The vacuum cleaner is a powerful home appliance. Not only does it clean floors, carpets, air cleaner filters and camera bags with cereal from a little accident during breakfast this morning, vacuum cleaners can also inspire both awe and fear in babies. When I was a child my younger brother really disliked the sound of the machine (what I thought about the sound I do not remember). Enough to say, when our son was born I wondered how he would feel about the sound from the vacuum cleaner.
It turned out that I did not need to worry at all. The first sound from a home appliance that our son heard was probably the electric toothbrush, and only a few months old he was observing me with an amused face when I brushed my teeth. Next came my wife’s hair dryer – our son has come to love to see her dry her hair, feeling the warm air when she blows on his outstretched hand. He is fond of the microwave, fancies the air cleaner that recently he has started to use as a climbing wall. But whiteout question his favorite home appliance is the vacuum cleaner.
As our son is starting to move around more by himself, keeping him away from dangerous things in a small apartment has become increasingly difficult and time consuming. How will I even be able to keep the apartment clean, was a thought that I sometimes had when our son started to crawl. But instead of being a problem, vacuum cleaning has almost turned out to be the time when there is the most harmony at home. Whenever he can, our son crawls out of the bedroom/living room, into the corridor past the wash basin, the kitchen sink, the fridge, to where we keep the vacuum cleaning handle next to the washing machine. He pulls it down on the floor and starts to play with it. So when it is time to vacuum the room, our son cannot contain his happiness. He cheerfully grips the handle and follows me around in the room, helping me move the nozzle back and forth.
It is quite amazing, being able do do housework together with a ten months old baby. A few weeks ago I thought that the ten months we have had together would be difficult to top – now I am feeling that this is just the beginning. I so much look forward to a hopefully mostly fun growing up process for our son, doing all sorts of thing together. I can already imagine the joy I will feel when he stands on a chair next to me, doing the dishes (which is my favorite housework apart from washing) – now that is a happy image!
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