Both of my kids experience varying levels of panic when the vacuum cleaner comes out. It isn't like we have some creapy-space-age-machine-looking vacuum. We have an old, mostly shiny-metal Royal - a hand-me-down from my parents who wanted a Dyson but couldn't stand to donate such an awesome vacuum. It's a classic. Very non-threatening, but fairly loud.
My oldest no longer cries at its appearance per se, but still prefers to find higher ground and drag as many of his possessions with him as possible. This is an improvement. He's gone through many hilarious vacuum-phases. My favorite was when he was developing great courage, he would ask us to take him to the closet where the vacuum is kept several times per day (this was when he wasn't quite talking yet so this was all through gestures), want us to open it so he could see that it was there, and then quickly close the door and run away.
My younger son is completely and totally terrified of the vacuum. If it is out of the closet, he won't even walk past it unless somebody picks him up - at which point he grabs ahold of us with claws clenching tightly and leans his body as far away from the dreaded machine as possible. I don't get to vacuum as often as I'd like because it is just such drama. It's pretty much only possible if I want to a) let the kid(s) scream or b) make my husband take them away on a Saturday morning. When I'm left alone to vacuum, I usually spend WAY too much time vacuuming and then feel both lame and triumphant.
So I bought a Dust Buster the other day. It was a little bit of an impulse purchase, but I've been wanting one for awhile now, so I just decided to grab one. I bought the cheapest one at the store: The Dirt Devil Scorpion. I have to say that I wasn't blown away by its awesomeness. I think I'd give it about a grade C. The cool flip-down crevice tool doesn't snap firmly down, so you have to hold it in place while using it. The suction is okay, but not great. The front of the vacuum is sort of rounded (as you can see in the picture) which makes it not so great at actually touching the ground.
I'm still pretty sure that it's going to change my life. The convenience of being able to clean the crumbs off of the carpet after meals without using my fingers is HUGE! These are the exciting moments in the life of a housewife. Sigh.
Oh, and if you're wondering what the kids thought of the dust buster: The little one sort walked around the room in circles whining to himself nervously. The older one ran to the couch so he could watch from a safe distance. I asked him if he'd like to try it out and he flatly refused.