So here’s the deal… in a totally perplexing, inappropriate, not-good-at-funerals kinda way, I laugh when I’m nervous. The upside is that I also become very funny in strenuous situations… which often comes in handy. I also laugh when something happens to my kids. It’s not when they fall off a bed or teeter precariously on something and call out for help. But sometimes…. when they’re upset or hurt for a funny reason… I know I should immediately comfort them (and I do) but I can’t help crack a smile or let got of a not-cool giggle. Often Evie gives me a rueful glance and accepts the comfort but I know she’s saying, “Heyyyyyy,” inside her. Jack doesn’t yet, but he will.
Two days ago we were cleaning up Grandmom’s house, preparing to leaving. We spent an hour putting all the toys away and straightening out the books. Then it was time to vacuum. I got the vacuum cleaner out and started on my chore. The kids wanted to help… so I playfully brought the head of of the cleaner closer to their feet. Jack squealed and wanted more so I pretended to vacuum his belly. (Ok ok… don’t be judgey… we were having fun. I get it now.)
Evie said, “Me, me,” so I adjusted and pretended to vacuum her belly… and *boom* her blond curls was sucked up into the vacuum. It took a fraction of a second. She looked at me, I looked at her and we both screamed. Unfortunately, we were a few steps from the vacuum cleaner and she was beyond taking direction so I had to pull her across the room with her had stuck to the vacuum in order to kill power.
I called for Grandmom (of course). We went through all the questions (with the vacuum cleaner still attached to her head) and realized she was fine. Once we moved into “save her hair” mode, I couldn’t help myself. I laughed – out loud. It was a long release of “oh-my-god -THAT-did-not-just-happen”. My 3 year old looked at me, shook her head, tears welled up and I caught her just as she was going down onto her knees.
Her hair is fine. Daddy came and disassembled the vacuum cleaner head. A boat load of conditioner made combing out the sharks (knots) reasonably easy. Evie isn’t hurt. She isn’t even scared of the vacuum. She does, however, make sure to add “… and it wasn’t funny” with conviction every single time she tells the story to anyone.
That picture at the start of the post – that doll is named Nancy. Nancy was my Grandmother’s doll. She’s from the 1930s. She very delicate and she was given to me by my Great Grandmother. She also has a hand carved cradle that my Great Grandad made for her. Bottomline, she’s special.
Since we’re home and cleaning, I got her out to show Evie and explain her history – you know, a nice Grandmom, mom, daughter & son bonding moment.
To show Jack the doll I had him sit on the bed and I cradled her between my arms. When I was about 2 feet from him I sat her up so he could see her face. Unfortunately, dolls from the 1930s are not like dolls of today. They are @$%@#$% realistic to start and their eyes close when they’re laying down “asleep” and they open when they’re vertical “awake”. He saw those eyes open and WOW. I didn’t see it at first because I was looking at the doll. When I heard my mom gasp I looked and his hands were fully extended in the air (E.T. style), shaking wildly and his mouth was open as if to scream but no sound was coming out. He was terrified. Couldn’t help it… I guffawed out loud (and I’ll be honest, I still am). As I was hiding the doll under the bed ( I know I know… horrible place to put her but in the heat of the moment I wasn’t thinking), I was already soothing him with tears running down my face.
Jack will now never like dolls. He’ll also probably think dolls are hiding under his bed, waiting to get him. Evie will never forget the day the vacuum “ate her head”. Worst mom ever… but dang it’s been a funny week.