April 13, 2009

What Goes Around . . .

Vacuum cleaners are a real point of contention among the Under-Five set. You probably didn't know that. It's true. They are terrified that some other pre-K miscreant might have a cooler one than they do. They're like starry-eyed vacuum cleaner sales-weebles at a tradeshow. I have seen with my own eyes as two four-year-olds spouted the features and benefits of their respective household appliances, each determined to walk away with the Cherriest Vacuum in Town trophy. (I'm not so sure how adoring they'd be once that vacuum was turned on, but that's another story.) In any case, Miss America's mother donated a real working appliance to the cause, and now Miss America is the proud owner of a Shark floor and carpet vac, which she stores next to our other two worthless dirt suckers in the broom closet.

While painting my toenails one recent morning, I was interrupted by Miss America who requested that I paint her toes too. She took a seat on my bed, stretched out her hairy little legs, and leaned back on her hands to enjoy the home spa treatment, courtesy of Nana. Soon after, little brother Destructo dragged in Miss America's Shark and quietly pretended to vacuum the carpet beside my bed, pushing it jerkily back and forth. It was heavier than he was.

"Brother!" Miss America said sternly. "That's my vacuum. Put it up."

"No," Destructo replied.

"Yes, Brother. Put it back!"

Destructo gave her a smug sideways glance as he continued to pretend vacuum. "No."

Unable to move her, uh, canister for fear of wiggling her toes and messing up the righteous lavender paint job, Miss America looked to me for assistance. But I determined not to waiver from polishing her miniature toenails -- I hate to get into the middle of a domestic squabble, you know? Besides, my in-home demonstrations are limited to whining about burgeoning physical ailments like indigestion, sore feet, and gas, not household machinery.

Destructo pushed the vacuum to and fro, taunting his big sister with the abandon of a self-propelled Electrolux Turbo; and I could see the ire rising in Miss America's neck. She raised her hand toward him, her tiny nostrils twitching and round brown eyes ablaze. Channeling the Great Spirits of Terrible-Two Disciplinarians in the sky, Miss America's small voice firmly issued The Count: "One . . . two-o-o-o-o . . . . . . three!"

Destructo continued, unfazed.

I thumbed off a tad extra polish from Miss America's big toe and muttered quietly, "Now whatcha gonna do?"

With her lips bunched together, she glared impotently at her little brother. "Four!" she bleated. "Don't make me save five!"

I sat back in wonder as Destructo continued to spite his sister just because he could, and Miss America found herself with no alternative but to call in the big guns. "MOM!"

I heard my daughter padding toward my room, and I chuckled. I love when life comes full circle.
.

33 comments:

daisyfae said...

beautiful! mine had varying degrees of 'vacuum obsession'. loved it. especially since i despise that task, and once they were big enough to push the damn thing around? i 'treated' them to opportunities to suck up dog fur...

Kristina P. said...

I'm always amazed at how many kids love the vacuum. I don't really have that same love now.

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh that's just too precious! I love it!

Vic said...

Now whatcha' gonna do?That's the best part.

smiles4u said...

Too funny!!! My little man and little lady love vacuum cleaners...actually little man is obsessed with them I think. We have two play vacuums, one for each of them but they still both dream of the day, I say these words, "It's your job to vacuum." Yeah, and we'll see how long that lasts!

Jill said...

Gianna is terrified of the dirt sucker! She screams when I bring it out of the closet.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Isn't it sad how they lose interest just as soon as they're old enough to effectively vacuum the carpet?

DebraLSchubert said...

My mom loves watching me "deal" with my kids. She says it makes it all seem worthwhile. I'm not quite sure what she means, but I imagine when I have grandkids it'll all make sense...;-)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My border collie hates the vacuum.... Ok SO not the same thing.

Love your Easter pictures too. You all look so nice, especially the one in the jeans ; -)

Amy said...

I'm a vacuum addict. The Duchess learned to be lulled by it because I ran it so often. She requested her own as soon as she could speak the words. Hers has eyes that roll around when she pushes it and little beads pop around inside, but it does the job.

I'm already horrified at the prospect of the What Goes Around Comes Around prophecy. The Duchess is already a mini version of myself. I'm in really deep doo doo.

Beth said...

My oldest son had a serious infatuation with vacuum cleaners when he was little. I wish Al Gore had gotten the internet available back then because I thought there was something wrong with my boy. He seems more normal now.

Great story!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ain't it great being the Nana?

I wonder when the genes kick in which repel boys away from cleaning appliances. Probably puberty.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

I love that "life comes full cycle."

And you're smart enough to not intervene.

Rock on, girl.

lisa said...

I love to vacuum because the white noise drowns out my kids fighting. I do it alot!

Justine/Justiney/Tiney said...

This was the cutest little story! But I must say, I couldn't live without my Shark floor vac!

Justine :o )

Gaston Studio said...

Yeah, what is this fascination with young kids and vacuums today? My grandson thinks his mother's Orek hand vac is totaly his... and he uses it to vacuum the stairs which is way cool!

Me thinks you are a great nana. You didn't interfere but you DID encourage by asking Miss America "What are you gonna do now?" Wanted a bit more excitement at the moment, did ya?

Oh well, we nanas have to get our jollies any way we can!

Jan said...

LMAO!

See, this is why Beloved and I are SO glad one of the children have decided to reproduce.

Because paybacks are a bitch.

Julie said...

OMG, that is priceless. I can't wait til my son has kids of his own and I get to do those things...like laugh when they act just like he did as a child.

Belle said...

Amen sister!

Anna Russell said...

This made me laugh so hard. I remember my gran buying my daughter a toy hoover that was the noisest damned thing she's ever owned. But she would not part with it because "Mine has a button that makes the balls go all Weee! Caitlin at nursery doesn't have that button. Ha!"

morethananelectrician said...

No one....let me repeat louder...NO ONE...loves the vacuum cleaner in my house. Cheap, expensive, big small...it doesn't matter. Oreck, Dirt Devil...you name it, it gets broken. I guess we should give away our broken ones to families that worship them.

Butler and Bagman said...

Hilarious blog...It is wonderful how a good imagination can find such great humor in everyday things. Thanks for following my blog, incidentally. Bagman, particularly, is pleased.

Butler and Bagman said...

Oh, and by the way, you really do look great.

Madame DeFarge said...

Can I borrow your son for a little while, as I have some vaccuming to do and my husband can't be bothered to help lift the furniture?

Wunderwoman said...

Hahaha, this is so funny. Just what we wait for when our children are small. "Now whatcha gonna do?"

Gaston Studio said...

Left you a tag on my second blog yesterday. Don't hit me... don't hit me!!!

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Really really hate vacs and have never found one I like....they all suck.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

nikkicrumpet said...

LOL I wish my kids would have kids so I could watch them be tortured. It is the prize we get for all our hard work!

travel girl said...

ME too!!!

Breathe said...

LOL. Our count stops at three. I have no idea what happens after three. I'm scared to keep counting.

Midwest Mommy said...

My kids are scared to death of the vacuum.

Lisa said...

I know this is going to be a dorky comment, but this was simply a dream to read. I love the way you tell a story.

Okay, I'm done slobbering all over you.

Thanks for the laugh!

Jocelyn said...

Baha! You are just the best storyteller.

I was starting to get worried she'd get to six, and then she'd grab the vacuum hose and stick it into a part of Destructo she shouldn't even know about.