Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Joy of Vacuum Attachments

Ever since my oldest was able to find them in the closet (about ten months), his favorite toys were my vacuum attachments.  They would keep him quiet for longer than any other toy he owned.  Two siblings later, and the vacuum attachments still hold the position of "most played-with toy" and, occasionally "most fought-over toy."  And this mystifies me.

When I look at vacuum attachments, I see undone chores.  When they look at vacuum attachments, they see swords, telephones, exotic implements of I'm not sure what, and, get this, vacuum attachments.  R will put them together sans vacuum, and pretend to vacuum the floor.  Because they see the world through a fresh light, everything is new.  Even chores can be fun and exciting (though, for the record, if I ask the kids for something specific that doesn't involve motorized parts, the chores go undone).  Vacuum attachments can be magical and full of endless possibilities. 

And it can be like that for adults, too.  All it takes is sitting on the floor next to a couple of toddlers and just listening.  They will narrate what the vacuum tube is now and what it's going to be in five minutes.  They'll talk about how the soup you threw together from leftovers smells great.  They'll ask if you can help them with a task, which, to you, seems simple and even onerous, but to them is an adventure, like baking bread.

If we can learn to be small enough and simple enough, we can recapture that sense of wonder in the world around us.

"Behold, I make all things new."


  1. Stan was like that, too. Still is. Yep. Vacuum attachments. Who knew?

  2. I wonder if there is something in the XY genetic makeup that disposes Robert, for instance, to combine vacuum attachments to construct a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, or to build a sniper rifle with scope out of Duplos.

    We don't let them watch violent movies (unless you count Shaun the Sheep as violent ;)--so whence the proclivity (or so it seems) to making homemade WMDs?