the monster

Our vacuum cleaner has long been called “the kitty-eating monster” because all of the cats are terrified of it and hide when they see it come out. Well, it turns out the vacuum cleaner may also be the mommy-eating monster.

Our home was in desperate need of a vacuum today, and I couldn’t wait to do it one day longer, so I decided I would run a quick vacuum while J bathed our boy. I was going as quickly as I could, but I soon heard, “Stop! Turn it off.” My wife had run to the hall to get my attention, and as she and I walked the few steps back to the bathroom, she told me Baby Genius was panicking.

As I entered the bathroom and BG saw me, he made the saddest sad face and burst into tears. According to J, he had been brave until then. She had told him, “It’s okay. You can be a big boy.” And he had been a big boy, but he was panicking, his lip quivering as he repeated over and over again “Up, up, up, up,” which is when she got me to shut the thing off. Seeing me, seeing that I was okay, he just let go and started bawling.

I picked up my drenched, naked boy and held him tight, and then I took him to see the vacuum cleaner. He swatted at it a couple of times, then asked for a drink of water. I took him back to his bath and we all sat there together, and he was fine, especially knowing I hadn’t been eaten.

This isn’t the first time the sound of the vacuum cleaner has freaked our boy out. He always seems convinced that something is happening to me, which is just so sad! I’ve tried running it while J holds him, but that isn’t any better. I think it’s just going to take some time, some age, and some perspective.

So, dear readers, what were your monsters? What are your kids’ monsters?


Filed under Baby Genius

5 responses to “the monster

  1. Oh, you are not alone! I always have to run the vacuum cleaner when the twins are out of the house. We bought a dust buster thinking it would be ‘kinder’ but Max was terrified of it, too.
    So, we did dust buster therapy where we left it in his play area every day until he was touching it and playing with it. Then, we would turn it on while we were holding him…and kept doing this for longer and longer.
    He’s OK with the dust buster now. But we have yet to conquer the great dirt sucking monster.
    Good Luck!

  2. N

    n is also afraid of the vacuum, and panics when I run it. Which is problematic, as if I vacuum while she’s asleep, she wakes up! I try to do it a few minutes at a time, but that doesn’t work very well. Ah well…

  3. Interestingly, Miles is fascinated by the vacuum…a little scared, but totally curious and will just sit and watch. He was also fascinated by the push mower that I use to cut the grass and desperately wanted to push it. I let him, but of course he was too small and fell and freaked out a little (he was physically fine though). At this point, he doesn’t seem to have any real ‘monsters.’ I’m sure that’ll change.

  4. vee

    Ah, bless him -look at those big ole blue eyes.

    BB is currently TOTALLY obsessed with the vacuum cleaner (or the OO-VA as it’s better known in our house). He’s always thought it was pretty cool – we used to use it as a kind of white noise machine to get him to sleep when he was teeny, so no advice from me, but I’m sure he’ll get used to it eventually.

  5. Bee also hates the vacumm. I thought it was because I haven’t vacuumed enough and hadn’t exposed my poor baby enough to cleaning activities. I am relieved to hear that my lack of cleaning may not have contributed to her fears.

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