The other day, I discovered that my son is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. Not the vacuum cleaner when it’s on, making loud noises. Nope. Just the sight of it. I was preparing to vacuum the living room carpet when I looked up and noticed that my baby was cowering behind the ottoman. He stared nervously at the vacuum cleaner, as if it was about to lash out and strike him.
I know it’s not right, but this was hilarious to me. Normally, my baby is extraordinarily confident in the face of danger, whether he’s reaching for an enormous knife, playing with the knobs on the stove, climbing into the dishwasher or pulling fists of hair out of a perturbed cat. No matter how life-threatening the situation, he dives in headfirst. Literally. I once caught him trying to jump into the toilet.
But suddenly there’s this vacuum cleaner and he doesn’t know how to handle it. I started making jabbing motions with it, pretending like it was coming after him. He kept looking around for other places to hide. I don’t know why he didn’t just leave the room. That’s what I’d do if a vacuum cleaner was after me.
I laughed until I turned on the vacuum cleaner to get back to the actual vacuuming. But it shorted out everything in the surge protector. I screamed, “This isn’t happening!” Then my baby laughed. Then I smiled. He’s such a little miracle.