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: Mama Drama