Tuesday, July 1, 2014

All Done...

With what seems like thousands of toys in our house, it only makes sense that my son loves the garden hose and the vacuum more than anything else in his precious little life. Sure, toss him a ball and he’ll roll it around….for about three seconds, show him a book and you may have a couple of minutes. But break out that hose or vacuum, and then get out of the way...

It all started when we had to get a new water main dug in and we were left with a forty foot trench in our front yard. So we had to plant grass, which means we had to water the grass, which means that now if my son goes into the front yard, he wants that hose, like really wants the hose.

At first it was cute, and we posted pictures of our little helper:

Just look at that concentration, this guy is really into it. But what the picture doesn't show is the drama of saying the words, All done before turning the water off, then trying to gently wrestle the hose from his chubby little fist as he produces apocalyptic wails of agony that leave the neigbors turning their heads and peeking out the windows. It’s bad, we're talking, looking for a squad car to slow in front of the house, bad.

Okay, so that’s the hose situation. Inside, we have the vacuum cleaner situation. Every morning—sometimes bare butt after escaping a diaper change—my son rushes out to the hallway closet, frantically pointing to the door, because he knows. It's there. It being the noisy monster on wheels with hoses and cords and suction, the tormentor of four legged creatures, and the waker of anyone trying to steal an additional minute of Sunday morning sleep.

It being the vacuum cleaner.

We can't even utter the V word in his prescence. Let this dude near the vacuum cleaner and go ahead and clear your morning schedule. It's on, so to speak, and observations of this love/hate relationship with this machine could fill a medical journal. 

And no matter where you store that vacuum, he’s going to find it. It’s like he has a GPS on that thing. So in the end we always allow a little vacuum cleaner time, because, well, it’s not going to hurt to clean up a little around our house. But it’s never enough. Once you turn it on it stays on. My son will vacuum until the threads of the rug fray, until the vacuum starts to moan with exhaustion, until the dogs start to chew the walls with nervous energy, until we finally have to say the two words that send him into a tailspin of agony and tears: All done.

 All Done brings with it the pout lip. His eyes well as the tears gather strength and pour down those rounded cheeks. He’ll look to the sky. Why father? Why must we be all done? Yeah, I blame the drama on his Mama.

Then, the other night he woke up crying. Only for a minute or so, and then he fell back asleep and all was calm in the house. My wife rolled over to me and asked if I thought he had nightmare. I suppose, I said, but really, what could he possibly have nightmares about?  There was only one thing we could think of: All Done.