Most parents know how important it is for kids to play. We know that playing is vital to a child’s social and emotional development. And I love watching my little one’s play. But there are a few games they love to play that I prefer to avoid. And when I say prefer to avoid, I mean I’d rather take them to Target on Black Friday. Here are six childhood games I can’t stand:
- The opposite game: If your child has a sibling and both are old enough to speak, you know this game. It starts with one child blurting out “Hudson’s ugly and I hate him.” As Hudson starts shouting back insults and I scream empty threats, the first child yells “but it’s opposite day,” and then the kids go back and forth spewing insults and shouting “it’s opposite day” until we’re all crying and someone’s meal is upside down on the floor.
- The copying game: The concept is simple. The first child (we’ll call him Matty) starts repeating everything the second child says, so the second child starts saying things to make the first child look bad, including inventive lines like “Matty poops his pants” and “Matty like to eat poop.” And they all laugh until the second child has had enough, at which point it becomes my problem. The repeating continues while I hear “Mom he’s copying me” twice, “Mom make him STOP” twice “OWWW, he’s hitting me” twice. The first child will then repeat my empty insults until I scream so loud we’re all once again crying.
- Hide and seek: This game does present some benefits. I mean, I’ve gotten legit minutes of alone time as my preschooler hides. I’ve gone to the bathroom alone, had a snack alone, etc. And my kid thinks she’s hidden so well I can’t find her. It’s win-win. But there are times when I actually can’t find her. And while those times can be pretty scary, they’re nothing compared to when you can’t find her little buddy. Yup, nothing says bad playdate like searching for your friend’s kid in the toilet bowl and washing machine.
- Math games: These are usually instigated by my husband, who has yet to grasp the concept that children are incapable of not shouting out an answer they know. So this game usually goes something like: “This one is one is for Matty, no one else say the answer. What’s 3+5?” which makes every other kid in the room who knows answer act like their f**king head’s about to spew molten lava if they don’t shout out 8, which of course they do, and that throws Matty into a frenzy. My husband will try a few more times with the same result until, again, everyone’s crying.
- Pillow fights: While not technically a game, this is part of childhood play. It usually ends when the kids are all cracking up and finally get bored. Except in my house, it ends when every picture frame and piece of jewelry on my dresser goes crashing into the wall.
- Musical chairs: Is it just me or does this game not give you major anxiety? It should be renamed “Throw-the-other-kid-off-the-f**cking-chair-onto-the-floor-like-your-life-depends-on-it chairs.” I’ve actually prayed for the music to stop as my son’s body rotates past that last empty seat. Violence and prayer, always a party favorite.But as I said, I love watching my children play. I really honestly do. And though I may hate some of the games they love, I know they will play them nonetheless. So when the fun stops and the blood-curdling screams begin, I’ll end the uproar by telling my children I’m leaving them forever and never coming back.
And then I’ll tell them it’s opposite day.