How to play with kids without really moving

by

Scott Adler

posted in Life & Home

Possibly it’s because they have a runny nose for 48 months at a time, but kids don’t understand sick.

When they see symptoms that signal you’re one step away from death, a single thought goes through their little noggins: dog pile.

At least, Stella and Theo were piling on me last week when I was sick as a dog.

But did I yell? Did I complain and make a play for pity when I had the dreaded drop-off/pickup/drop-off troika while nursing a knife in my throat and a brain incapable of simple math?

No, I turned into a human gym.

I know many of you have discovered the secrets of giving your kids a good time while you remain in a coma of calm. But in case you’re searching for solutions for when you’re maxed out or sick, I’ve perfected five techniques for lying down on the job:


Couch surfing
Slide under the cushions of your couch and let your kids surf on top of you. (One at a time is best if you have two or more kids. It also helps to scoot away typical death objects like glass coffee tables.)

It’s dark under there and you can pretend the pressure of the kids’ weight is actually the movements of a finely trained masseuse.

Mwa, ha, ha! The treasure is mine…
This one is easy, although before attempting it, you have to look inside yourself and judge your comfort with being poked and prodded while relaxing.

All you do is turn your role as evil emperor, witch, stepmother, pirate captain, or owner of Al’s Toy Barn into an act of theft where you steal something from the kids (Woody!) and then bury it under your prone-on-the-floor person. If you weigh even as half as much as I do, you’ve got at least 15 minutes of zero effort while your kids try and recover the booty under your belly.

Save me from the fire!
This is something of a variation on “Mwa, ha, ha!” But in this case you’re a victim that needs to be saved from a fire. And by that I mean dragged from one comfy spot on the floor to another.

Yes, the kids will yank on your legs, your arms, and maybe even your head. But if you’ve ever had a Thai massage, that can be great.

The only drawback of this game is that it underscores the fact that should there ever be a real fire in your house your children will not be able to drag you from harm. Fuggedaboutit, you’re toast.

 

Impossibly complicated storytelling
As the name implies, this is a trickier solution. You have to think while you’re lying there and keep thinking to sustain the sedentary situation.

I usually establish myself as man with a story to tell. A very old man who can’t move and can only remember the story by looking at various objects the kids bring back to me. So I send them all over the house for things like scarves, stuffed animals, and what not.

If you can spin a story, you’d be surprised how long you can keep them entertained running around the house.

What’s on my butt?
A friend told me about this game where you lie face down on the couch and in between passing out you try and guess what objects the kids have perched on your tush. “Is that a cement mixer up there?” You bet it is.

When the kids get older and know their ABCs, I’m definitely modifying this into the old “What am I writing on your back?” game. Oooh, I can’t wait.

Okay, that’s it. I can’t guarantee these will work for you – but they got me through last week.

And if they don’t ring your lazy bell, you could try what another friend of mine did: He taught his kid to shell peanuts.

She loves it and he gets to watch the games.

This post was originally published in June, 2010.

Photos from iStock