Locations of 

visitors to this page






Main Page
6/06/2007
Just a Boy and His Vacuum Cleaner
My son has an unhealthy obsession with a household appliance. He's in love with the vacuum cleaner. It all started innocently enough with the Swiffer. Hollis liked to clean the floor and HELL YEAH I was going to encourage that behavior. Visions of a 4 year old scrubbing the toilets began dancing around in my head.

After Hollis broke about 300 Swiffers, probably by swinging them in the air and trying to hit the cats, we gave up on that and got him a toy vacuum. It was a perfect toddler sized Hoover, complete with attachments and real, albeit very slight, suction. Hollis loved it. LOVED it. But we could not take it away. Not even for a bath or dinner time. And heaven forbid we turn the incessant tiny little whining engine off. Tantrums. from. hell. Hell, I say! Even the cats started trying to claw their way out.

And then one day, we got out our real vacuum. Probably to actually clean the house. (Shocking, I know.) That was it. For Hollis it was love at first sight. His search for his soul mate was over.

He calls it his "Cleaner." It's the first thing he asks for in the morning and the last thing he wants before he goes to bed at night. We can offer him chocolate milk, lollipops, M&M's or his vacuum. He will pick "Cleaner" every time, thrilling over his attachments every day as if it's the first. And the toy vacuum is no substitute. "I want the Big Cleaner, Mommy!"

Lest you think we could harness the power of the Cleaner for good and put him to work, we really can't. I think if we allowed him to plug his Cleaner in I would never again have a moment of relative silence in my home. And the thought of Hollis with suction power is frightening. Small toys - gone. His brother's paci - gone. The cats. Oh dear, lord, the cats.

For now, we tolerate the obsession. And regular threats to pack the Cleaner away in the closet keep him about as in line as a 2 1/2 year old can be. But I can't permanently separate Hollis from his beloved Cleaner. I don't want the lure of the forbidden to make the Cleaner even more appealing.

I can just see Hollis spending the rest of his life attempting to recreate his relationship with his One True Love. If the kid starts bringing Cuisinarts and blenders home when he's in junior high, I'll know we're in trouble. By high school it will be cappuccino makers and toaster ovens. After college he may marry his refrigerator just to spite me.

So for now, we let it continue - this forbidden love. Hollis is just a boy and Cleaner is just, well, a vacuum.

Labels:



29 Comments:

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Love this. My husband is the floor man of the family. His father's day gift last year was a sexy little hover in a red dress (ok plastic shell). Yes, the love affair can continue well into adulthood.

Anonymous www.nolanotes.com said...

We have the same vacuum! It IS a really nice model. At least he has good taste?

Blogger slouching mom said...

This cracks me up. Most kids (my own included) are terrified of the vacuum at that age.

He's his own little guy, isn't he.

Love it.

Blogger Christine said...

What a doll! My son actually was in love with the vacuum cleaner nozzle attachment for a while, but gave it up for a toy broom. That ended after the handle broke. Now he is always asking for a magic eraser to "help."

Blogger Slackermommy said...

Very cute!

Blogger flutter said...

that is hilarious! I have been born 25 years too early, I should have fallen in love wit your kid. Because, let me tell ya I love my Dyson more than life itself

Blogger jen said...

i've got a whole house that can use that kind of habit. send them over.

Blogger Zuska said...

I have the same Cleaner, too. Only mine is buried in a closet somewhere, so the kids can't love on it.

Blogger bubandpie said...

Great caption - it's the classic ambiguity: I love you more than mommy [does]? OR I love you more than [I love] mommy?

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

LOL

and double LOL at that photo and caption!

And of course my vacuum post was all about how it gets me alone time as everyone runs in fear.

Maybe your boy will be the one who grows up and cleans. In which case, I will personally hand you the trophy. ;)

Blogger Amy W said...

So not fair. Can't my kids love cleaning appliances?

He is adorable...

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I have a cousin that was in love with the vaccuum, though he called it a Bot-tee at the time. Now he lets his guinea pig kiss him on the mouth.

Blogger Binky said...

That is absolutely hilarious. And just the other day my friends and I were wondering if any company actually makes an operational toddler vacuum. Now I know. I am out to find The Boss her own "Little Cleaner."

Blogger Jenn said...

It was the "HELL YEAH" that started my laughing and the blenders that sent me to the bathroom, pretending to be sneezing.

And The One True Love thing that keeps me smirking, dangerously on the edge of busting out laughing.

Blogger Bon said...

laughing. some day, if his obsession continues and he actually learns to USE the vacuum, he's going to make a partner very, very happy.

even if they have to play second fiddle to a Hoover. :)

Anonymous Momish said...

LOL! That is so funny. I love the pictures. My little cousin use to have an obsession with vacuum cleanrs too! He would constantly ask people what kind they had. Hoover? Eureka? He knew everything about them. (I think he was 9 or 10)

Obviously, it is a more common thing than you would think. My daughter is currently very into our broom. Go figure.

Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Okay the photos are a riot. Soooo funny.
We've a canister vacuum and DangerBoy learned to crawl by chasing it around the house. It was love. Once he was more mobile - yet more lazy - he would climb on top of it while I dragged it around sucking up dog hair and errant Cheerios. Alas, he never offers to use it himself and give me the day off.

Blogger Treadmillista said...

Your post brought back so many memories for me. From about 13 months on up until way past 2 my son was in love with the vacuum. Seriously if he was crabby we would just show him the vacuum cleaner and he would perk up and say "vroom vroom" which was his word for vacuum.

We finally bought him one of those toy Hoovers and he was in heaven. It is still one of his favorite toys, though hot wheels and other cars have edged it out of the toy hierarchy somewhat.

Blogger Amber said...

A Love Story: A boy and his cleaner. Simply beautiful. :-)

My kids run the other direction. Not coincidentally, so do I.

Blogger Moondance said...

My nephew, when he was 2 or 3, loved the Cleaner. After opening all other birthday gifts, he pulled the paper off the toy Dirt Devil. He squealed with such joy that has not been matched since then. I never say a boy so happy about any present, let alone a household cleaning device!

He still likes it, but the tractor, the weed wacker, and the chainsaw (all toys, not real) have supplanted it to some extent.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2-year-old has had a fascination with our vacuum cleaner since he was about 13 months (he'll be two next week). Like you, we got him a fancy toy, which sits gathering dust in the corner. And, like your son, he likes to vacuum every morning before daycare and every evening after dinner. And, it has to be turned on, he has to do under the beds and tables, he has to remove the chairs, etc. I'm relieved to know I'm not the only one with such a devoted child!!!

Blogger Jennifer said...

OmG! this is my son! i actually did a search on this to see if this was normal behavior! the last few weeks he's been addicted to vacuums (including my friends vacuums). its driving me crazy though, since he actually does use ours. from the minute he cracks open his eyes till the minute he goes to bed. i hope it ends soon!

Anonymous Lauren Silberman said...

Our sons must be twins! Will it ever end? Mine has been obsessed for 18 months straight now and he, like yours, is obsessed with the "Big Vacuum," our Dyson. I would LOVE to talk with you or anyone else on the phone about this--it's driving me crazy! Please email me back if we can talk in person. Lauren@theSilbermans.com

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cords were his first love - at 18months my son could coil them up like he was a sailor in a former life. At 2, a simultaneous love affair began with 'Peter' - yes, this is what he called his beloved heater. Peter was a small, portable fan heater that was his constant companion for one entire winter. Peter has seen the world now - on foot and by car; I drew the line at the train and plane. Recently my son conquered his fear of the vacuum cleaner and while this new beau has helped dull his adoration of former lovers 'clock radio' and 'hair dryer', it is by far the worst. I am now being followed by a boy and his vacuum cleaner... the vacuum cleaner’s extension cord… the extension cord's power pack… and the power pack’s power pack. Sadly, I am not exaggerating. I saw my son eyeing off the fridge the other day – I’m more than a little worried.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom sent me this article because I, too, have a vacuum obsessed son. At 8 years old, he has been addicted for about 5 years and has 5 real vacuums. Sorry to all those hoping this phase will pass quickly! Yes, I am worried at times! He uses his computer time to watch the vacuum videos on the websites. He quizzes everyone on their choice of vacuum and expounds on all major brands. I have to vacuum when he's not home (because he insists on doing it)and even than I got in "trouble" when he sees the vacuum lines on the rug! We went on vacation in Ohio last month and stopped at the Hoover museum in Canton as a special treat for him. I am hoping this leads to a mechanical trade as an adult. A mom can have dreams, right?!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I just did a search on "obsessed with vacuum cleaners" because my two year old son is and has been for a while and I also wanted to see if this was "normal" behavior. He talks about it non-stop, wants to play with it all day, and wants to see my friends vacuums too. Everyday when I drop his sister off at school and we walk by the utility closet at the school he freaks out. A few weeks ago we walked by a vacuum store and I had to go in because he was losing his mind. I ended up buying a dust buster for him. My girlfriend recently gave him a mini vacuum and he was over the moon when he saw that my sister had a new vacuum cleaner. I have a 4 year old daughter was nothing like this--it seems to be a boy thing!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

found this when i was looking up the love of vacumes. my 15 month old cant get enough of me vacumeing he loves the dust buster just as much. He throws a huge fit when i turn them off. I thought it might just be the sound so i turned my dust buster on and layed down to see what he did he got mad and start pushing it to me wanting me to use it. I hope this is normal.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome Vacuum Cleaner. Its very helpful.hoover deals .Great work. Keep going like this.....!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved to see all these comments from other moms. My 2 years old son is VERY crazy about Dyson cleaner. Every morning the first second he wakes up, he asks for his Dyson cleaner. He throws a fit if we don't vacuum the house or let him touch the cleaner. It's driving us crazy. He watches Dyson videos on youtube for hours. And he enjoys reading the Dyson manual & brochures! These couple of weeks he's been trying to take apart this vacuum cleaner. SOS!! just hope this will be over soon...

Post a Comment

<< Home

Lawyer Mama
Made by Andrea Micheloni
footer