Month: November 2014

Lost Ones

Recently, there has a been a lot of controversy about a game which children love:  hide and seek.

What?

There hasn’t?

Well, there should be. I’ve never liked that game. And now that I have kids, I dislike it even more.

You see TV and movie characters playing it, and you think that it looks so fun (they have the best hiding spots, in fictional universes!).  In actuality, however, it’s always so disappointing.  Real life hiding spots really aren’t that cool.

Back in the day, I’d play with my little sister.  Our house wasn’t that big, so finding decent places to hide was difficult. I’d count to 10, yell ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ and  I’d then find her sitting clear as day under the kitchen table, for example.  Just brutal.

To combat this, especially when you can hear the other person counting down and you have like three seconds to hide somewhere, you find yourself considering the most illogical locations.  You have no idea how many times I panicked, and almost hid in the oven.  Granted, I wasn’t the most sensible kid. But that’s not the point. Hide and seek is potentially dangerous…….uh, if your children aren’t sensible.

The other part that sucks is that it never ends clearly or decisively. It usually just stops when one person gets bored. They go to have a snack or whatever, leaving the other person/people cowering behind a couch for an indefinite period of time (unrelated, this is also how my games of Monopoly usually end up. Weird). What’s the point of a game if there’s never a winner or loser? Children need to taste defeat, to get ready for real life. Oh yeah. Heaping, heavy spoonfuls of bitter defeat.

I said bitter defeat! Not delicious cereal!

Quit it! Defeat does not taste like delicious cereal!

What drives me crazy with my own kids is that they’ll play, and then I’ll have to play, too, whether I want to or not.

In theory, it’s simple. See, here is when it is acceptable to partake in a game of hide and seek:

– When the parties involved come to a mutual agreement about the time for commencement, as well as explicitly defining the rules. Ie.:

 “Hey, Marshall, wanna play hide and seek?”

“Sure, Ted! As soon as I’m done my chores!”

“Terrific, Marshy! No hiding in the basement, ya heard?”

Conversely, here is when it is not acceptable to partake in a game of hide and seek:

– Any other f$%%#@*g time!

My kids don’t get this, unfortunately. They constantly take off and hide at inopportune moments. I tell them to hurry up, because we need to leave, and the next thing I know, I’m storming around the house looking for them, while they sit silently behind the curtains. I tell them that it’s bedtime, and they take off, causing me to angrily search for them and scream their names while they quietly huddle in a closet.

Now that’s mad annoying, yo. The stupid lack of response when calling their names. I remember one time, we were all in the living room, kickin’ it. Then, we looked over, and J was gone. Just disappeared. We went tearing through the house, yelling her name in vain, trying to find her. Fear set in real quick. I briefly figured it might have been spontaneous combustion.  Eventually, we did find her, smiling, hiding out in the basement. Golly, did you get us, J! Haha, hoho, what a knee slapper.

Once kids have mastered the art of hiding at home, the next logical step is to take their act on the road. You know what I’m talking about. This means that you’re that parent frantically looking for your child in Target, while they’re laughing at you from the middle of a rack of blouses. This means that you’re that mom or dad in McDonald’s, desperately squeezing through the Play Place trying to find your kid, because they thought it would be funny to hide out near the slide at the top, and not respond to their name being called. Nobody deserves that, man.

AND THEN, once the thrill of clowning you out in public wears off, they’ll still be jonesing for a fix of some sort. So clearly that means that they’re on the path to one thing – robbing banks and hiding from the police afterwards. According to Dr. Phil,  research shows that 98% of bank robbers on the lam played hide and seek when they were younger.

 

I never said that!!!

I never said that!!!

Oh. Sorry Dr. Phil. I made that up.

But that’s not the point. Hide and seek is a gateway game to more illicit behaviour later on in life………..maybe.

Speaking of illicit behaviour, what really ticks me off is when kids don’t feel like hiding themselves, so they hide stuff instead. No rhyme or reason. They just get a kick out of jamming something important somewhere, and watching you try to find it. One time, B hid his ‘important bag’ from school, and then played dumb when we couldn’t find it. Twenty minutes of all of us (including him) searching for it later, we found it in the cabinet under the kitchen sink, behind a bucket. He just grinned and shrugged when we asked him WTF.

The worst is when they get their hands on some pocket change. It’s funny how money change a situation (shout out to Lauryn Hill!). I try to keep money in high places, but occasionally, I forget. It’s like I’ll check my coat, to see if I have enough coins to buy a coffee in the morning, think it’s odd that I don’t, come home that evening, and find quarters in toys in the playroom.

Once, J took a dollar from my pocket and did this thing where she closed her hands, to make me guess which one the dollar was in. I guessed wrong, and she refused to give it back. I haven’t seen it since.  I dread to think what would happen if they got their hands on some paper currency. Think about that. What about the bills?

What about the bills!?!?

As such, it is plainly obvious that hide and seek isn’t  free. It’s an expensive game that makes you poorer……….possibly, and only if you leave money lying around haphazardly.

When weighing the pros and cons, the game of hide and seek has no real benefits, and only has negative consequences. I think that we should all seriously consider making it illegal, for the sake of our children.

I, for one, am going to tell my kids to stop playing it………..

Err, as soon as I can find them.

 

 

Imagine That

hcky

 

 

One of the cool things about small children is that they are easily entertained. “I’m bored!” is not  really in their vocabulary yet, so they can always find some way to amuse themselves.  Currently, my kids like to play ‘camping’, for example.  They can play that for like an hour at a time.  I have no clue what they’re doing.  They pile up a bunch of stuff (stuffed animals, toy shopping carts,  high heel shoes etc.) and then pretend to sleep under some blankets.

Whatever, though. The key point is that an hour of  them happily playing means an hour free for me!  I do the most productive things during this spare time, yo. You know, like chew through an episode or two of a show all of my child-less friends binge watched years ago, that I missed out on  (Did you know that Dan was the Gossip Girl, all along? OMG!).

Sometimes, a kid’s imagination is an uncreative parent’s best friend, for real. Other times, however, you gotta keep their imaginations in check. Those things can go 0 to 100 real quick, if you don’t.

B and I used to have this thing, where we would ‘zap’ each other. He’s pretty ticklish, so as a joking consequence to something, I would shape my fingers like a gun, poke him and make a buzzing sound, causing him to giggle. He started doing it to me, too, when I got out of line. My reaction was to act like I was being electrocuted.  It was stupid, I know, but it was easy to do, and it amused him, for some reason.

Last summer, I saw him zap a little girl. Just out of the blue.  She looked at him exactly like you’d expect she would, when a weird kid is poking her in the arm with his finger, while saying “bzzzzz.”. I then imagined what would happen if B ever got into a fight.  I’m pretty sure that a punch to the face trumps a zapper 100% of the time.

We don’t zap each other very much nowadays.

I’ll give you another example. It was an afternoon a few months ago. B was messing around, and he somehow found a sponge ball. So, randomly, do you know what he wanted to do with it?

Find a scantily clad woman and perform and elaborate juggling act?

Find a scantily clad woman and perform an elaborate juggling act?

Huh?

No, not that. Play hockey with it, that’s what he wanted to do!

Now, I’m not that into hockey (Sigh. Yes, I’m Canadian. Not everyone here is a hardcore fan), but we do own some mini sticks and nets. So, off to the basement me, B and J went.  National Hockey League, here he comes? Well……let me give you the Sportscentre recap of that afternoon’s events:

1) No goalie allowed (his rule), so I took a shot and scored. He dropped his stick, and hopped on J’s pink tricycle:
Me – ‘What are you doing?’
B – ‘It’s my break bike.’
Me -‘A break? From what? You didn’t do anything.’
B – ‘It’s my work bike. I’m doing my work.’
The work just involved doing laps of the basement, like a Zamboni driver. I grabbed a seat and waited.

2) Work’s done, so he picks up his stick again. We stand up, he whiffs on a shot, and then he’s back on the bike:
B – ‘OK, the Zamboni has to clean the ice now!’
He does more laps and talks to me about cleaning the ice, in a deep, manly voice.

It was like James Earl Jones' voice, but deeper.

It was like James Earl Jones’ voice, but deeper.

 

3) The ice is  apparently clean, and it’s time for more hockey! As soon as he parked the bike, J walked over to it, and started riding it. And as soon as she did, B whacked the ball as hard as he could and sent it flying into a pile of boxes:
B – ‘The ball is gone forever! I need a break.’
Me – ‘A break from what? You still haven’t done anything!’
B – ‘I need to clean the ice again!’
He chased J down, got the bike back, and did more laps. More manly Zamboni driving voice, too.
4) I found the ball, and started taking light wrist shots at him with it, while he was riding around. What? It was made of sponge, it didn’t hurt. I used to do the same type of thing at the driving range, to the person in the golf ball collector. Anyway, he got off the bike, and it’s game on, finally. He steals the ball from me, scores, and then tells me it’s my turn. I take a shot and the ball ends up flying into a box. Swish! So then:
B – ‘OK, it’s break time.’
Me – ‘A break from what?! You still haven’t done anything!’
B – ‘Can we play basketball?’
Me – ‘We don’t have your basketball. It’s in Mommy’s car.’
B – ‘Well I need to ride my bike then.’
More laps.

More laps.

Eventually the laps dissolved into him wanting to collide into stuff. J lost interest, so she headed upstairs. We soon followed.
Total time spent playing hockey – about 42 seconds
Total time spent not playing hockey – about 30 minutes
Sidney Crosby, your job is safe…..for now.

Doesn’t really matter. Whatever it was we played, it was still pretty fun.

Who could have imagined that?

Zamboni man, your job is safe too...for now.

Zamboni man, your job is safe too…for now.

 

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