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vacuum cleaner

Why do I bother vacuuming?

I get on this hamster wheel every day.

I follow the trails my children leave around the house like Hansel, or Gretel. But there’s no sanctuary at the end of my trail of breadcrumbs. There’s no witch waiting to fatten me up, and then put me in an oven either.

No, there’s only more breadcrumbs. And the occasional piece of shrivelled up ham.

I treasure those brief moments where everything looks nice and clean. Admiring the vacuum cleaner’s marks on the carpet, like contrails in the sky.

It lasts overnight sometimes.

Then the kids wake up.

And the lovely sucker goes back to work, eating all the food that doesn’t quite hit the target.

She’s got the best diet of anyone in our household, despite just being an appliance. There’s not a day goes by when she doesn’t gorge herself on cereal, bread, cheese, meat and the occasional sock (good for roughage are socks).

She’s better than a dog when it comes to finishing meals. She’s not fussy. And she’ll never leave you a present in your slippers.

She’s my first, and last, line of defence against the enemies of cleanliness in my household – my children.

Sometimes, they even create work while I’m vacuuming. Following me round while I hoover up.

They eat biscuits while they watch me.

Their eyes glint with mirth, while they chow down on Mr Crumblie’s Extra Mega Crumbly Biscuit (NOW WITH 50% MORE CRUMBS KIDS!). They leave a trail that is all but guaranteed to lure ET into the house, if he ever comes back to see Elliot again.

I’m going to marry my hoover, I might as well, we spend so much time together. One can’t work without the other.

I spend more time touching it than I do my partner. That’s not sick, or warped.

Or is it?

No. That’s just one more part of being a stay-at-home dad.

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