What most of parents have to come to terms with is the fact that their apartment will never be clean again, at least not any time soon. We’re no exception. Still, we keep trying, M. and me.
I plug the hoover in and switch it on. The fan blades begin to turn and the air starts pushing itself in. My son B. is impressed with the sound of the vacuum cleaner (as well as the hair dryer, mixer, blender, and washing machine). He’s pulling and dragging the cord, examining the plug, inspecting the hose, and looking at the push fit floor tool carefully as if to ensure everything’s in its place. As long as the fan is running, he’ll be calm and by my side. He discovers the volume knob. He turns it up. He turns it down. He turns it on and off again and again. I put the sweeper back to where it belongs. Don’t forget to put the outlet plug covers back. Wash him up.
B. detects the cardboard box filled with toys. What he does is haul everything out of it, leaving the green and pink ribbons hanging across. He’s looking inside. It’s empty. It needs to be filled. It’s full. Now empty it again. Fill it one more time. In with bright-colored building blocks, stacking cups, balls and books, in with musical toys, rubber animals, push and pull toys, a plastic bottle and an empty cookie box. B. loves things that bounce off and away, things you chase, and drag, things to bat, reach, and bang, things to shake, throw, and especially whack against a surface, be it a glass window, the floor or whatever. He presses buttons of his toy keyboard, swinging his body to the sounds of the recorded beats – samba, pop, waltz, disco and rap, along with the sounds the animals make. The horses neigh, the sheep says baa, the duck says quack quack, moo, tweet, woof… Next, he grabs hold of the floor lamp. No! No! No! No! He lets go. He starts turning round and round and round. It gets dizzy, doesn’t it? He’s smiling. I adore him.