It is something called the NEATO robotic vacuum cleaner, and it specializes in picking up pet hair. M thought this would be an answer to our problem, (since when is wall to wall carpeting made up of English Mastiff hair a problem?) and was actually giddy in anticipation of its arrival. It arrived from Amazon and I decided to surprise M and set it up. I remove it from the box and see there is a book AND a video you have to watch before this thing picks up hair one. Let's put it this way, I got through about five minutes of watching a birthing video in LaMaze class before I lost interest and left the class saying I think my water had broken. If I could not make it through a "How to Bring A Human Being That You Will Be Responsible For The Rest Of Your Life Into This World" video, no way was I making it through "How to Program Your Vacuum to Get Those Super Gross Crumbs Under the Table" video.
I pull this thing out of the box and it looks like a fat frisbee. I stick two batteries in it and I get a message on the screen to program language. Scrolling down quickly, I hit the Japanese button by accident. It took me an hour and finally a call to the company to figure out how to Americanize this thing. Arigatou for taking an hour out of my life that I will never get back.
So, here's how it works: you turn it on and this thing maps out every room in your house, much like my creepy Terminex guy, only in this case the vacuum has no plan to come in and try on my underwear when I'm not home. It goes around the whole house and then plugs itself in when it needs to recharge! It's like having a cleaning service who doesn't watch the Spanish soap opera channel and drink all my diet Dr. Pepper. I am falling in love.
That night we are awakened by a sound that made me think the DEA had discovered the pot my son had hidden in his math book and were landing by helicopter on our roof. I jumped up to grab a robe when I realized, no it was not the DEA. The Neato had just noticed a crumb from my Weight Watchers bar on the kitchen floor and was hot on its' trail. I picked it up and put it back on its charger. Goodnight now.
Thirty minutes later, I hear a computerized whistling coming from our new family member. I go to see what the problem could be and it is flashing a "Please empty my filter bin" sign. I do so, and once again tuck the little guy in. I tell him "If you go to sleep now, tomorrow night you get a story." Forty minutes later, I find him tangled in my string mop, buzzing away and flashing "PLEASE CLEAR MY PATH!" So far I have been up with this thing more times than I was with my newborn who needed my boob every hour and a half. It's time to have the talk with M.
I told M I thought we had decided we didn't want any more children. I already have four kids, a cat who neighborhood security has videoed lounging and pooping at the neighbor's pool, and a 150 pound dog with recurring anal infections. Honestly, I cannot be a caretaker to one more thing.
We reached a compromise. Turns out, you can program this thing to come on at certain times. I guess that little tidbit of info is in the video, which is somewhere in my junk drawer never to be seen or heard from again. M has programmed Neato to come on when I am at work, so it will have to pick up as much hair as it can in those three hours a week. For now peace reigns supreme and the matter of Neato, the little vacuum that couldn't, has been swept under the rug.
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