These days I find myself in the position of being the 'more experienced mom' in the room more often than not. Kinda hard to believe really. It honestly feels like a short leap since I was 23 and having my first bambino. It has been almost 14 years, though, and I am armed with an arsenal of advice. Everything from positive parenting, potty training, eating habits, sleep habits - you name it and no doubt I have read a book about it. Applying this wealth of information - that's another issue.
I can say, though, that when embarking on parenthood for the first time I would advise most parents this way: invest in a wet/dry vacuum and leaf-blower.
Don't bother with that fancy-schmancy Dyson that looks so pretty. You need practical. You need something to suck up the wet messes that will abound and the wet dry vac is your man. I'm telling you, those things don't quit and they don't break. There is a nice wide nozzle that will suck up anything that's not nailed down - even shoes! I don't fear the belly of my children's bed; I just bring in my trusty shop vac. I don't cringe when there is wet toilet paper in the living room; I have my wet/dry vac! Something spilled in the refrigerator? Go get that wet dry vacuum! It is a bit cumbersome but can also double as an end table when you're in a pinch. Just put a table cloth over it.
Now, the idea for how to use the leaf blower came from my brother, Erik, who is obviously a genius. Well, he's mentally handicapped but he's a genius, too. You know what I mean? So, I was visiting my mom and dad and Erik offered to clean out my van. I handed him the keys without thinking twice. Thirty minutes later my dad and I went to the front door to check on his progress. Here's what we saw:
Erik had opened up all the doors of the van. He stood on the left side of the vehicle with leaf blower in hand. Debris was flying from the right-side door. It was so efficient! Unfortunately my parents' manicured lawn was now littered with several weeks of accumulated junk. Socks, wrappers, straws, napkins, toys of various sizes. I think there was even a pair of underwear (?). I looked at Dad and said the only thing I could think of. "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT??"
So, now the leaf blower is employed in many aspects of my house cleaning. I do have to warn you, though, the gas powered ones can have some pretty potent fumes.
Need any more advice from the expert?