The intricacies of Hide-and-Seek

I sat at the farm table on a recent Sunday morning, listening to Nephew Reece count to 20 as the rest of the kids scrambled around the basement, trying to find just the right hiding spot where they could never, ever be found.

It’s the classic Hide-and-Seek in the house game because it’s too cold, too snowy, too icy and all-around too icky to play such a game outdoors for any length of time during the winter.

What’s comical about Hide-and-Seek in the farm house, though, is that the kids — at least those ages seven and younger — are afraid to hide by themselves in the basement. (I believe it may have something to do with those Texas Longhorns hanging on the wall.)

Because of those fears, the whole act of “seeking” is really quite simple. All Reece had to do was find one group of four kids hiding somewhere in the basement. Add to the mix a five-year-old who hasn’t yet learned the meaning of being quiet and, well, you can imagine how quickly the seeker finds success.

I would guess it took Reece all of five seconds to find them, and immediately his older brother started calling him a cheater.

“How did he cheat?” I asked, after they stampeded up the staircase.

Nephew Blake rolled his eyes and smirked — the truth was, he was just upset Reece found them too soon.

Back when I was a kid, a quick discovery simply meant you’d better find a more obscure hiding spot next time or you’d be spending “all day long” as the seeker!

After the cheater claims were nixed, Nephew Reece returned to his counting spot as the group hid a second time. This time, they opted to gather behind the closed door of the main floor mud room — but not for long.

Reece had only counted to about 10 when Nephew Blake came out of the hiding spot to ask Reece what was taking so long.

Seriously?

“It’s no wonder he finds you so quickly,” I said, resulting in yet another smirk from Blake. “Get back in your hiding spot and he’ll come when he’s done counting.”

This time, Reece (likely knowing full-well where the group was hiding because of the close proximity of Niece Alayna’s talking) opted to check out the opposite end of the house. He took his time and enjoyed the somewhat quiet house, perhaps.

Well, as you can imagine, the delays didn’t suit Blake. He came out of the hiding spot again, wondering where Reece was and why he wasn’t coming to find them. Reece stepped out of the back bedroom just as Blake stood in the middle of the dining room.

“Found you!” Reece shouted.

Blake was just about to open his mouth, but an I-told-you-so look from this Aunt Julie was all that was needed for him to shut it again.

I’ve found myself wondering if we played like that when we were kids. Well familiar with “cheater” accusations, I’m sure we probably did. In fact, I kind of remember games of Hide-and-Seek where it took so long to be found that I’d forgotten I was playing a game.

Perhaps I can teach the kiddos a thing or two in a good ol’ fashioned game of Hide-and-Seek when the sun comes out and the ground dries up. Oh, what fun that will be!

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