Our new game.
The news has been terrible all year. Political rhetoric has been especially divisive. It’s been a steady stream of negativity and bad news. It’s enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand and wait for the worst of it to pass you by, or hope it doesn’t come for you. But with all the bad news and darkness looming on the horizon, it makes you appreciate the joys and pleasures in your life, no matter how simple. A simple joy like inventing a new game with your son.
We call it “Tickle States.”
The concept is simple. My three-year-old brings his puzzle of the United States over and sits in my lap. He points to a state, and I announce his choice. I then proceed to tickle the ever-giggling crap out of him for about five seconds while repeating the name of the state. He catches his breath, points to another state, and the process repeats.
This is far, far more fun than it has any right to be, but the squirming happiness of my son as he erupts into a giggle-fit makes it all worthwhile. I never thought a highlight of my day would be saying “MississippiMississippiMississippi!” in a silly voice while tickling the hell out of a three-year-old, but parenthood does funny things to you.
An awesome side-effect of this game is that he now knows where most of the fifty states are. He can point to them on the puzzle when prompted, and with little assistance. He can also assemble the puzzle with minimal help from me. Not bad for a three-year-old who doesn’t know how to use the toilet yet.