One of my kids’ favourite games to play is hide and seek. They love all games really, anything that involves me or their Dad and we go along with it because some of these games are so ridiculous they’re almost hilarious. I mean, who’d have thought chasing each other on all fours with the kids on our backs would be fun, but it is.
Today’s game was hide and seek. This always ends up in a weird version because no-one is really hiding and no-one is really seeking. No matter how many times I say GUYS, YOU DO NOT NEED TO TELL ME WHERE YOU’RE HIDING, they still spill the beans.
Our first round started with them hiding and me seeking. So while they were deciding which of their bedrooms has the most obvious place to stand, I was scrolling through my phone eating a KitKat yelling ONE… TWO… THREE… and so on until ten.
I walk upstairs really enthusiastically telling no-one in particular that “they’re not on this step, they’re not behind this door” and seconds later they bounce up from the other side of my son’s bed with the biggest smiles on their face.
I didn’t technically find them so much as they revealed themselves, but they’re happy and that’s what counts.
Now it’s my turn to hide and I remember a time a few months back when I hid in the shower and they couldn’t find me for goodness knows how long. Unless I’m stood right in front of their innocent little faces – they give up. They throw in the towel. They demand I show myself.
The funny thing is I used to hide in the shower every time we played this game and not once did they think to look there. Sometimes they’d walk into the shower room and stand on the other side of the glass panel but still they couldn’t see me. I just don’t get it. The limescale on the glass surely isn’t that bad that they can’t see a huge body in a shower that’s usually empty.
But today I couldn’t hide in the shower because I’d banned the kids from going in there so it’d be a little unfair if that rule didn’t apply to me too. Although it’d be perfect. Those suckers would be searching for hours.
So I had to get creative with my hiding positions and a little fact about me is that I take hide and seek very seriously. I will not be found. Even by my two and four year old. Never let them win, that’s my motto.
The first place I hid was genius. Now I’ve lost the weight of a small child from my body I can contortion myself into all kinds of positions. I mean, I imagine, I don’t sit there in the evenings and try it. But this meant that I could fold myself up just enough to fit inside the suitcase that Darren and I have been meaning to put in the loft for over a month. I believe in fate and that God let our laziness continue for this exact moment. So I could hide inside the suitcase and never be found by children.
Forget the fact that I’m claustrophobic and practically having a panic attack sitting there with my knees either side of my ears in complete darkness not really able to breathe, I was gonna win this. Duh, that’s the main thing.
I hear the kids clambering up the stairs like they have bricks attached to their feet and they just walked on by the suitcase asking “where is she?”.
“Not on the bed” (because on the bed is better than under it).
“Not behind the door”.
Then I hear the usual “MUMMY, MUM, MUUUUUUM. We give up!”
As they said that I tried to escape the suitcase and out I fell. “Haaa, got you didn’t I? How good was that hiding place?” Bragging rights.
They stared at me looking perplexed then my son eventually broke the silence.
“But, Mummy… You always tell us not to touch the suitcase…”
Time for the next round.
The kids lay down on their bedroom floors and I find then instantly.
Then it’s my turn to hide. I won’t choose the suitcase again because firstly, I could have died, secondly, they did have a point, I tell them regularly to stop playing with it. We just need to put it in the freaking loft but there it sits, every day, reminding us of our holiday six weeks ago.
Anyway, I decide to hide in my son’s wardrobe. This hiding place is so obvious that I’m sure they’ll find me. I know it’s inside and not just outside so it’ll be tricky for them at first but there’s no way they’ll overlook this spot.
I hear them downstairs counting.
Where I give them ample time to hide by stretching out each number, they give me no time at all. They count to ten as if it’s one long word. I don’t even think they breathe while saying it. Then they rush upstairs like someone’s just smelt chocolate.
They gave up after a few minutes and called for me to come out. I wasn’t going to let them give up. We’re not quitters! So I whispered through the crack in the door “I’m here”.
“What Mummy? You’re downstairs?”
No, I’m right next to you in the wardrobe. I’m right here. RIGHT HERE. My face is practically touching your ear. Also if I managed to hide downstairs in the nanosecond they take to count, they’d have seen me. That’s where they count.
“No, I’m here” I whisper again.
“What? I can’t see you!”
I slide the door open a little and sit my face in the gap. A little hint for them would be to see my face wedged between the door and the wall, but the kids still haven’t noticed. I just don’t know how long I can keep this up because I’m starting to need a wee. We really need to work on their observation skills.
“Mia, I can hear here”
“OH MUMMY THERE YOU ARE. You need to hide better, we can’t find you”. Thus starts the debate of what hiding better actually means…
They ask me to hide again so this time I’m going to hide like they hide. I’m laying down on the other side of the bed. They’ll find me here, they’ve hidden here before. They walk into my son’s bedroom and my son is starting to get angry. He’s actually furious that I’m not hiding better so instead of letting him continue to explode with emotion I pop up from behind the bed which makes both of them crap themselves with fear and declare they’re not playing anymore.
That’s fine. I start to clean up from breakfast and as if nothing has happened my son says “you count, I’ll hide” and runs off. Children are weird, I’ll never understand their minds.
So for the final time I count to ten, march up the stairs and see my son standing in his room completely oblivious to my presence.
“You’re not hiding”.
“I’m playing football”.
“But we were playing hide and seek?”
“Oh, are we?”
In ten seconds he’s completely forgotten what we were doing.