It took us three tries, but it seems we might have pulled it off. We finally produced a decent hide-and-seek player.
Don’t get me wrong, our two boys have many wonderful qualities, but the ability to hide effectively at a young age was not one of them. For each of them, it was well into their fourth year before they figured out that just ducking down in a corner or covering part of their body with a pillow wasn’t going to cut it. Of course, I am partially to blame for their slow development. I coddled them. I can’t even begin to count how much time I’ve spent pretending I didn’t know where they were when they were standing in the middle of the room with a blanket draped over their heads.
In my defense, I handed them a continuous stream of hide-and-seek participation trophies because I’m a nice person and parents are supposed to protect their children’s self-esteem. Also, I feared retribution. In the form of tantrums and whining in the short term and potentially more significant actions in the long term.
“Remember how dad used to find us immediately when we were playing hide-and-seek when we were three?” I imagine one of the boys asking the other many years from now.
“Yes. He never even considered our feelings,” the other replies.
“Let’s pull the plug.”
Better safe than sorry.
Luckily, though, with my daughter I sometimes don’t even have to pretend. I mean, I do because she is only two, but it’s not quite as blatant. Perhaps it’s because she has two older siblings who are hide-and-seek masters to learn from or maybe because she’s a girl and girls are just better at most things, but she seems to have an uncanny feel for the game.
OK, yes, this might suggest otherwise, but she’s come a long way in short period of time since I took this picture a couple months ago.
For example, this hiding spot was pretty inspired for a two-year-old, the Hansel and Gretel trail of Tupperware leading to her hiding spot notwithstanding.
And in the months since, she’s started to hide under her mini trampoline and plastic slide and behind and under various pieces of furniture. I don’t want to oversell it, but we might just have the Bobby Fischer of hide-and-seek on our hands.
Nurture? Nature? Who’s to say. I’m just happy we’re making progress. First hide-and-seek, next, the world!