Hide-n-Seek is a serious affair at our house. Because of our shortage of closets and trapdoors, we’re forced to play at night, lights off, amongst slippery shadows and mounting paranoia.
One bedroom is usually home base with the lights on, casting just enough light to traverse by, nothing more. I encourage you to try this deadly style of Hide-n-Seek.
The ground rules: Typically only one person hides (usually one brave parent, sometimes two scared children pair up). The rest of the family must seek as a team. Each time you must use a hiding spot never before used in the entire history of mankind. Once found, all children and gamely spouses must be chased back to home base. Timing comes with experience, but if you can launch in the nanosecond before they find you, you’ve scored.
- First tip: Cats must be put outside. They are the P.I.s of the underworld. They will follow you anywhere, staring and meowing. They are always working for the other guy.
- Don’t eat M&Ms. These sound like firecrackers going off in the hider’s mouth. Also, it’s hard to breath quietly when you are wolfing down a handful of anything under a Star Wars blanket.
- Wear dark clothes. Don’t get caught in a bright red Westwoods sweatshirt trying to fade into the far side of a plaid couch.
World-class hiding places:
- The litter box is the last place they’ll look (fear of cleaning it taking hold in the eldest). Crouching east of the sand box gets you a good 2 minutes of rest but totally ruins your appetite for M&Ms. Also, the cat will not just stare at you in this case.
- Standing on the bathroom vanity. Tim pulled off this move a few months ago. In the dark bathroom stood a 6-foot-2-inch man, head against ceiling, Smartwool socks in toothpaste, rear in mirror.
- The top of the kitchen cabinets. Another Tim Original. He boosted Nelson up onto the tallest pantry and sat him crisscross applesauce in the corner. The spot would really have been unfindable if Nelson could have stood it. Instead, within .02 seconds, he screeched, “UP HERE, GUYS!”
- Next up, a Kandy Klassic. Dressed all in black, in the dark of the house, I sat on the bar stool in the kitchen, hunched over the counter, head down between my folded arms. I was like one of those living statues on the streets of Chicago. Except bad at it.
- And the ultimate: Standing in the shadows of the bedroom corner. Classic surprise factor here. I stood in the corner, next to the dresser, in black, only my wholesome Northern Michigan winter white face to see. The children sat in a huddle on the bed screeching and begging I reveal myself.
(Sidenote: This was in a Terror Version of Hide-n-Seek where the children are confined to the bed after the Boogie Man has positioned himself secretly in the room. The other parent’s job is to corral the kids on the bed and lather them into a panic.)
This hiding place turned out to be the deadliest of all, for when I stepped out of thin air to reveal myself, the kids went over the edge. There were tears involved, bona fide screaming and flat-out anger at my cunning.