I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but I hate cleaning. Now, this isn't really such a big deal, everyone hates cleaning. It's boring, time-consuming and a pain in the butt, especially with kids and animals always making messes...like the nice present Simone left me this morning...a huge furball!
Anyway, even though I hate cleaning, when I do it, it gets done! Shiny like mad. So, in my mad dash to get ready to go to New York, I wanted to get the house clean so that I wouldn't come home to a huge mess. And beside, the Birthday Fiesta O' Fun is almost immediately following my return.
About 9 this morning I told Ashleigh to go vacuum her room. Not a problem, she grabbed the vacuum and I went about cleaning the kitchen. So imagine my surprise when about an hour later I check in Ashleigh's room and the floor looks like a Grand Central Station after rush hour! I call Ashleigh up and demand to know why she didn't vacuum.
"I did, Mom!"
I glare at her. "Really?" I say, "You vacuumed?"
"Yes. I did. The vacuum isn't sucking."
I plug the vacuum in and turn it on and indeed, the vacuum is running and making noise, but no actual cleaning is occurring.
"Hmm." I say flipping the vacuum onto its side. I glared at the undercarriage, hoping some foreign object is just stuck a little. No such luck. Fortunately my sis had left her tool box here and I grabbed a screwdriver and began my invasive surgery.
After making the innards outards, I discovered a ripped, broken, melted and dirty belt flopping around. Ok. I think to myself. Easy enough fix. Go to Sears, get a belt, replace, good to go.
Easy sneezy! My plan exceeded my expectations. I went to Sears, with the broken belt, the model number of the vacuum, three pictures of the undercarriage in various degrees of zoom and demanded from the first Blue Shirt I saw, "Help!"
Okay, it was nothing so dramatic. Although it did take the guy a few minutes to locate the correct belt. I purchased said belt and returned home triumphantly brandishing the vacuum cleaner belt as if I had made it myself. I quickly fixed the machine, replaced innards, and set Ashleigh to work.
The floor was beautiful. Then Ashleigh started on the stairs. She accidentally sucked up a sock. From in the living room, I heard a "suck-thump" but didn't think much of it until the smell of burning rubber and the high pitched whine of a engine trying to work overtime penetrated my cleaning focus.
I rushed out into the hallway and yelled for Ashleigh to turn it off.
"Don't you smell that?" I asked.
"When it smells like that something is wrong and you need to turn it off before it explodes!"
"Oh," she replied, "Okay. Can I watch TV?"
"No." I tell her, "you are going to help me figure out what's wrong."
A few minutes later, sock in one hand and melted, broken and smelly belt in the other, I looked up at Ashleigh sitting on the stairs. She had an apologetic grin on her face.
"So," she said, " Back to Sears?"
"Maybe you should get two belts this time." she said.
Maybe that grin was less sorry and more sass...