Arm and Hammer tried to kill me.

Let it be known that I hate carpet.

Carpet holds on to dirt.

In our case, it also holds on to the smell of dog urine from the previous tenants…

even after shampooing…

and scrubbing…

and ridiculous amounts of vacuuming.

I stared down at the open canister I had just emptied from our vacuum cleaner.  I bit back a profane word as, for the fifth time, I tried to put the pieces back together and back into the vacuum.  Bam Bam stared at me from his high chair and crinkled his nose.  Canister, bottom, lid, screwey thingy, flippy thing – should be a piece of cake.  I could not for the life of me figure out why the pieces would not fit together.

Like an insane monkey, I pounded the lid over the top of the container over and over like somehow that would change the shape of one of the two pieces.

What is that gap?  Why is there a gap?  Maybe it’s supposed to be there…

I glared over at the couch that I pushed up against the staircase.  I once again chased the dogs away from the perfumed Arm and Hammer powder I sprinkled on the carpet and only halfway vacuumed up.  The leaving it on the carpet for the suggested 15 minutes had turned into 45.

I then sent a series of iPhone videos to my husband.  I filmed myself pointing wildly to pieces of the vacuum cleaner in hopes that he could help somehow.

“Oh yeah, the bottom of that thing broke a while ago.  It still works, though.  You just have to hold it together when you put it back in.”

His level of helpfulness was zero.

The scent was starting to overwhelm me…

in the way chloroform would.

Must have been the “pet odor neutralizers”.

I shoved the canister back into the vacuum, and half heartedly twisted some small piece of something into something else to get it to stay.

Only one way to find out.

I flipped the on switch…

and screamed.

The thing spit out ashy, black soot…

from the bottom of the vacuum…

from the hose that connected the canister…

from the sides where I didn’t even know there were openings.

And then little Meatball, awakening from his nap, started to scream.

I ran to the bathroom, washed my hands and arms, stripped my sooty clothes off, grabbed Bam Bam and ran upstairs, mostly naked, to get the baby.

That was it.

I was done.

I left it all and stayed with the kids upstairs.

We came down briefly to get food, while scooting along the outside perimeter of the living room to avoid the “poison powder” as I lovingly was calling it.

The smell was becoming obnoxious.

My kids were becoming obnoxious.

And everyone needed a bath.

It wasn’t until after dinner, bedtime, two nursing sessions, and one bowel movement later that I was ready to tackle the vacuum again.

I told it I would kill it if it didn’t comply.

I tried to use our hand vac to get up some of the now worst smelling spring freshness I had ever been around.  The hand vac was not charged.  The charger was no where to be found.

My nose started to burn.

My eyes started to water.

My head started to really hurt.

Arm and Hammer was trying to murder me.

I looked around for something to put over my face.

The pile of unfolded laundry sitting on the table saved me.


I sat there…

with underwear on my face…

covered in soot again…

unhappy and unsuccessful.

And then the baby cried again.

Yes, I know these are first world problems.  “My perfumed powder got left on my carpet for hours because the machine that sucks up yucky things in my four bedroom home was broken.”

But when you’re covered in soot and “poison powder”, exhausted, hungry, and wearing old Victorias’ Secret panties on your face (in an unflattering color for your skin tone), you’re allowed a gripe or two.


Just another reason to hate carpet.




PS- My husband finally came home at ten o’clock at night.  We figured out that a piece of the canister unit had fallen into the trash when I emptied it.  He dug it out and held the broken pieces together while shoving the canister back into it’s rightful spot.

PPS- My carpet still smells like dog urine…

and a little bit of springtime.





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Comments (14)

  • Crystal Stump 10 years ago Reply

    I can’t deal with those scented powders. They make me want to gag. There is a product called Atmosclear that seriously works wonders- gets rid of cat urine smell at least!

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    Hate those powders too. It was a last resort. I swear it’s still in my nose hairs.

  • Jen 10 years ago Reply

    Carpet sucks dirty dog balls or at least smells like it… aka I hate carpet too.

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    Jen, you ball sniffer.

  • MommaKiss 10 years ago Reply

    well dog urine is just plain nasty, especially when it’s been there for ages.

    gotta admit, though, seeing you with a ‘mask’ of undies totally made my day.

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    Gotta wear them somewhere, right?

  • hollow tree ventures 10 years ago Reply

    I hear ya! My husband actually likes carpet – the whole “it’s soft underfoot thing.” Blech. Yeah, I married him anyway.

  • Alexandra/The Empress 10 years ago Reply

    As my husband would say, “not a total loss, at least the Victoria’s Secret was finally pulled out of the dresser drawer.”

    Poor thing…


  • John 10 years ago Reply

    That sounds like a, truly, rough time. And, possibly, the best case scenario if ever I should attempt to vacuum at my own house. Last time I did, I sucked up one of the kids somethings, and it clogged the hose and just made for a glorious mess.

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    I’m starting to believe that people with young children just shouldn’t clean.

  • Alison@Mama Wants This 10 years ago Reply

    Urgh, I HATE carpet. We don’t even have a rug anymore after the toddler puked on it and we decided throwing it away was easier than cleaning it.

    God I love my marble floors and wooden floors.

    Jenni Chiu 10 years ago Reply

    Carpet, toddlers, and babies just don’t mix.
    Also, down filled couches…

  • So sorry. What a pain. And I love it how you aptly described it as a first world problem. Still a pain nonetheless.

  • I loathe that stuff and I’m totally with you…people with young children just shouldn’t be cleaning. It’s unhealthy for all!

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