The X5 - a love that will never die!
Our son slept soundly from the first night he spent with us.
He also, for some time, woke early. Thundered along the landing to our bedroom demanding immediate attention. Requesting company. Wanting to play.
So when, after he had been living with us for around three months, he awoke one morning, went downstairs and turned the tv on without disturbing us the occasion was memorable.
Of course, we didn't actually get much of a lie in. The fact our son had chosen not to come and disturb us. The alien noise emanating front he sitting room as he turned on the tv. Both were enough to stir us quickly from our bed to investigate the strange occurrence.
Over breakfast we asked our son what he had been watching. Expecting a description of the latest CBeebies show. Perhaps a couple of episodes of Peppa Pig. Or Thomas the Tank Engine.
"I watched a show about the X5," he replied. "We should get one. It's great."
J and I were confused. We looked at one another quizzically.
"What's an X5?" I asked.
Our son launched into a description of all this wondrous machine did. It cleaned things. But didn't just clean, it STEAM cleaned them. It washed dirt away. It made your house spotless. It changed your life.
Our knowledge of the benefits of an X5 grew exponentially over the following weeks. Becoming used to, and learning that he enjoyed, coming down early to watch TV in the mornings he began to seek out the X5 infomercial. Even if we hadn't left the TV on that channel the night before.
I'd be cleaning the sink. "The X5 would be great at that!" Our little boy would say.
J would wash the car: "The X5 could do this really quickly"
Our cleaning lady found herself pursued around the house with repeated, and I suspect slightly annoying, advice being offered as to where and when the X5 would not only come in useful but also improve the standard of cleaning she undertook.
Quite what the fascination with this multi purpose steam cleaner was we never succeeded in understanding.
When pushed on the issue our son has always exclaimed something like, "it makes everything SO clean."
If he were a paragon of cleanliness himself this would make some sense. Thing is he's not. He's now eight. He's a boy. He's more often than not caked in mud. And that's just the bits that are visible.
Perhaps there is a more serious, and sadder, reason behind his obsessional admiration for the X5.
We know that the circumstances in which he lived with his birth parents prior to being taken into care weren't great. In fact, from the descriptions we have they were sordid. A machine that blasts away grime. That erases stains. That leaves everything shiny. Sparkling. New. Maybe that has attraction for our son as he can see the hope that the stains of the past can be swept away. Both physically and metaphorically.
In any event. Coming down to the kitchen last weekend I found, as usual, our son watching the tv while he ate cereal.
"Look, it's the X5!" He said, awestruck. "We SO have to get one of those!"