By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 10/21/2017
Occurred: 6/1/1956
Topics/Keywords: #Autobiography Page Views: 713
How I stumbled on a method to avoid doing chores for the rest of my life.

I also enjoyed playing "washing machine". From my toddler days, I had a table with a cutout in the middle for the baby (me) to sit. I suppose it was for playing and eating, but I mostly remember playing with it. I used to place this table on its side and sit behind it, while my sisters would push play clothes in through the hole and then I would toss them in the air to "clean" them.

Mom eventually found it expedient to wash all three of us kids at once. She would put us in the tub with the water running, pour in a liberal amount of Surf laundry detergent, and let us play in the bubbles until she thought we were clean enough. By now, we were big enough to be able to leave us for a few minutes (not that anyone would dare do this now!) and I got the idea that we could really wash clothes, considering that the hamper was next to the tub and we were being bathed in laundry detergent. So, I put all the clothes from the hamper into the tub with us, and we all spun around, the world's first triple agitator washing machine. Mom, of course, wasn't as pleased when she returned as I thought she would be.

Another time I tried to help was after lunch. Mom and I had enjoyed a sandwich and some milk (for me; coffee for her) and we had two plates, a glass and a cup to clean. I offered to do it, and, for some reason, my mother accepted. She even went outside the door (located next to the kitchen) to talk to a neighbor who owned a small apartment building next door to us.

I put the four items into the sink—I had to stand on a chair to reach it—but what I really wanted to do was mix cleaning products. So I got the egg beater and pitcher, half-filled it with warm water, and started adding every thing I could find: Surf, Spic 'n Span, hand soap; I even poured in a little shampoo from the bathroom. I then used the egg beater to blend it all to a nice, frothy, consistency.

Of course, such a mixture shouldn't be wasted on a mere four items; so I opened the cabinets and put every dish, glass, and pan I could reach into the sink. I then poured the wonderful mixture onto it…

And, with so much effort expended, became too sleepy to continue; and so was napping when Mom came in to find that she now had to complete the washing of every dish she owned.

It turned out that this innocent little venture into the world of cleaning products had its benefits: For the rest of my life, Mom would never let me do the dishes!

Louise and Mary Joan, playing inside the box.