Karen spends her days like any other mom: hunting for lost Star Wars light sabers, fielding inappropriate questions from her kids, refereeing after-school battles, and trying to find a loving moment in the chaos. And oh yeah, dinner needs to be made. Some days she gets it right. Most days she muddles through. Catch her on her blog, Mom in the Muddle, Facebook, or Twitter.
“Ready or not, here I come!”
That’s the cue to sit tight, get under cover, and hope whatever pile I’m teetering on in the closet doesn’t suddenly shift or rattle and give my hiding spot away. Ten minutes in and I start getting comfy, gasping for fresh air, and hoping someone will just find me already and rescue me from a tangle of baby doll arms and pink purse straps in the darkest corner of my daughter’s closet.
It takes forever — that’s when I know I have a good spot.
We used to play hide-and-seek all the time when the kids were younger, back when they found the world’s worst hiding spots. I’d walk into a room and pretend not to see their legs sticking out from a pile of pillows or see their eyes peeking out from under a table, even though we made eye contact. The worst was when I’d walk in a room and my kid would be sitting in the middle of it draped in a blanket.
“Nope, no one’s in this room.” I’d walk out and meander around the house a little longer, not wanting to spoil their fun only three seconds in.
When the kids asked to play the other night, the whole family agreed. It’s been ages and it was a game no one was bored with for once.
I realized a few things as I squatted in severe discomfort, fought leg cramps, and suffocated under piles of dusty stuffed animals.
- Counting to fifteen is nowhere near long enough for me to crouch down and do anything anywhere, much less hide more than half of my body.
- Because of that short time frame, I sometimes relent to the lame “hide behind the door” spot.
- I’m terrible at spatial awareness. There are many hiding places in the house that look like a good idea until I get to the point of stuffing in my rear end. Making like a roly-poly could be the death of me.
- It may be a good idea to shimmy underneath your child’s bed and it’s an awesome hiding spot, but for the ten minutes it takes your family to find you, you will sit in wonder at how you will get out.
- I hid in the laundry basket in a pile of dirty clothes like I used to when I was four. For one thing, 34 years later, it’s much harder to fit into a laundry basket. For another, when your kids point out that you’ve been sitting there with dirty underwear on your face, you realize maybe you should have thought that through.
- My kids’ hiding skills have improved, though I’m not sure they realize the glass shower door is see-through.
- When I opened the pantry door, I did not expect my husband to jump out and scream “Boo!” or to giggle about my shocked expression and dance for the next five minutes. Heart attacks should not be part of a child’s game.
- When the seeker stands within arm’s length is always the time you need to reposition a limb or scratch an itch or move the curtain away from your mouth for air.
- When you have been standing behind said curtain for so long that beads of sweat form on your nose, you are thankful when your husband throws some hints to your son. “Behind the curtain?” my son asks in disbelief. “Well,” my husband says, “unless curtains suddenly have toes … and boobs.”
My son collapses in a heap of giggles. And that is a game ender.