Saturday, April 05, 2008

During about half of Daisy's play-dates, one of the kids will suggest that they play hide 'n' seek.

"Yay! Great idea! Fun!" the other darling little cherubs will exclaim.

Meanwhile, I'll grimace in anticipation of the inevitable result, which will undoubtedly distract me from my dish-washing, wood-chipping, or boob-surfing.

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. There's not a single inevitable result. There's one of two possible results:

1) Some "hider" will hide in plain sight and will be traumatized by how easily they're found. They will then beg me to help them hide somewhere better.


2) Some "seeker" will be traumatized by their inability to find the kid hiding in the closet. They will then beg me to help them seek better.

That's it. Just two possible outcomes. Scientists have long theorized a third theoretical outcome where children hide and seek with a modicum of competence and then feel both entertained and enriched by the activity. Those scientists do not have children.

I only get to witness the instances of this activity which take place at our house, where Daisy obviously has the home field advantage. She's played this game long enough to know that she can effectively hide in the back of her closet, behind a thick layer of hanging dresses. Since eight year-olds are physically incapable of looking behind things, Daisy is as well hidden there as she would be in a remote Pakistani cave.

"Miiiiiiiiiiiiiike!" one of the little monsters will wail, after several minutes or seconds of seeking (depending on age) "I need a hint!"

"You want a hint? She's in her closet. She always hides there. That's your hint." I'll reply, quickly shutting down my browser window.

"Nooooooo! I already looked there!" they'll cry.

Eventually I'll convince the untrusting urchin that I'm not tricking them into getting locked in the closet and they'll find her. Then, it's Daisy's turn to be the seeker. She'll either find the kid in 10 seconds sitting in a puddle of his/her own piss in the middle of the kitchen, or she'll tentatively tip-toe around the upstairs, trembling with fear, barking out new mid-game rules:

"No hiding in dark places! And no jumping out! No hiding in my dad's office! .... Are you hiding in a dark place?!?!"

Wheeeeeeeeeee! Are we having fun yet? Hide 'n' seek is at the exact confluence of incompetence and fear.

It's around this time that I'll gently suggest that perhaps the kids should go play with matches instead.


Avery Gray said...

What is it about kids?! I tell my son to look for his shoes, he checks the refrigerator and says he can't find them. He's almost as bad as my husband. Almost.

Mike said...

It's weird how looking for things isn't a skill that kids are born with. It's amazing that humans have survived as a species.