The dishwasher is a constant source of battle in our house. As I considered it this week, while once again rearranging dishes my kids put in the wrong spots, I realized I am never more of a Dad than when I’m correcting how they put dishes into the dishwasher.

“These can’t go on the bottom rack, they stick through and hit the spray arm!”

“The good knives have to be hand-washed; the heat of the dishwasher will ruin their handles!”

“OK, I know I’ve told you this before, the small plates have to go on this end, the large plates on the opposite. Otherwise you can’t get the bowls in.”

“How many times do I have to tell you that you have to double-up the bowls like this? Otherwise I have to run the dishwasher twice a day.”

“Sure, you’ve been on the high honor roll all year but you can’t put your cups in the right way?”

Before you call CPS to save my children from an abusive home, I will admit most of these comments are in my head. I’ll open the dishwasher in the morning, sigh loudly at how everything is in the wrong place, and spend the next two minutes rearranging while I have these little conversations in my head. By the time my girls roll through the room I’ve either forgotten about their misdeeds or realized there will be bigger things to yell at them about over the course of the day than how the dishwasher was loaded.

Still, you’d think they would figure it out, right?