Friday, April 27, 2012

Toddler Milestone: Hide & Seek

"You guys look ridiculous right now." - The Baby
There comes a point in the life of every toddler when they stop playing peek-a-boo.  This is a sad day for parents.  This was our last excuse for looking ridiculous and using that falsetto baby speak just so we can try to catch something cute for YouTube.  But at this point, it's time to parent-up and learn a new game.  It's called hide-and-seek, and playing it with a toddler is the most fun I have ever had playing this game.  Seriously.

One day when my toddler did not want to sit still for her diaper change, she jumped up while my back was turned as I was retrieving the powder, and she ran to the corner and started counting to ten.  She then said, "Ready or not, here I come!"  I was stunned.  Where did she learn this?  Maybe mommy was playing with her?  I asked mommy, and she didn't know either.  It must be Sesame Street again.  So, this is how my daughter plays her version of hide and seek.


My daughter can count to twenty, and sometimes when she counts for hide-and-seek she actually makes it that far.  This is a FANTASTIC way to kill time before a nap.  You know, when there's not enough time for finger paint but too much time for singing a song.  She walks over to the corner, and she hides her face and counts to ten, twelve, seventeen, or whatever she feels is the appropriate number for the day.  Then she yells, "Ready or not, here I come!"  The funniest part is when she tries to combine roles and she takes the blanket (her favorite place to hide) and uses it to count under.  She loves trying to find mommy.  And when she does find her, she doesn't run up to her and tag her right away.  She pauses and stares at mommy, who is crouched behind the crib, and takes a moment to soak it all in.  Then she fires away with a tag and, "I got you!"


As you now know, her favorite place to hide is under her favorite blanket.  It's big enough to cover her up while sitting or standing.  She doesn't always get her feet tucked in, so it's just hilarious to see her trying to be still and watch her feet wiggling.  She loves to hide in her blanket so much that she tries to hide in it every time.  Sometimes we let mommy count and I help her hide in new places, like in the ball pit or under the crib (yes, with her feet sticking out).  When she is really happy with her spot, she giggles with delight (no really the best strategy, but it's fun).  And finally, when mommy is done counting, and she says, "Ready or not, here I come," my daughter gets so excited that she wiggles and giggles and completely gives up her location.  But of course, we play along.

You're Doing It Wrong

The best part of playing hide-and-seek with a toddler is the unexpected laughter it brings.  When we let the little one hide and mommy or I try to find her, we say typical "hide-and-seeky" things to keep it fun for her.  "Where are you?"  "Are you under the crib...? Noooo..."  "Are you under the blanket..? Noooo..."  But occasionally, we get an answer from an unexpected source when we are asking our questions. "Are you in the ball pit?" "Yes," comes a whisper from the pit.  It's all we can do to not crack up laughing.  We try to explain to her that she has to be quiet while she's hiding, but it's no use.  She's having too much fun playing it her way.

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Oh yeah, and this was going around today. Totally awesome.

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