(Although I will just note to any and all people who might be wondering, since apparently this is news to some people--coughcoughDavidcoughcough--that her purpose is NOT vacuuming up half a bag of popcorn kernels when they are spilled all over the kitchen floor. It would make MUCH more sense to simply SWEEP THEM UP YOURSELF rather than dodging a robot vacuum who is spinning all around the kitchen because she doesn't know she should focus on the popcorn kernels. Which by the way, hurt to step on.)
Zuzu was naturally intrigued by Rosie when she first encountered her. She plays a little song! She has a light-up button on her back! She moves across the floor in a teasing little dance! Obviously she is a toy made for children!
One day, I'd turned off Rosie and left her sitting (rather than docked under a side table where she usually is) and Zuzu crawled over to investigate. She was all kinds of pleased with herself and making excited little squeals about touching Rosie, and then she hit the "on" button.
Rosie lit up, played her little song, and started spinning. She turned and bumped right into to Zuzu's thigh, and then did it again and again. From Zuzu's perspective, I can see why this would be somewhat terrifying, especially because Rosie has bumped into my feet before and it's not exactly comfortable. Zuzu started crying and I picked her up and comforted her, but it was too late.
She's terrified of Rosie. If she so much as hears Rosie play her little "power on" song, Zuzu will burst into tears. If I walk NEAR Rosie's docking station, carrying Zuzu, her little arms will tighten around me, and there's no way she'd let me put her down.
I'm kind of surprised that our fearless little daredevil is so freaked out by the Roomba. She's not at all afraid of the regular vacuum or the dust-buster. Of course, I haven't ever rammed into her with the vacuum or dustbuster, either (before you think, Wow, what a good mom for not terrorizing her child with the vacuum, you should finish reading this blog post.). It hasn't really been that big of a deal--we usually run Rosie only when we're out of the house so I haven't thought too much about it. Zuzu can work it out later with her therapist, right?
But then we've had to deal with this:
|I've got this|
|I made it more than half way up!|
|You think you can stop me from climbing the stairs?|
|I'll just scale the bannister and give you a panic attack.|
And then it hit me.
I parked Rosie at the bottom of the stairs.
At the next opportunity, Zuzu crawled gleefully through the house at top speed, heading directly for the stairs. When she got near the entry way, however, she spied the small, round robot, sitting silently, turned off, but lurking. Waiting for her.
And she stopped short in her tracks and burst into tears, backpedaling to get away from the vicious vacuum. She was desperate to have someone pick her up and save her. She wanted to go nowhere near the stairs!
I know, it's super mean. Also somewhat hilarious. And very effective in keeping the baby off the stairs.
Small victories, people. Small victories.
Dear Zuzu's Future Therapist for Overcoming Robot-Vacuum Fears,
You're welcome for these billable hours.