Hide and seek
Hide and seek
Scott Dunlop
Excuse me while I sniff for a bit. War injuries from some extended hide and seek this past weekend. Apparently we have some dust behind our curtains and under the couch. But when your kids tell you to hide, you’d better start looking for a good spot.
They claimed that I'm a master at it, and have some false memories of me hiding in the roof when they were little, so the stakes were high. We’re in our new house, which actually has a few spare corners to hide in, unlike our last house which was decidedly unsuitable for games of concealment.
You have to set ground rules: No peeking, no asking for help from caught hiders and no running off down the road to “hide” in the pub. Tempting, as that was…
The choices are quite simple: Behind doors, in cupboards, behind plants in the garden or, somewhat boldly, following the seeker in stealth mode and anticipating when that person will turn around. My first attempt saw me make the rookie mistake of hiding behind a curtain and leaving my shoes poking out the bottom. Busted!
Jonah is incapable of hiding without giggling, and I was caught for a second time when my stomach gurgled while I was pretending to be a continental pillow. Hiding is hungry business.
My knees cramped from crouching in a pot plant as if I was some dad-shaped tropical flower and Hannah and I both got the sneezes from the dust, but we all had good time, and retired to the kitchen for snacks.
A simple children’s game and yet it speaks volumes about their personalities. It tells me lots about how competitive, analytical, creative and silly they are.

They know I’m their dad, but they don’t expect me to be holed up in a study, coming out only to bark orders or inspect their homework. They expect me to be scaling the walls, Spider-Man style, and swinging up into the rafters to create another hide and seek legend.
Yes, I have lots of work I should be doing around the house. We’re still settling in and finding places to store everything. Also there is a need to do some dusting, apparently. But this throwaway hour spent dashing around in play was, in the end, more valuable.
When Karen came home from work, they bragged to her: “We played hide and seek, and DAD PLAYED WITH US”, as if this was the coolest thing to happen all week. You know? It probably was.
What’s your favourite family game to play? Tell us about something you enjoy playing with your child and why to chatback@parent24.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.

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