We play a lot of hide and seek at our house.
With the exception of hiding behind the couch to chinch his shorts with hot shit, Max sucks at this age-old game.
He is the worst hider in the history of the world.
He is on the America’s Most Found List.
If he had been a part of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden would have Bin Gotten on September 12th.
Here is how it usually goes. I stay in the living room and start counting to ten while Max scurries excitedly down the hall. I get to eight… nine… nine and a half… nine and three-quarters… and I can still hear him running around from bedroom to bedroom, giggling.
So I shout, “Ready or not, here I come!” and start giant-stepping down the hall so he can hear my approach and make last-minute adjustments to his cloak of invisibility.
Clearly his cloak needs mending.
I walk into his bedroom pretending not to see what’s right in front of me: He’s standing there holding a pillow up to cover his face. I prolong the game for at least a few seconds, seeing as we came all this way.
“Hmmm, what’s this strange pillowtop statue doing here? And why is it wearing Max’s tractor jammies? Imposterrrrr!!!”
“Wait a second… this faceless, pajamma’d statue with feet is laughing! It’s… it’s… it’s ALIVE!”
His arms go weak with laughter and he drops the pillow.
“There you are. I knew it was you!”
This is progress. Sometimes he doesn’t even apply the pillow. He just stands there with his eyes closed, because obviously I can’t see him if he can’t see me. Perfect logic. (Did you know Max served on the jury for the Casey Anthony murder trial?)
Occasionally he does find a good hiding spot (with daddy’s help). I see him right away, of course – in the clothes hamper, behind the door, or — everyone’s favourite — playing a CSI cadaver under the bedspread.
“Where’s Max?” I ponder exaggeratedly.
If he doesn’t start laughing right away, he immediately announces, “I’m right here!”
“Oh thank God, I thought you were lost to me forever.”
I have not been this fake since I was 18 pretending to be legal drinking age.
If his hiding skills don’t improve, he’ll be grounded for the duration of his teenage life. And what ever will I do with all that poorly-stashed weed?
Kids just can’t keep a secret. I remember spending the day with my nephews many years ago, when Max was but a pipe dream. (You know, from his daddy’s pipe.) Glenn – my brother and dad to Jack, then 6, and Sam, then 3 – was working offshore at the time. It was the day before Mother’s Day, so I took the boys to the store to buy a card and some flowers for their mom. On the way home, I coached them on the art of discretion.
“Now guys, remember – this gift is a secret. You need to hide it when you get home and give it to your mom tomorrow. Not today – tomorrow. Mother’s Day.”
Oh yes, they assured me. It was top secret. Classified. Mum’s the word.
We walked into the house and Peggy, my SIL, was there to greet us.
“What did you do today?” She was eager to hear how the boys enjoyed their day with crazy aunt Vicki.
Sam’s gums were flapping before the front door was closed behind us. I flashed him the hairy eyeball but it was too late.
“We had fun,” said Sam. “And we definitely did NOT buy you a card and flowers.”
It’s safe to say Sam will never be in the CIA.
Kids. They make terrible secret agents, criminals, and witnesses. Take today’s supper conversation:
“What did you do at daycare today, Max?”
“Play outdoors,” he says.
“In the rain?
“Did you get wet?”
“And did you also stay dry?”
“So glad you had a great day, Houdini.”
That’s my boy. So full of shit, in more ways than one.