Saturday, January 6, 2007

The Zone

I spent a couple of hours Thursday playing with two of my best buddies. Their mother, who had a lunch meeting to attend, is also a friend of mine. I never know exactly how the boys and I will spend our time together, because I am definitely not the one in charge. What I can be sure of is that we will have fun and that I will learn something new. Learning something new is a very fortunate thing-- otherwise I might turn into an old fogie.

That afternoon we spent almost all of our time in the boys' bedroom. They had removed the couch and chair cushions and carried them from the living room to their room, where the cushions began new life as a tall tower. That this tower was quite wobbly and was being climbed upon by two wiggly bodies made me a little nervous at first (I imagined myself telling their mother when she returned, "I'm sorry, but they both crashed through the window and I haven't seen them since!"). As time passed, however, I relaxed and entered The Zone.

The Zone is a place where thoughts of schedules and obligations do not exist. In fact, I think they're banned. While in The Zone, my voice switches octaves easily and my body participates in activities that I Do-Not-Attempt-At-Home. Words like poo-poo are funny in The Zone. New ideas and scenarios flow seamlessly, interrupted only occasionally by a call from the bathroom ("Miss Ann, come wipe my bottom!").

We usually play with Sock Monkey, whom I bring from my house. Interestingly enough, I am the one almost always chosen (ie., ordered) to hold Sock Monkey and be his voice. The boys prefer doing things to Sock Monkey. In other words, Sock Monkey is a perpetual victim, doomed to yelping and whining about the unfairness of his plight and begging the boys to make things better for him-- which they invariably refuse to do. Nearly every toy in the house is brought forth to inflict some sort of torment upon poor old Sock Monkey. Thursday he was mashed by couch cushions. Even Lucy the cat was summoned to the bedroom in the hope that she would introduce her claws to Sock Monkey. Instead, Lucy was unimpressed with her potential role in our drama and quickly escaped to a-- relatively-- safe spot under the bed.

Eventually my time in The Zone must always come to an end. Mommy or Daddy arrives home to a joyful reunion, and Miss Ann climbs into her red Bug and waves herself away.

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