My 5 Rules for Eyes-Closed Tag

We planned to go skatingtobogganing (American translation: sledding) and play some shinny (street hockey) with the neighbours. But what do you do when it’s too cold outside even for hearty Canadians like ourselves? After multiple races on the Wii, a game of “Apples to Apples” that got a little too physical, and some heated debates about various pronunciation of words, we moved things to the basement. I never know how these games get started, but I was quickly roped into playing another game of “Eyes-Closed Tag”.

To play this extremely safe game, one person is It and closes his/her eyes while attempting to find other people in a sectioned-off area of the basement. If you are tagged, you are then It. Pretty simple, but we needed a few ground rules.

My Five Rules for Eyes-Closed Tag

1. Protective gear is not mandatory, but do move slowly to avoid serious injury (this applies primarily to the one who is It).

Give yourself wide-bearth.
Give yourself wide-bearth.

2. You can’t hide directly behind someone. Ok, you can, but not behind me. I refuse to be a human shield.

3.  Throwing small toys to create a diversion is acceptable and at times encouraged, but try to avoid hitting fellow players.

Nylon pants are noisy - choose your clothing wisely
Nylon pants are noisy – choose your clothing wisely

4. No peeking.

5. No, really – no peeking.

A few extra bits of advice….

According to BH, if you don’t cheat and really keep your eyes closed then “your other senses will be even stronger” (I think he has watched “Daredevil” too many times). The truth is, we all know when you don’t – subtlety is not your strong suit. Plus, only peekers completely avoid bumping into things for the entire game – you are not that skilled.

It’s okay if you prefer to watch, but if you’re going to give hints to your brother keep in mind that “he’s right there. Right there. RIGHT. THERE.” while frantically pointing, really tells nothing (please see Rule #5). Also, consider learning your Left and Right.

———

Your turn – what questionable games did you devise as a kid? Was a helmet required?

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Responsible Parenting

Once you’ve had kids for a while you can tell the difference between their cries of distress and yelps of pure joy. However, there are some things that no parent wants to hear coming from the basement while the children play. A good mom would intervene or at the very least investigate in that situation.

I’m telling.

Yeah! No pants!

That was your own fault.

Shhh, you’re okay.

This is war!

Don’t tell Mommy.

No, YOU let go.

Hold still.

Well, I didn’t give him the marker.

My turn with the handcuffs.

CANNONBALL!

Uh oh.

You deserved it.

I’M NOT PLAYING.

Are you breathing?

FINE.

A responsible mom would hear those raised voices and rush to check on the little darlings. Then there’s Option B:  Carry on and hope for the best. After all, they will definitely come upstairs to find you if there is any blood.

——

What’s the most frightening thing you’ve heard your little cherubs say. And yes, sometimes silence is the scariest thing of all.

Insideous

Generally speaking, I’m a pretty cautious boy. Sure, I’ve ridden in a laundry basket a tad too close to the stairs, but who hasn’t? I have fallen out of the tub, but I was young and didn’t know better. Doesn’t everyone run around a pool? It’s far too tempting.

I have done my share of jumping on the bed and to her credit, my mom has told me repeatedly to stop it. Usually she references the kid across the street who broke his arm jumping on his bed (dummy). But it is so springy. And I have some pretty great dance moves that just cry out for a mattress to showcase them.

Ok, I’ll admit that naked wrestling with my brothers showed a lack of good judgement. Ditto on naked couch hopping. But I stand behind my invention of underwear bedroom hurdles. It’s amazing.

In hindsight, I’m relieved that Mom shut down some of my riskier activities. She was probably right that box-tobogganing down the stairs was dangerous. Putting a lanyard around my brother’s neck as a dog leash did restrict his breathing so, good call, Mom.

For all her warnings and worrying, you’d think she would have foreseen the real safety hazard in our house. It’s been sitting in our cupboard for years – and she’s the one who brought that menace into our home.

I’m not talking about matches, sharp knives, or scissors. I’ve never done anything questionable with those. No, the real instrument of pain was lurking in the sewing basket all along. It beckoned me with it’s tempting blue switch and curved exterior. I admit that part of my motivation was to make the brothers laugh, but you never know the purpose of a new tool unless you test it out, right? Who WOULDN’T think it was meant for your underarm?

There was pain, skin was broken, blood appeared. And then I heard Mom say, “Next time, check with me before you use the clothes shaver on your armpit.” Too little, too late, Mom.

I blame myself. I blame the manufacturer. Mostly I blame my mom.

Do not be duped by it's size. It's gonna get you.
Do not be duped by it’s size. It’s gonna get you.

5 Minute Misconduct

5 Minute Misconduct

Oh, so sweet. Look at that little toddler sitting there. Adorable.

Do not be deceived.

Sure, he looks so innocent with his chubby little hands in his lap. But behind those wide eyes lies a cunning little mind hatching all kinds of plans for mayhem.

Don’t be silly, I know he isn’t saying full sentences yet, but I know. Trust me.

In less than two years, he has learned the “I’m not touching you” manoeuvre. A recent addition to his repertoire is the tried and true “I didn’t actually knock your block tower down, but the block I am holding might have been involved” technique.

What has that got to do with this picture, you ask?

On this particular morning, he was irritated with his 5 year old brother’s redirection and threw his plastic bridge across the room.

“No throwing,” I said.

“No,” he replied and promptly put himself on the step for a penalty. Misbehaved AND removed sibling’s chance at retribution all in one move. That kid is an evil genius.