Nephew Reece straddled the back of the loveseat in the living room of the family farmhouse Saturday afternoon and, with a great big grin, said, â€œCount to 10, Julie, and then come find me!â€
I pretended to close my eyes, started to count and smiled as Reece giggled and slipped behind the loveseat in a corner of the room that is a favorite among the little Buntjer kids these days.
I never made it to 10 … Iâ€™m not sure I even made it to 5 … before Reece called out, â€œOK, come find me.â€
I don’t know what was more funny – that his giggle gave up his exact location (although it could just as easily have been the one-foot-over-the-loveseat move), or that he was surprised when I poked my head over his hiding spot and said, â€œAha!â€
By the second round, Reece and his cousin Katie – theyâ€™re both five, switched places. She hid behind the loveseat and he hid behind the chair. This was equally as funny, because as Reece giggled behind the chair, Katie kept peeking over the back of the loveseat, wondering if I was on my way to find her. Add 3-year-old Alayna to the mix and, well, Hide-n-Seek turns into Here-I-Am.
The kids were having fun, and I guess since we were all stuck in the house because of the snow and cold, thatâ€™s a good thing.
Still, I couldnâ€™t help but think about the fun the kids and I had last summer playing Hide-n-Seek around the farm yard.
There was this one episode Iâ€™m pretty sure none of us will ever forget.
It was nephew Blake against Reece and I, and I found the perfect hiding spot … or so I thought. As Blake was counting on the front steps, Reece and I took off across the yard and through the big barn door. Oh yeah, my dog Molly was with us too.
We stepped over the cat food dishes, darted down the alley way, moved with precision across the bales of grass hay and ducked behind one of dadâ€™s big steel tanks.
â€œHeâ€™ll never find us here!â€ I told a giggling Reece. â€œSsshhhh!â€
We were frozen in place for less than a minute when I just couldnâ€™t take it anymore. It wasnâ€™t that my legs ached from my standing-sitting position, or that Blake was remotely close to finding us – it was that my nose and my eyes were starting to burn and I just couldnâ€™t breathe anymore.
The cause of my calamity? Cat poop.
What I thought was our perfect hiding spot turned out to be a veritable outhouse for the farm cats … and I, with my big feet, managed to step right into it.
Reece, bless him, never once said, â€œUffda, you stink!â€
He just giggled as he followed me back to the alley way, where I slid the soles of my shoes across loose hay and then tried to scrape them on the steps leading to the haymow.
From our position, we saw Blake searching for us under the big pine tree by the wash house, then behind the old garage. Every once in a while heâ€™d look in the direction of the barn, but he never came toward us.
Eventually, Reece and I got bored, stood by the barn door (only the top door was open) and watched as Blake continued his search.
I think Reeceâ€™s giggle eventually gave up our location … although it could have been me making faces at Blake and chanting na-na-na-boo-boo.
On second thought, the words might have been … na-na-na-pew-peeewwww!
My poor shoes were never quite the same.
Playing Hide-n-Seek in the house may not be as much fun as playing outside, but at least it’s safer.