You’ll recall that about a month ago, I bought a Roomba and I have been thrilled with that purchase every day since! The docking station where it charges is right by my front door, partly because that was the only free outlet I could find that wasnt’ blocked by furniture and partly because I want it there so I can (and will remember to) hit the button and start it up as I leave for work every morning. This means, of course, that it’s also the first thing I see when I come home at night. During these short Standard Time days, it is already dark by the time I get home from work and I do not leave any lights on while I’m out, so when I open the door, the bright green glow of the charging/charged light glows up at me. On Monday, I came home, opened the door and looked down into darkness.
“Uh oh,” I said to Mischa. “Where’s Roomba?” You’ll be glad to know, I was not expecting, nor did I receive an answer. I went searching for Roomba, looking under chairs, peeking into the kitchen. My bedroom door is kept closed so I knew she wouldn’t be in there. And then I found her, peeking out from under the bathroom vanity, just sitting there. (Don’t ask me why Roomba is a she… She just is.)
I have double-sided bathroom rugs. My family learned a long time ago, that cats seem to be attracted to the rubber non-skid surfaces of bathroom rugs for the purposes of peeing. We learned this not from my problem child who is notorious for peeing in inappropriate places, but from my mother’s perfect little angel of a cat who never did anything wrong, ever, except for repeatedly peeing on rubberized bathroom rugs. Once my mother bought the first double-sided rug, the peeing stopped. Naturally, when I was out on my own, with my problem chid who is notorious for peeing in inappropriate places to think about, I went in search of double-sided rugs for my own bathroom.
The thing is, when you mix a robot vacuum cleaner with rugs that don’t hold their position and you throw in a marble tile floor to boot, you get a recipe for trouble. I never know what I’m going to find when I come into my bathroom in the evenings. Some days Roomba goes right over those rugs like it’s nothing, other days, Roomba pushes those rugs, inevitably folding them over. I happened to be in the bathroom one Saturday morning while Roomba was doing her thing and I watched as she went over the first rug and under the vanity, but when she came back around and started making her way for the door again, she pushed the rug in front of her, until it folded over and became an obstacle that Roomba’s sensors are programmed to avoid. Suddenly, Roomba was stuck in a four-foot square room frantically crossing between wall, bath tub, toilet, trash can and folded rug with nowhere to go, until finally I rescued her and sent her on her way.
When I came home on Monday, I found a similar scene with the rug folded over on itself and Roomba hiding under the vanity, her batteries completely drained of power. I had to coax her back to her charging station to prepare for the next day.
I’ve had my Roomba for more than a month now. I’m just as thrilled today as I was on the first day with this product and the developments it has brought into my life. I never thought I’d have consistently clean floors again until I moved out of my current home. This stuck-on-the-rug show is a rare occurence and nothing to diminish my satisfaction with the product.
So you can imagine, when I came home again on Tuesday, looked down into the black void that should have been my Roomba, peacefully sleeping and awaiting her marching orders.
“Again?” I said to Mischa, still not expecting an answer. I went searching again. checked under furniture, peaked through the kitchen, glanced toward the bathr– I started laughing.
The bathroom door was closed, but I don’t close the bathroom door unless there’s someone else in my house. I walked to the door and pushed it open slowly. Sure enough, Roomba was sitting in the middle of the floor, completely drained of power, with one rug pushed up into a pile by the bath tub, another rug shoved into a corner behind the toilet and my trash can, the trash can which normally stands in the way of Roomba getting behind the door, in the opposite corner of the room. I told you Roomba was assertive!
Roomba had trapped herself inside the bathroom and run around in circles (well, circles, random straight lines, whatever she does) until she ran completely out of juice and gave up.
I’ll pick those rugs up as soon as I can, but as I said, I have marble floors and the average temperature in my house this time of year, particularly in the mornings is 60 degrees. Those rugs stay down as long as the temperature does.
I wonder where I’ll find my Roomba tonight…