I thought the title appropriate as we are currently in the middle of Playoffs for the World Series. GO GIANTS! That's right, I'm a band wagoner. Haven't watched a game all season and I'm a fan. Whoot!
The other reason for the title is because I'm going to cover two topics. First, is vacuum maintenance. It's a necessary evil. I've been racking my brain and there is no humor in it. No witty remarks. And those of you who personally know me know that I need a week to come up with something witty. I know, its hard to believe but my alter ego writes these posts.
The second topic is when to teach your kids to clean up after themselves. Interesting, I know.
Vacuum's: Here's the deal folks, its super important to clean the machine. Bagless or canister your vacuum came with a user manual that has maintenance that will not only extend the life of the machine but also its productivity. I know none of you still have your user manual and that's okay. Get your vacuum out beside you and go online to the manufacturer website. Enter in some info and BAM! There is your manual. Now, I suggest you download this to a house folder on your computer for later reference. And this tip is for way more than vacuum's. Don't clutter up the house with all these manuals you'll loose anyway. Download them and stay organized. This tip is especially useful for parents. Cribs, swings all the way through electronics. If you have to put it together, resale it, clean it, download the user manual.
Alright enough about manuals. Now you have it. Read the instructions carefully and follow them. In my case, I have several cleanable filters that take 24 hours to fully dry before I can run the vacuum again.
In the meantime I get a old comb and a pair of scissors, a washcloth and a small bucket of hot soapy water (not sudsy, just soapy). You'll also need both a phillips head and flathead screwdriver. And because I'm crazy I also get a q-tip and extra cotton ball. You're going to get your vacuum on the floor, on its front side so that the rollers are exposed. Remove the coverplate to fully expose those rollers. We all know that hair and string get wrapped around those but here is the bigger problem. You loose suction when those things don't do their job. So clean it all up in there. While you're in there check on the belt and make sure there is no noticeable ware spots. Put the coverplate back and stand the machine upright. Check all the hoses for clogs, especially at the bends. Now lay the machine back down on its backside. Using a damp washcloth wipe it down, all the nooks and crannies. this is where I use my q-tip and cotton ball. But that might be excessive.
I know I used the "would you eat off of a dirty plate" on you all already but let me hit you in the wallet now. I spent 170 bucks on my vacuum. That is sort of middle of the road as far as vacuums go. But I don't have two hundred bucks to be throwing around every time a belt breaks or it looses suction because I don't know how to clean the thing.
Now for the second half of this blog: When to Teach Your Child to Pick Up After Themselves
The other week I overheard a mother of a girl the same age as Alice, say that she is not going to make her daughter put on her own shoes, "she's only 3." Well this sent my head spinning. Alice puts her own shoes on. Am I forcing my child to grow up too fast?? Is this going to be the 1st point in her life that she realizes I push her too hard?? No, its just shoes. And I want my child to be self-sufficient. If she needs help she asks for it and I give it. Not a crisis. But it did get me thinking about the different ages to start introducing chores. So it's no surprise that I clean a lot. I started getting Alice involved too. I would hand her a dust rag or a wipe and show her what to wipe down. These days though she has responsibilities. Toys come out and are played with all day. Great But Alice is responsible to pick up those toys and put them in the respectable bedrooms. Eli's toys in his room and her toys in her room. Then once a week she has to clean both her room and her brother's room. He's only one, so I charge Alice with teaching Eli how to pick up his toys. We sing songs and make up counting games to make it more fun. I always sit in the room with her and remind her where things go. But these are her "chores." Here is what I have noticed: fewer toys now come out of the room. I even have started noticing that when she is finished playing with something it gets put away.
Now when I mentioned to a couple of mothers that this is what my 3 year old is responsible for they looked at me like I was breaking child labor laws. But I think this is exactly what the experts are talking about when they tell us to teach our children early and they will have better habits later.
Until next time.