Sometimes when my little boys are riding that fine line between the normal level of screaming and hyperactivity (i.e., Monkey House at the Zoo Level) and and completely out of control (i.e, Total Intergalactic Destruction Level), it helps to pull one out of the fray and do something a little unexepected.
So today I snagged our oldest (who's almost four), stood him up on top of the counter, and asked him to select the background soundtrack for lunchtime. (Today I made scrambled eggs with toast for lunch -- I was trying to give my wife a bit of a break, since it looked like steam was about to start coming out of her ears.)
Of course he pretty much just picks at random, and what we ended up with was the Verve compilation of Wes Mongomery tracks called Jazz 'Round Midnight. Kind of a weird choice for a Sunday lunch at home with the accompanying screams, giggling, and loud THWACK sounds you get with a three boys under the age of four cavorting around the first floor of our house, which is basically a large, open area with ceramic floor tile.
When they finally settled down to eat, the smokey-lounge ambience of the music did kind of provide an interesting counterpoint to the egg-festooned faces, milk guzzling, and sprinklings of toast crumbs. And the jazz cool did seem to calm them down a tad. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.