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Teaching Moments: The One In Which I Implore Mamas to Teach Their Kids Simple Home Maintenance

God continues to provide moments of humor in my life. This one comes from Matt.

Oh, I know. It's been a while since I've told a "Big V" story (as he was known in previous posts, before Avery passed away and we were outed over the interwebs), so today, Readers, you are in luck! I give you The Dryer Story.

My dryer was not drying. I wasn't too surprised, since the thing is only about 5 years old. (Insert curmudgeony they don't make things like they used to comment.) I, being the person that I am, went straight to Facebook asking for advice. Over and over I heard the same thing: MAKE SURE THE VENT IS CLEAR OF LINT!

Seemed easy enough, so I did what every independent woman does: I asked my knight in shining armor if he would please check the dryer vent and make sure it was clear. "Don't just do the part from the dryer to the vent," I directed. "Make sure you go outside and clean the vent from the outside of the house."

So, he did. Because he is nothing if not my knight in shining armor who wishes to spend his whole life saving me from disastrous situations!

But, alas, the dryer still would not dry.

Instead of taking two cycles to dry, it now took three. And it wasn't like I could go hang clothes outside in 10-degree weather. My electric bill was going to be sky high (again) and this just didn't make any sense. The dryer seemed warm - hot even - after a cycle, but the clothes were not drying.

"It's not drying, Matt." I sighed. "Are you sure that the vent is clear?"


"Was there a lot of lint in it?"


"And you cleaned the outside, too?"


I was confused. Frustrated. Annoyed. So, I did what every independent woman does: I checked it myself.

I walked outside and noticed something peculiar. While the dryer was on and operating, none of the little vent flaps were moving.

Thinking maybe they had figured out a way to be frozen shut, I pried them open with my fingers.

I was promptly met with a wall of lint build-up.

I pulled out what I could and then came up with a genius (passive-aggressive) teaching moment.

"Oh, Brody!" I called out to the 4-year old. "Would you like to help mommy fix something?"

That peaked his interest. Matt's, too.

I took Brody by the hand and showed him the vent, explaining that we needed to make sure this was clean so mommy could dry the clothes. We checked out what screwdriver was needed (standard) and we set about unscrewing the vent cover. We then proceeded to pull out enough lint to stuff a pillow.

Meanwhile, Matt was standing behind us watching the whole thing.

After Brody and I threw away the lint and put the screwdriver back in the toolbox (mamas: ALWAYS teach your children to put the tools back in the toolbox. Always.) I turned to Matt. "You said you cleaned the vent!" I accused.

"I did!" he insisted.

And that's when he told me about how he had gone out to the side of the house with a rag and washed off the vent to make sure it was clean.


angie said…
bahaha!!! that is classic. :) so glad you were able to solve the problem with zero money, though! that's my favorite. :)
Becca said…
Ha! I snorted.

Now I need to go check mine because my dryer does the same stupid thing.

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