Okay, there has been some demand from those of you with small children for adequate synopses of the games I routinely play with my two weans-by-proxy-and-paycheck. Why anyone would want to know the exact rules for a game like “Gator Mouth” is beyond me, but I suppose I am here to oblige (even though I suspect I’m going to catch a lot of flack from anyone who knows anything about children). I would like to point out that I am totally aware of my deficiencies in this area, to the extent that (if I ever start taking this child care thing seriously) I will be calling my daycare the “Not Quite Kervorkian Early Childhood Development Center.” Our actual motto will be, “Striving to provide just slightly better than what you paid for!” but our SECRET slogan is (of course), “If you bring your kid here, you don’t know Jack.”
Gator Mouth is an exceptionally simple game that I invented to annoy the hell out of Stadler when she was a tiny puppy. What you do is make your hand into an alligator’s mouth by placing all of your fingers together as the top and using your thumb as the bottom jaw. Then you open and close the “mouth” while saying in a really soft and creepy voice: “Gator mouth, gator mouth, gator mouth’s gonna get you, you just don’t know when” while ALMOST “biting” the kid with your hand. The whole point is to be slow and eerie about it until you actually do get them (you bite them with your hand NOT HARD) while screaming, “HAHAHAHA GATOR MOUTH GOT YOU!” A. loves this game, and regularly throws me a reverse. When the kid does it back (A. says, “Gay MOUF, Gay MOUF”), do the world a favor and act totally terrified.
“Troll In The Hole”
To play this game, you simply hide your face behind a pillow, and peek around the edges (really distrustfully) at the baby. Then, right when the kid gets confident and interested, you pull the pillow aside really fast and say (in a Troll voice), “I’m the TROLL IN THE HOLE.” To add interest to this game, sometimes I pretend that the Troll is eating me and that A. needs to save me. I usually stick and arm out and shake it like it’s being eaten while screaming for help behind the pillow. Then when the kids tries to pull the pillow away, I do the whole Troll in the Hole thing again.
This game was invented about a billion years ago when my cousins were very young. It has evolved through the years to the extent that it’s now almost totally scripted. To play: put the child on your knee facing away from you. You want them pretty much right on the edge of your kneecap. Then say, “By the power vested in me by the state of ______________ (I always used Texas even when I didn’t live here for pure electric chair humor), I hereby commit this child (kid’s full name) to the (yell this) ELECTRIC CHAIR for the crime of lickin’ kittens. Do you have any last words, you little kitten licker?” Usually at this point you get a nervous, giggly, “No.” I’m trying to teach J. to say, “Please don’t ‘lectrocute me, Boss. I swear I won’t lick no more kittens,” but so far it hasn’t worked. Anyway, then you put one hand on top of the kid’s head and proceed to pretend to electrocute them by shaking your leg really hard, rattling their head around (gently), and making loud buzzing electric chair noises until they fall off your knee (this is why you want them pretty far out on your patella) DEAD. If you want to at this point (and I always do) you can make a speech about how sad it is when someone so young “Don’t do right in the world.” Usually, though, your penultimate moment is wrecked when the “corpse” starts fucking laughing.
“Ride The Pony”
This is not pervy. I know all you pervs out there are going to think this one is just for you, but it isn’t. It’s for the children. To play: put the kid on your knee (difficulty is increased by putting them farther out on your leg so that there’s less meat for them to balance on) facing away from you. If they’re VERY little, they can face you, but that makes it easier. Take them by either hand and extend their arms. Then you start bouncing them on your knee while saying (rhythmically), “Ride the pony, ride the pony, ride the pony, ride the pony.” You want to sort of get going to about a fast trot pace, so that they start gripping your leg with their knees. Then, when they get confident, you start wobbling your knee to the outside and to the inside really as far as you can while screaming, “Can’t shake him off, can’t shake him off.” I literally cannot shake A. off no matter how hard I try. J. falls off in about a second. Both kids love it.
This game got invented yesterday during a power outage. A. and I played for about 3 hours. Then he took a nap and forgot about it entirely until I brought it up. J. was home from school and A. got so excited about playing Monster Flashlight with J. that he took off at a fast clip back to the boys’ room, and tried desperately to tell J. the rules. It came out like this: “J. Flash Auntie Light Says J. Auntie Light Says Flash, J. MONSTER!” Clearly, this was a pretty cool game. To play: get a flashlight and pretend that if you get caught in the beam, then the monster got you. This game involves a lot of running and screaming. It’s basically the same as screwing with a cat using a laser pointer, only with children.
Do you have any great games that you play with your kids? Leave us a comment and let us know. We’re always looking for something that doesn’t involve wonking Auntie/Mommy/Daddy in the head with the meticulously constructed Lego super car that Auntie/Mommy/Daddy just spent the last 45 minutes building. Frankly, anything that doesn’t involve me getting pelted, belted, or otherwise punched in the sternum is a pretty damned good game as far as I’m concerned.