Monday, January 9, 2017

Footprints in the Snow!!

I've made up the world's best game. It's great in that it gets kids outside, but you don't actually have to interact with them at all, and it's totally free. It's called Snow Tracker and it works like this:

Cara's best feature is probably her eyes.

1) Have it snow overnight. This part should be easy.
2) Get up before your kids. This part should be impossible.
3) Run around your neighborhood, leaving tracks for your kid to follow. It's important you do this in such a way that your tracks aren't confused with others, but you still do interesting things. Climb along a fence, climb through/over cars, steal a kid's bike for a while, etc. The tracks should probably end at your house, so the kid comes back home and has a cup of cocoa waiting for him, but you could also just end it at some stranger's house and leave them a note saying "Wyatt is probably hungry."
4) Make a video for your son explaining the game. Something like this, only try to be handsomer:

5) Hide in the house, and leave the video for him to find. Ideally, have his snow clothes laid out already. Let the fun take place while you sit and play video games.

Wyatt had a blast doing this. When he finally found me (I was actually in the garage), he said "Um, maybe that was super fun dad." We played it a few more times throughout the day.

(This is a game that also works at the beach - although in this case it's called Sand Tracker - provided your footprints in the sand can be followed and aren't easily blown away. It works great at the Oregon coast because there are so many dunes to hide behind, and no one is ever really there.)

One of the fun things to do with this game is retrace your steps together. One time we did this, and as Wyatt was telling me where I went and what I did, I saw an opportunity.

As we walked, I said "Look at how your footprints are right beside mine. It's like we were walking together, even though I wasn't with you!"

He said "Um maybe OK I guess but here you walked backwards."

"And look at how here your feet are dragging a bit more, as if each step is harder. Is this where you were feeling down?"

"Um no probably I slipped."

"Isn't it nice to know that I will always be there, with footprints, when it snows, sometimes?"

Wyatt ignored me and said "Is this where you made a snow angel? Or probably maybe you were trying to burrow through the snow but it's only like an inch thick."

"What about this part here, where it's only your tracks? Do you feel abandoned? Like all of a sudden, when you needed me most, I wasn't there for you?"

"Um probably no because you were in the garage playing on your iPad."

"No, my son, you weren't abandoned. This... this is the point where your burdens got so great I carried you. I carried when you couldn't carry yourself. You were about to get all mad at me for ditching you, but boy were you wrong! I bet you feel stupid."

"Um maybe incept probably no this never happened. You didn't carry me, dad. You didn't. You didn't, dad."

I think I got through to him.

On a related note, I am so proud of this apple. Snowstorms, ice storms, the harvest, the fall ... it's persevered through it all. Wyatt, my son, did you feel like that apple when my footprints vanished?
My mood: proud to play Snow Tracker and teach my son a lesson about poetry, or footprints, or sharing or something.
Wy's mood: wants to track all day
Link's mood: starting to feel pretty sick
Cara's mood: frustrated because there were better pictures of her I could've chosen

1 comment:

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