had to be replaced. Something about changing the handle ruins the seal and then water gets into the circuit board and then the dumb things get about as reliable as a slot machine in Vegas. […]