As most parents out there can attest, any breaks in the monotony, real or invented, are extremely helpful in keeping the kids engaged and sane. And sane kinds means sane(er) grown ups.

Tuesday, I stumbled on a nice one while Amelia was asking me if there was any place one could see the real life Sesame Street characters. We had been talking lately about seeing Disney characters at Disneyland, so I think she is thinking there is a “land” for all fun fictional characters.

Having grown up on Sesame Street and being a lifelong fan, I’d love for there to be a Sesame World. My request is that it have an old school section for classic “Street” so I could have a birdseed milkshake at Mr. Hooper’s store, just like Big Bird used to.

But anyway, as I was searching “Sesame Street” I stumbled on the fact that there was a virtual playdate with Elmo event scheduled for that very afternoon. Amelia was thrilled, and the kids talked all afternoon about the “Elmo Party” coming up. We dutifully tuned in, and it was delightful.

It was set up like a Zoom meeting with Elmo, other Sesame Street characters, and various celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Lin Manuel Miranda. In a bit where Cookie Monster baked some cookies, Amelia remarked, “Cookie Monster has a really nice kitchen.”

I suppose that figures. Though I did say it looked awfully neat for belonging to a guy who is as messy an eater as he is.

The kids played along, sang along and had lots of fun with the virtual playdate. It put them in great spirits for rest of the evening. So big thanks to the Children’s Television Workshop for that mood booster. This break in the quarantine Tuesday monotony is brought to you by the letter U and the number 6.

The other bit of children’s entertainment that has been a lifesaver the past few days has been the movie Trolls World Tour, which just came out for home “theatrical” release as a limited rental. The original Trolls is very popular in the Schneider house, and has been watched infinity times. I have to say I was a little dubious about the new one from the trailers, but it is a delightful movie. Lots of fun, uplifting and really great music.

The kids have, of course, been obsessed and watched it pretty much nonstop during the original rental window. I am a sucker, and re-upped the rental after a flurry of “PLEEEEEAAAASE.” Plus selfishly, the movie makes me smile too.

Well, we cuddled up and had a little sing along just before bedtime last night. It was a very nice capper to the day. I might humbly suggest that a sing along before bed is pretty much always a good idea.