Two important dates in our lives:
November 7, 2009: WCK announces she is no longer afraid of the car wash OR the vacuum cleaner. Karen and WCK drive through the car wash and finally clean the bird poop off of the windshield.
November 8, 2009: Karen successfully vacuums the entire house while WCK calmly plays by herself.
This is a huge deal. WCK has been absolutely petrified of the vacuum cleaner for a really long time. Vacuuming was nearly impossible, unless she was at preschool. At other times, Jay and I would actually have to schedule times to vacuum so that one of us could vacuum and the other one could keep WCK distracted so that she didn't have a nervous breakdown.
It wasn't always this way. Before WCK was born, Jay and I read about unconventional ways to calm down a screaming baby, including running the vacuum. Because we'd never actually had a baby and therefore felt we knew everything about taking care of a baby, we laughed at this idea. Who would actually do this? Fast forward to 5 a.m. on the morning after WCK came home from the hospital, and we realized we had no idea how to stop our baby from screaming. Jay even took her for a 3 a.m. stroller ride on the lawn. Finally, we looked at each other, and we knew what we had to do.
"Get the vacuum cleaner," I said.
And it worked. It was a miracle. We'd switch on the vacuum, and WCK would quit screaming, mid-scream, and instantly calm down. We ran that sucker pretty much nonstop for a couple of months.
Sometime between babyhood and toddlerhood, however, she developed an intense fear of the vacuum. On the plus side, I always got out of cleanup duty at our moms' group meetings, because WCK would always run for the door as soon as the vacuums came out.
I'm also very grateful that she's over her fear of the car wash, but this new vacuum attitude ... It's going to change our lives.