Not today. I lifted them into the playpen and pulled out a secret weapon...Sesame Street on DVD. This was the first time they'd been introduced to the gang on the street. I knew it would be a hit and it was. It was Kids' Silliest Songs and my kids are silly and they love songs, so...perfect. I mashed play and Elmo was the first to pop on the screen. It was like I had hired a snake charmer. The girls were instantly mesmerized. I rejoiced and went back to work.
I was "in the zone." And you know when you're "in the zone," the environment around you just gets soft and fuzzy...kind of dark. Things around you are a little quieter, your senses honed to the one thing you're working on. I was making it happen.
I could hear snippets of some of the tunes fade in and out of my orbit–little satellites of songs drifting around, some chancing it too close, allowing gravity to pull them to their immediate doom, and ending up as a crater on my brain. Wow, I went way too far with that metaphor. What I meant to say was, I heard some of the songs. Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah...Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star... A moment later and I hear the Count counting bats. He counts a few...and a few more...and a few more. I find myself counting bats, too. Focus, Ruth! I shake my head and get back to the logo on my monitor. The Count keeps counting. For AN HOUR. Honestly, how many bats does that vampire have in his castle?
This old bat, he has one, he plays knick knack on my thumb...with a knick knack batty bat, give the bat a bone... FOR. ETERNITY. UNTIL THE END OF TIME. How long is this song? I mean, seriously.
And I think, "If that Count counts one more bat, I'm gonna get up and punch his purple nose through the TV."
He counted one more bat.
I got up.
I walked to the TV and lo and behold, it was back at the main menu, looping, and that was the song. Oops. It was a 30 minute video and it had flown by. In the zone, folks.
And my sweet critters were so sweet and playing quietly together, despite the mind-numblingly repetitive song that had been playing for maybe 15 minutes. I have pretty darn good kids. And I owe the Count an apology.