Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jack's Nemesis

Jack and the vacuum have a complicated relationship.

When we first got our new vacuum, Jack was mildly curious about it.  Not enough to really do anything.  Just enough that he tentatively rolled away from it whenever they were in the same room.

And then we turned it on.

I am still somewhat convinced that the noise from that vacuum is what motivated Jack to learn to crawl so early.

It got to the point that I couldn't vacuum unless either Lewis was home and could occupy Jack in the opposite side of the house or I let Jack cling to my neck the entire time.

Then Jack grew up and got a little braver.  Suddenly he was okay with hanging out in baby jail (the pack 'n play) while I vacuumed.  And by "hanging out" I mean glaring daggers at the vacuum and tracking it all over the room we were in.  Oh, and screaming if it got too close and insisting I pick him up so he could cling to my neck some more.

Then one day, after I had vacuumed the living room and left it sitting there off to one side, Jack went up to it.  He touched it.  He tried to chew on the cord.

And he pulled it down on top of himself.


You would think that the whole reason Jack was scared of the vacuum cleaner in the first place was because he thought it would hurt him.  And then when it actually did hurt him (nothing serious), his fear would return anew.

You would be wrong.

I can no longer leave the vacuum out.  As soon as it is shut off I have to put it away or Jack will go after it again.  Maybe he thinks this time he will fall on top of it?  I don't know.

Today was a big step in the evolution of Jack's relationship with the vacuum.  Today when I vacuumed the TV room, Jack just sat there in the middle of the room.  He didn't even move when the vacuum came close.  Which turned out to be kind of a problem because I needed to vacuum the carpet under him, too.  So I gently nudged his bum with the front of the machine, fully expecting him to shriek in terror and to be clinging to my neck in no time.

Never has being wrong made me so proud.  Jack has matured, you see.  Instead of reacting out of fear, Jack merely gave the vacuum a withering look and crawled haughtily away to play in the kitchen.

Sometimes my son kind of acts a little bit like a cat.

Next step?  Jack will vacuum for me.  He will be the master of the vacuum.

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