Kids are running around the apartment. It’s loud. Too many toys. Too much movement. My brain is trying to keep track of one, two, three, four, five little bodies running different ways, yelling different words, scrambling my circuits, frazzling my nerves. I look at the clock again. And again. And again. Is it broken? Has it really only been 30 seconds? One minute? Two? I feel weak just thinking about the minutes to come.
And so I sit down. And pick up a book. And start reading. And they start dropping like flies.
One busy little body slows, then stops, then sits. Then two. Then three. Mouths close. Eyes open. Hands fold into laps.
They are riveted. Silent. Entranced by the story. I’m in control. My nerves smooth out. My circuits organize themselves. And the minutes tick by. Five then ten. Then time to go.
Works every time.