Doing the Dishes with my Sister: December, 1995 


During my freshman year in college my mother became accustomed to my younger sister being the only child home to help out around the house.  I returned home from Pitt on winter break to find that Avie had grown taller than me. Our childhood sibling squabbles were now under new terms given this fact, but I still had speed.  Our childhood home also had the all-important “indoor track” seamlessly attached kitchen to living room to hallway, past the stairs and back around.

What went down:

We were the doing dishes in the kitchen post dinner. Avie was clearing and loading the dishwasher, while I was responsible for the pre-dishwasher-washing. Mom had retired upstairs for the evening.  As Avie entered the kitchen, dishes from the dining room in hand, I squirted her with the sink hose and chaos & madness ensued…

She immediately took off after me as I dropped the hose and darted into the living room. I knew if she caught me, I’d be pummeled.

We flew into the hall and I used the banister as leverage to swing myself around and sprint the 5yd dash through the kitchen and back around.

She was right on my heels as she threatened me through laughter and I squealed in excitement and fear.

It. Was. On!

Kitchen, living room, hallway, kitchen, living room, hallway, kitchen living room hallway, faster and faster and faster!

Mom shouted from her bedroom at the top of the stairs, “AVIE! Are you doing the dishes?!?!?!?”

Kitchen Living room Hallway! Past the 3-D painting titled “At the Circus” Kitchen Living Room Hallway!

My lungs were heaving and I was desperate for a rest but afraid to slow!

As I Alaskan Baseballed* my way around the banister one more time I knew it was now or never!

I whipped around, startling Avie, and grabbed her sleeves, pulling hard and knotting them together so that her shoulders and elbows could not wriggle up and out…

“A-VIEEEE!!!! Do the dishes!!!!”

I quickly pulled her trademark hoodie over her head and yanked the strings so tightly that only her nose was visible and then tied the leftover string to the banister.

Avie reared back, unable to free herself. “WHAT, AM-I, STUCK-TO?” she shouted with each whip of her head. “I! Can’t! Get! Out!”

I am a helpless heap of hysterics on the floor under the Circus picture, tears streaming down my face from laughter.

“Ahhhh-Vieeeeeee! Are you playing around? You’re supposed to be doing the dishes!!!!”

“MOM! I’M STUCK!  HELP! Seriously!  I need help!”


It took me 10 minutes to calm down enough to untie her…I can’t remember who finished the doing dishes…


*Alaskan Baseball is a game played at Camp Robindel for Color War,(ahem, “blue and white activities”)

How it’s played:

1) The “batter” at home plate throws a kickball to the opposing team in the field.
2) The batters team lines up shoulder to shoulder down the third baseline and the batter circles his team.
3) Each complete circle is one point
4) Team members on each end often hook their elbows do the batter can latch on and fling herself around. 

5) The fielding team must all run to where the ball was thrown, line up, and pass the ball in an under/over pattern up and back the entire team. 6) Once they complete the passing, the batter is no longer able to score and the next member goes.

It’s hysterically awesome. (Possibly better than “paddle-ball” but that’s for another time…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s