On Friday, Tracey and Abel and I trekked to the beleagured Irondequit Mall to meet some friends and their kids for a play date in the new indoor playground they have there. The playground is an enormous carpeted enclosure with lots of fun slides and other kid-type stuff, all made out of some space age rubberized plastic. Abel had the time of his life running around and around.
All the while, there was music playing. It was mostly the normal type of children's music, I guess. You know, the stuff that makes me cringe and that I generally keep as far away from Abel's ears as possible: Disney soundtrack numbers sung by aging celebreties, squeaky-voiced rodents singing about counting their nuts, the song the mascot bumps and grinds to at the baseball park, etc.
When "If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands" came on, it caused a rather remarkable phenomenon. Almost every child in the 200' x 50' room, at least 40 kids in all, stopped in their tracks. The visual effect was stunning. One moment it was an anthill-like level of activity: kids sprinting, climbing, and crashing into each other. The next moment the place was as still as a secluded lake at dusk.
I swear, these kids just stopped whatever they were doing and sang along, or clapped their hands softly along with the cues. A few of them did the toddler dance, bending at the knees, arms out for balance and style. When the song ended, chaos resumed. It was truly one of the most bizarre events I've witnessed since Abel was born.