Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Marvelous Toy

Do you remember this Peter, Paul and Mary song?

When I was just a wee little lad,
Full of health and joy,
My father homeward came one night
And gave to me a toy.
A wonder to behold it was
With many colors bright
And the moment I laid eyes on it,
It became my heart's delight.

It went "Zip" when it moved and "Pop" when it stopped,
"Whirrr" when it stood still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.

 Well, I now know what it is. Our daughter-in-law Jessica gave one to Kevin for Christmas. She said he was in love with it. It is a robotic vacuum cleaner. I told Johnny and he just rolled his eyes. But at Christmas, a large, heavy package came to Johnny from Kevin. It was a robotic vacuum cleaner. Johnny rolled his eyes again and said, "We heat with wood for goodness sake!" (Not to mention we are not exactly neatniks and this thing wants a clear floor to work on.)

But boys will be boys and they love toys. Johnny started using it... and following it around the house, like Jessica said Kevin does. Kevin has even named his.

I told Johnny that Jessica said Kevin loved to watch his toy dock itself. "It wiggles its butt back and forth and looks so cute!" Kevin told her. I thought that was hilarious. Johnny said, "But it does! It moves back and forth to make contact with its charging dock. It's really cute!"

Oh my.

It first marched left, and then marched right
And then marched under a chair
And when I looked where it had gone
It wasn't even there
I started to cry, but my daddy laughed
'Cause he knew that I would find,
When I turned around my marvelous toy
Would be chugging from behind.

And with apologies to Peter, Paul and Mary...

The years have gone by too quickly it seems,
I have my own little boy
And yesterday he gave to me
A marvelous little toy:
My eyes nearly popped right out of my head
And I gave a squeal of glee!
Neither one of us knows just what it is
But I love it just like he!

It still goes "Zip" when it moves and "Pop" when it stops
And "Whirr" when it stands still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.

But I know. It's a father/son bonding toy. "It doesn't take the same route every time!" Johnny told me in that excited tone little boys use. It's just as well he follows it because, in our house, its tiny holding compartment needs to be emptied frequently.

"Watch it dock!" cries Johnny. "It's so cute!"

Post script: My goodness I've heard from a lot of people who have had a similar experience with a guy and his robotic vacuum. Here is from my Japanese sister, Yoko, about her son Michito. (Yuki is Michito's wife and Ayaka their young daughter):

I laughed as I read your blog.
There was a similar scene at Michito's house.  He loves the newest electrical  appliances.  So he bought a robotic vacuum cleaner on the pretext of Yuki's help a few years ago and named it Mr.Rumba.  Yuki said to me with laugh, "It is Michito's toy." Ayaka said,"Mr. Rumba is so wise that he can return to his dock by himself."  I  asked her to lend me it for a day.  She shook her head. "No! It is  pity that he go to grandma's house. Because there is nothing to eat in your house. He like to eat the dust."

1 comment:

  1. My dear friend Juan had one of these. He also had tiny orange cones to signal to the thing to not fall down the stairs (or maybe it was less practical than that). Anyway, he LOVED it. Have fun with your vacuum. I can't help thinking though, that with the time Johnny follows the robot around, he could have already vacuumed the house!