How to vacuum with a toddler in 17 easy steps

It’s Bible study at our place tonight, so I decided to vacuum. Don’t all faint at once. Since it was such a success, I thought I’d share my steps for vacuuming with a toddler.

1. Turn Play School on.

2. Clear a path through the days’ toys, place all cushions back on couch.

3. Set up vacuum cleaner and plug in.

4. Warn inquisitive toddler (who has figured out mummy must be doing something fun and has wandered over to investigate) that it is going to be NOISY.

5. Turn vacuum on.

6. Turn vacuum off. Prise terrified toddler from back. Cuddle and kiss. Deposit child in front of Play School with bowl of sultanas.

7. Turn vacuum on.

8. Vacuum lounge area, paying particular attention to rug in front of tv and under the high chair. Avoid running over toddler where possible.

9. Turn around to sound of ‘oh-oh’ and discover toddler has just spilled sultanas all over rug in front of tv. Ignore sultanas.

10. Then off vacuum cleaner. Unplug, begin to pack away.

11. Decide to empty vacuum cleaner. Disassemble vacuum and hold in one hand while trying to get plastic bag ready.

12. Lose balance and upend entire contents of vacuum cleaner on the floor.

13. Start to reassemble vacuum and plug in.

14. Stop to give toddler drink of water to clean Dust Rhinosceros out of mouth.

15. Vacuum affected area.

16. Attempt to remove vacuum cleaner from toddler who has decided to drive it around like a car.

17. Give up and boil the kettle for a cup of tea.

I spy with my little eye…


…the world a little more clearly.
Yup, new glasses. New frames, new prescription. It’s always exciting to get new specs – a chance to change your face and update your look every few years. I suppose plastic surgery would do that too, but I’ll just stick to the new glasses, thanks.


While it is terribly exciting, it is also terrifying. Imagine this. You’re accustomed to your own face. Now imagine waking up tomorrow and discovering that you have a completely different nose. This isn’t necessarily bad, just different. It’d take a while to adjust, right? You’d feel pretty aware of your nose for a bit.

Now, go back to the week before you wake up with your new nose. You’re in the Nose Shop (? I probably shouldn’t blog this close to midnight!) and you’ve been told to select your new nose from the ones provided. Right this instant. And you have to do it while you peer through a pair of stockings.

No pressure. Take your time. But be quick about it because this is a busy Nose Shop and there are other customers waiting.

The decision part is hard. You’re not just choosing how you want to look, you’re selecting how you want others to see you. Do you want the diamanté flourish that might betray a flair for the dramatic? Or do you want to go the other end of the spectrum and choose rimless, perhaps implying that you wear glasses under duress? It’s not an easy choice. Add to that the fact that you can’t actually see the frames properly and it’s really a bit of a headache.

But eventually, the frames are selected and the hundreds spent. Your glasses will be ready for collection in five days. So you return on time for the next round.
And then the real fun starts.

You are handed your new glasses. As you put them on, two things happen simultaneously. Firstly, you finally see what the frames really look like on. You either feel triumphant or your stomach sinking (I happen to love mine).

Secondly, the world becomes sharper and clearer. This is supposed to happen – after all, that is the point of glasses – but what you don’t expect is how disorientating that will feel. It feels like you’ve had a fish tank stuck on your head and are expected to walk around safely. It’s a weird experience.

So you leave the shop walking the determined but slightly off-balance walk of someone who knows they’ve had one drink too many, touching your face every couple of seconds to adjust your new frames. Add to that peering in every shop window to check out your reflection and you’re beginning to look…well, a little strange.

No wonder my toddler was laughing at me.

Anyway, I’ve adjusted nicely to my new specs and I’m pretty happy with them. But I’m glad that’s over for at least another two years!