(Try saying that ten times in a row.)
Scene: Monday of Advent, week 1, at the Basi home.
I am scheduled to be interviewed by the SonRise radio program early in the morning, during that nebulous half- to 3/4-hour between breakfast and Julianna getting on the bus. So I put on Signing Times, which plays on a continuous loop if you let it, and which Julianna will watch for hours if I let her.
The phone rings. Caller ID says Cincinnati. The host puts me on hold; I go upstairs and shut the doors to my room so the sound of the washing machine (and the sound of Rachel Coleman) won’t disrupt the interview.
But today, for some bizarre reason, Julianna and Nicholas decide once is enough. So five minutes into my live interview, which is being broadcast up and down the East Coast, the door goes: boom! and in pads Culprit #1:
Fortunately, he goes straight for the bedroom phone, with which he can’t do any damage because I’m on the other unit, but punching buttons keeps him quiet.
Thirty seconds later, the other door opens. Enter Culprit #2, tearing into the room in adorable bow-legged glory:
And at this point, my brain, which is trying hard to issue forth coherent, engaging dialogue with a complete stranger for the benefit of who knows how many listeners, begins to process another sound. A sound I can’t identify, but which DOES.NOT.SOUND.NORMAL.
I spend the rest of the live interview only half paying attention, with a large part of the back of my brain screaming “HANG UP THE PHONE AND GO FIND OUT IF THE HOUSE IS ABOUT TO FALL DOWN!”
By the time the interview ends, I’m sweating with the strain of splitting my brain this way. I go tearing downstairs. The source of the noise? This:
Alex’s Disney train has derailed on the living room floor, where it lies on its side spinning its wheels pathetically like one of those little roly poly bugs that can’t flip itself over.