Basically, it looks like this:
But that is what our kitchen looks like after the ravening hordes have torn through it, filled up with food, and then hidden themselves away in dark corners of the house until the kitchen magically cleans itself.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t got a magical, self-cleaning kitchen installed in the house, so someone has to manually tidy up after meals. Or better yet, several someones.
Mom is a big fan of delegating household jobs out to the rest of us. We all have our daily chores to keep up with. Most of us have a room of the house we’re responsible for tidying and keeping fairly clean. The kitchen, though, is a responsibility we all share.
I honestly can’t remember how long ago it was that Mom thought up the Kitchen Patrol, but it’s probably been around for eight years or more. At some point, she decided the job of cleaning up the kitchen after meals wasn’t going to be her job anymore. So she created Kitchen Patrol (or KP) and assigned out parts of the kitchen cleanup to us, giving everyone a different job to do.
For instance, I’m in charge of clearing counters after meals. I’m the one who puts away leftovers, loads and starts the dishwasher, and washes the counters. I’m the one who turned this:
It might not look like a whole lot, but at least the one counter is completely cleared off.
Other jobs like sweeping floors, washing the table, emptying the dishwasher, or washing pots and pans belong to various others of my siblings. Our least favorite of these jobs is definitely the last one. I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a happy dish washer—as long as that dishwasher is a person. Tubby and Jo got stuck with the dish washing duty. No surprise that they’re the only ones anxious for KP jobs to be rotated.
Kitchen Patrol is technically supposed to happen as soon as we finish eating. I will be the first to admit that this is not always the case. More than half the time, there are a few people who need reminders. And as often as not, someone is in need of a personal invitation.
Note: Around here, a personal invitation is not something to be desired. It is, in fact, something to be avoided at all costs.
Hey, I never said we were perfect! We’d be just fine with that magical, self-cleaning kitchen, no problems whatsoever. Until then, however, it’s the Kitchen Patrol to the rescue. Sometimes it takes a while, but KP does eventually get done and life is able to go on as pseudo-normal as it ever does.
If you ever run across a magical, self-cleaning kitchen, though, be sure to look me up.