The Fine Art of Vacuuming

People, trying to vacuum with two now-totally-walking girls chasing me around, followed by their 3 year old brother, leaves a lot to be desired. A lot. A simple chore has turned into a challenge that I’m not sure I can win. First, I get the vacuum cleaner out of the closet. Then, I go pick up toys, bottles, blankets, and clothes scattered across the floor…complaining all the while about the mess – but nobody listens or seems to care. The picture above is what I come back to; the vacuum pulled over and Ms. L and Ms. M fighting over who gets to flick the little lid that opens up on the handle.

Sometimes vacuuming has to wait so that the girls can check out the vacuum as shown in the pictures below. And they feel the need to check it out every time I pull it out of the closet. Ms. M goes straight for the attachments while Ms. L tries to take the vacuum apart. She has figured out how to push the button to get the canister off.

Ms. L getting ready to take the canister off the vacuum as Ms. M watches and eats an attachment
Success! The canister is off.
Ms. L trying to eat the canister, Ms. M munching on the attachment, and the dog investigating.

And if that scenario isn’t taking place, I might actually be vacuuming…like this: Ms. L loves the vacuum cleaner and tries to ride it – as I vacuum. Ms. M hates the vacuum cleaner, and tries to ride my leg…I’m guessing so that the vacuum won’t eat her. Since Ms. L is on or right in front of the vacuum, Tater decides that he wants to play with her. So now I’ve got two kids right in front of the vacuum fighting playing, and one kid sitting on my foot crying.


Ms. L is trying to pull all the attachments off the vacuum as I’m trying to vacuum…or she stands right in front of it…or helps push it. So I’m watching baby toes instead of where I’m supposed to vacuum. Meanwhile, Ms. M is trying to rip the plug out of the wall so that it turns off. I go over to plug it back in and distract Ms. M by putting her somewhere else with a toy to play with, while Ms. L is trying to “eat” the attachments. I go back to put the attachments back on and make sure there’s no debris in her mouth, while Ms. M is already back over at the plug. Now Tater is fighting to get the attachments away from Ms. L, and she’s crying. And now Ms. M is also crying because I won’t let her eat the cord. And Tater is chasing the dogs around screaming and the dogs are barking.


Why, you may ask, do I not just vacuum while they nap? I don’t know. That would just be too easy, I guess.

And so it goes…


  1. Surviving Motherhood says:
    LOL, this is too cute. Though I know, vacumming, sweeping, mopping and all that has to be done. Sometimes I really don't see the point. I clean the floors just to see them destroyed with food, toys, and who knows what else in a matter of minute :) So I know how you feel!
  2. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    Aw, they are too cute! That's why we just got hardwood floors! ;-) No, actually it was just easier with our dog!!
  3. I do the "vacuum while napping" trick myself. I'm not patient enough to try otherwise. Adorable pictures!
  4. Dazee Dreamer says:
    you made me laugh. kids and vacuums. Too funny. and the pictures were adorable.
  5. Perfect description!! And...why do things the easy way?? That would be too..well..EASY!!
  6. Booyah's Momma says:
    Really? She's figured out how to take the canister off? Smart cookie. I have one of those Dysons, and taking it apart is a true mystery to me.
  7. i wouldn't chance waking them from slumber just to vacuum, so i don't blame you on that.

    i can't get over her removing the canister! if you have 1 year olds who can do that, you're screwed woman!
  8. Belle's Butterfly says:
    I couldn't imagine. Usually Belle is napping when I can sweep/swiffer. We have all hardwood floors which are a pain to keep up with. No matter how many times you sweep there is still dust, fuzz, cat hair on the floors. And Belle can find the tiniest little fuzz ball in a matter of seconds. If she is awake I can usually get about 5 minutes with her in the jumperroo or when shes eating and in the high chair.

    It's so funny that one loves the vacuum and the other hates it. Too cute!
  9. I couldn't read this post. I was too overtaken with jealousy by the photo of your Dyson.
  10. This sums up Motherhood in a way I'm sure all writers envy. Constantly chasing your tail. Or their tails. Whichever.

    Why can't we all just live in a bouncy house? I imagine they are much easier to keep clean.
  11. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    LOL... I can't even imagine.

    I only had one...and he was scared of it!

    I was able to vacuum in peace.

    Except for the dog. We had a dog then who did NOT like the vacuum.

    But if I could deal with the barking, then i could vacuum.
  12. Lula Lola says:
    Vacuum cleaners do provide great white noise! Love their fascination with the vac! Good stuff!
    I just bought a Roomba and it's the best thing going, I bet your kiddos would like it better than any toy! :)
  13. Your life is a walking comedy act, you just can't see it yet. Just wait... I know it's hard to believe this and I'm sure I've told you this before, but one day you will actually miss this.
  14. The Empress says:
    Can I tell you that of anything you've posted on, these babies gone wrong are my and my family's fave.

    I love that they're upright now and into everything. We howl over here with how they are partners in crime and sticking everything in their mouths. I SO LOVE THIS.

    You have to at least one day a week do "babes gone wild."

    You've struck solid gold here....
  15. Natalie, your life exhausts me! Totally....but please don't waste their nap times on vacuuming, because it will still be there tomorrow. Or Thursday.

    They are too adorable...if only they were tall enough to do it themselves.
  16. Yum, that vacuum brush tastes great :)
    My son is also addicted to the Dyson, sometimes I even pull it out of the closet when I don't need to vacuum. Yes that is one expensive baby toy. Don't tell my husband!
  17. ode to the vacuum adventures...will loves the vacuum as well and likes me to chase him with it!

    i can just picture all three of your kiddos around the vacuum!
  18. We have had wars over them pulling the plus out. Matt used to cry hysterically when I would put it away while Hailey stood there waving and screaming "bye vacuuuu." It's madness, isn't it???

    Oh, and I don't have a three year old, but I do have a huge labrador who is petrified of the vacuum (I love to chase her too)...pure madness!!!
  19. Aging Mommy says:
    My daughter showed no interest in our vacuum, but whenever I got it out she would start to scream. It drove me insane. There are some pretty good toy vacuums out there - some even work pretty well. If you don't already have one maybe it's time to get one, or even two, so the girls can help and if Tater complains get him to wield yours. Then put your feet up and let the kids do the work :-)
  20. thegreatmamaexperiment says:
    I've got one who loves to "ride" the vacuum while his two older sisters run around the room and squeal. It's almost not worth it.

    BTW, your girls are gorgeous.
  21. Young Mom says:
    I can relate! My 3 year old is usually insisting on vacuuming "by herself" and trying to wrench the vacuum out of my hands. My 2 year old likes to grab onto the vacuum cord and yell "pull!" over and over. And my one year old likes to stand in front of the vacuum giggling histerically whenever I try to go around her.
  22. blueviolet says:
    If I had that vacuum, I'd be down on the floor with the twins admiring it and investigating it as well!
  23. Mrs.Mayhem says:
    You're so upbeat about the craziness in your life that comes with three little kids. I love reading about the chaos.

    We have the same purple vacuum - it's the best ever! And virtually indestructible. I know because my boys haven't been able to destroy it yet, despite trying (in the name of avoiding housework).
  24. moveovermarypoppins says:
    My son swiffers, with a swiffer whose handle has been shortened one section, while I vacuum. He only *thinks* he's having fun!
  25. Funky Mama Bird says:
    Oh man, and I thought vacuuming with one was hard! Our issue is sweeping. I sweep a pile, and Gunne picks up every. Last. Piece. to hand to me. With great ceremony. Then he must sweep, usually just scattering more stuff around. Ugh.
  26. The Sweetest says:
    I want to eat your twins. Okay, that came out wrong. Like, really wrong. But they are so yummy cute.
  27. says:
    I love (love!) your pics. Also, we have the same vacuum. =)
  28. Sharlene T. says:
    These are the days you'll wish you could live, over and over... they're just not easy to live through... cheer up, pretty soon they'll be off to school and coming home to tell you how everyone else does everything better than you!... you could always wrap a diaper around their feet and throw a cookie across the room... they'd be dusting as they skittered toward it!... and be helping Mommy!
  29. MommaKiss says:
    I can see the baby jail behind and it's making me think of the drama queen head back photo and i'm laughing all over again.

    just let the kid ride the vac, will ya? get 'er done!
  30. says:
    If it's that hard to vacuum, it's got to be a pure nightmare to fix a meal! Godloveyoublessyourheart!!!
  31. I don't have kids at home, I'm a gramma now. When the grandbaby is over we play, no housework. So when I vacuum up my tumblefurs I'm only dodging the dog and 3 cats.
    Can your little ladies come work on my computer though? It needs disassembling to replace a part :)
  32. Ahhhaaaaa! Love the photos of those little dolls and their vacuum. My oldest daughter was not a fan of it at first ... probably because she never heard it until she was 3! ;)

    kidding . . .
    a little
  33. You know one of the things I love most about reading your posts? Seeing that your girls have the same uniform that Matthew has! ;)
    Strength in numbers, my friend.