All Akimbo: Vacuum cleaner bliss

By Kim Blakely, mama to Mojo and Moxie


Oh, people. I’ve been gearing up to tell you about the day our daughter was born – some funny things happened, along with some not-so-funny things – but this is just not the week to do it.

I’m exhausted!

Moxie continues to live up to her name, pulling my hair, pounding my chest with her tiny little fists, her little face turning red as her screams deepen into coughs before she can catch her breath and start all over again. And all I seem to be able to do to help is vacuum. (My carpets are the cleanest ones in the land, I guarantee. Well, at least the ones downstairs. I haven’t yet figured out how to haul the vacuum cleaner up the stairs while holding a flailing baby.)

What’s wrong, you ask? I wish I knew.

It’s not usually a desire to nurse. She sometimes takes a swig or two, before resuming her complaints but usually she won’t even acknowledge the breast.

I do know it’s probably not colic. It doesn’t happen at the same time each day, and it sometimes doesn’t happen at all, though that, my friends, is rare.

I don’t think her tummy hurts, although that is an occasional problem.

I believe she’s exhausted and mad about it. In my opinion, my girl gets angry at her eyelids for betraying her when she wants to continue looking around. I believe that, in dramatic Moxie fashion, she is lashing out at everyone and everything around her when those lids start to get heavy in hopes that she will finally win the battle and be able to go about her business.

When I flip the vacuum switch and we start moving across the floor, she quiets almost instantly (with the occasional escaping sob to let me know just how dire she actually found her earlier plight) and eventually falls asleep. She wakes up rested and happy, as if nothing at all were amiss. If I dare to turn off the machine before she’s firmly lodged in dreamland, however – whoa. The howls.

Of course, it would be much easier for me to oblige if there weren’t so many obstacles (i.e. Mojo’s toys) in the way, but since her shrieks have been known to send him under the bed he now picks up most of what’s in the way when I ask.

Mojo, by the way, has been great with Moxie. He reads his favorite superhero comic books to her and she looks at him in wonder. He comforts her in her carseat, explaining why she’s in there and where we’re going.

One night a couple of weeks ago, she screamed for an hour straight. That’s unusual, even for her. She spends a good portion of every night awake but generally just looks around for a while – even smiles – before finally going back to sleep. Anyway, her cries woke Mojo, who came in and wanted to know why she was making so much noise. I was worried that he would be angry or resentful about the disturbance the next morning, but instead he woke up and asked where she was.

“Can I hold her?” he asked.

I grabbed her – and my camera. Then I relaxed a little. Because seeing my babies already loving each other makes it all worth it.