Masters of Distraction

There are people who are really good at distracting a child away from distress. My mother in law, otherwise known as Barrel Flap, is rather talented at this. I am not. When a meltdown occurs, or just bad behavior in general, my sense of panic sets in. What if I can’t stop it? Why is it happening? Will they pull it together before we have to walk through the doors of the church building? Maybe I should raise my voice. Maybe I should lower my voice. Maybe I should try duck voices.

I never know.
I often panic.
I have been known to sing the Brownie Song. This amuses some and totally frustrates others, depending on the day and the child and how well I perform it.

Today, we were on our way to VBS at my parents’ church. Beloved began to unravel before we were out of the driveway, because she had forgotten her dear little Pinkwee, a pink stuffed penguin. I couldn’t go back. We were already barely scraping by on time. We needed that 2 minutes. Plus, they do need to learn to remember their own things. I can’t get the essentials, the people, AND the Pinkwees out the door.

I had to let that one go.
She didn’t think she could.
And so it began.

Then there was this big conflict over Zoobles between the girls. Sometimes I just look at AG and shrug. He shrugs back. The difference between him and me is 30 years and the fact that he doesn’t have to do anything about it. I’m supposed to.

Today, in a Distraction Stroke of Genuis, rare to me, I assure you, I remembered the Space Ghost soundtrack on my iPod. It’s ridiculous. It’s the Musical Barbeque CD from the old Space Ghost cartoon. The kids have always laughed at the songs sung by Brak. So, without a word, I selected this directory.

Here are some sample lyrics, if you’ve never listened. It’s very refined stuff.

I love Beans. By Brak
Here’s a lovely song about my favorite food
Lima, lento, soy, and pinto
Navy, northern, and garbanzo
Kidneys and frijoles negros… I love beans
I love beans Woo woo woo!
I love beans How ’bout you?
High in fiber Low in fat Hey, I betcha didn’t know that
When I eat beans I sit in my own little cloud
Nobody comes to visit me In my little cloud
(I don’t know why Maybe ’cause I’m cuttin’ muffins)

Two songs into this play list, the conversations in the car were peaceful and harmonious. I was thankful I had gone this route, over making a speech.

I did have to make one speech. I had to explain what it means when no one comes to visit me in my own little cloud.  It’s possible I created a situation worse than my first…

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