I have five kids. They are great kids, but they are still kids. And they make messes, a lot, every day.
We moved into a home that just had all of its floors replaced. There’s brand new laminate flooring in the kitchen and dining room, and brand new carpet in the front room and bed rooms. There’s brand new linoleum in the bathrooms. BRAND NEW! Oh, and did I mention that we are just renting this home?
Laminate and linoleum are fairly kid friendly, so I’m not too terrified of causing damage to those surfaces. I sweep and mop them regularly (every day for the kitchen/dining room) and make sure that no bowling-ball-like objects fall on them. These are easily achievable goals, on most days. But, the carpet – it makes me nervous.
I’m glad, for one thing, though. The carpet’s color hides dirt well. It’s a darker neutral in the brown spectrum. (Can you tell I can’t figure out what color it is?) But I’m still worried that somehow someone in the family is going to spill purple juice or leave a red ice pop on it. We’ve made the rule about not eating on the carpeted areas. And I vacuum a lot.
Most babies of mine get nervous when I turn on the vacuum cleaner. Not my last one. She thinks it is funny. I think this is because she watched balls disappear into vacuum tubes at Six Flags, or it could be something else.
She loves the vacuum cleaner. She laughs at it and tries to catch it. I have apparently vacuumed so much that the baby sees the vacuum as a fun ride.
I’ll turn on the vacuum while she’s playing nearby. She’ll turn and make a bee-line for the vacuum cleaner. Then she’ll pull herself up to standing and climb aboard the machine. And she’ll wait, straddling the machine. She’s waiting for a ride, for me to pull her around on the vacuum cleaner while I vacuum the floor. I know she’s blocking the airflow to the cleaner a bit, but she’s smiling so largely that I can’t deny her the ride.
We zoom around the room, her and me, vacuuming up the accumulation of mess that my fabulous family has created. She adds about twenty pounds to the chore, so I get a good workout while I’m doing it. We also end up taking more time with the job, but all the laughter and giggles make up for it.
And, if being paranoid about the status of my carpet, makes me use my vacuum more often, then that’s a good thing. I get to hear my daughter’s laughter that many more times – and can anything ever match a baby’s laughter as the expression of pure joy?