Last week, when my little four-year-old friend, N. came for her weekly visit, she forgot to bring the memory game we were going to play, so I improvised. I took an old cookie sheet and put ten items on it: a knife, a pen, a watering can, a cookie cutter, a little green man, an apple, a candle, a measuring cup, an iPod, and a pig. I asked N. to study the items, then had her turn around while I removed one item.
When she turned around, I asked her to tell me which item was missing. She studied the tray, but she couldn’t remember what item was not on it. I showed her the knife that I had hidden behind my back. I put the knife back and told her to study the tray again before I took something away.
“Take the pig away,” she said. I explained to her that the purpose of the game was to remember, and if I took the pig away, she would know what was missing and wouldn’t have to remember, defeating the purpose of the game. She stared at me as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. “Take the pig away,” she repeated. I told her I wouldn’t do that and had her turn around again. I took the measuring cup away. When she turned around, she was clearly puzzled because the pig was still there, and she couldn’t guess what was missing. I showed her the measuring cup. “Now take the pig away,” she said in the tone of voice that let me know I was not playing by her rules, the only ones that mattered. Next round, I took the pig away. She was delighted when she got the right answer this time, as if it had been in doubt.
I like N’s approach to life. If you can’t win by the given rules, make your own rules. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were that easy for us adults? I would make the rule that children could not live farther than fifty miles from their parents.
I love that idea, too. I would add that grandchildren must live nearby, too. 🙂
Of course, Robin. Grandchildren should be part of the deal. My life would be perfect if I had my children and grandchildren close by.
I second that rule! You and your little friend have so much fun.
We do have a lot of fun, Patti. I think we might make cookies tomorrow.
I’m sure that will be a hit!
Sweet story—-I am glad you captured it before it slips into memory 🙂
Thanks, Stacia. I look forward to my Thursdays with that precious imp. You’ve been on my mind lately and in my heart. Hugs.
Good for N. We were not allowed to talk back to adults…
I’m not sure N. sees me as an adult, Amy. I’m just her friend.
I have no doubt that N will be ruling the world one day….she is a born leader.
When she’s president, I hope she remembers how I kowtowed to her, LWTTD.
I love your 50 mile rule Susan. Now can you tell that to my kids?
How far away are your kids, HG? I really can’t say anything because we left our parents in Connecticut and moved to Texas, taking their grandchildren with us. Now that we are on the receiving end, I understand how sad it must have made them.
I really think that last rule should be written in our constitution… a new amendment… no child can live more than 50 miles away from their parents… wouldn’t that be great? Wonderful post… I will have to keep that in mind… take the pig away. I may adopt that philosophy. DAF
That’s my new mantra, DAF—Take the pig away. Do you really think there are enough of us parents to get an amendment passed?
I think there are, but, I think our kids all have ideas of their own.. darn kids, why did we have to raise them to be intelligent and capable of making their own decisions???
Where did we go wrong, DAF? LOL
I would love to be a fly on the wall, watching you interact with your little friend. I’m sure it’s a rewarding visit for both of you!
She certainly keeps me on my toes, Dianna. You would love her. She’s actually a little shy until she gets to know you. Obviously, she knows me really well!
Great idea for a game. I know my son would say “take the pig away!” too. 🙂
The thing I didn’t mention in my post, Murphy, is that when N. turned her back, I not only took one thing away, I also rearranged all the remaining items so they weren’t in their original places. That makes it harder.
I really enjoy your posts about N. She sounds to be a delightful child.
I like your rule, if only we could make it real.
It is a real rule, E.C. My rule. Unfortunately, my children aren’t rule followers.
This is a game I play with little ones whenever I take them to a restaurant. It keeps them quiet until the food arrives.
What a great idea, Adela! Wish I’d known about it when I had young grandchildren.
I love the 50 mile rule, too 🙂 And, like N, I have always loved to make my own rules (I’m not nearly as successful as she is, by the way)… and I think I felt very much this way when I decided to self publish my novel. I’m making my own rules — and although it may seem like the easy route — I think making up your own rules takes a lot of courage (it does for me). And I predict N will go far for it!
I think you are preparing the way for others, Julia, who are not brave enough to do what you are doing, though they have thought about it. Maybe you will give some of them courage to peruse their dreams in more creative ways.
Love that last rule! Not sure I’m brave enough to try the memory game yet!
If you play like Miss N., Grandma, you wouldn’t have a problem.
What a clever game you made up. I like your rule in the last sentence.
Unfortunately, Georgette, my kids don’t follow it, unless I’m mistaken and Michigan and Boston are only fifty miles from Virginia.
Love these stories of you and your friend. She is a built-in blog. I do think you got the moral to the story wrong however. I think it’s: “It pays to be pigheaded.”
LOL, Al! I love your alternate moral better.