Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hunting Nazis.

So this weekend Grace had a playdate. I arrange playdates not so I can play with other people’s children, I arrange them to keep my own children out of my hair so I can do laundry, garden, clean, cook, read, rock back and forth in a corner and suck my thumb. Basically, play with my child so I can have a couple of hours to myself.

Within ten minutes of the playdate starting, the little girl visiting was all over me. Wondering what I was doing, telling me stories that didn’t appear to have any point to them, asking me for food, etc. Then Grace got in the mix, then Edie, and next thing I know I have a wide eyed audience of 8-and-unders, severely compromising my Facebook time (ummm, chello, do you think those witty status updates get dreamt up that easily?) This happens often, even though I’m a meanie, children seem to be drawn to me on these playdates
Go play! I commanded. Play what? They asked.

I listed items, told them to use their imaginations and t.v., DS and Wii were off limits. They eventually scampered off, but it is apparent that the brain cell responsible for dreaming up games for the 8-and-under crowd is underdeveloped with this crew.

Which brings me to an awesome memory. Nazi Hunting.

Growing up I had field across the street from my house that was being developed for housing. There were mountains of dirt, pits a whole body length deep and crazy obstacles everywhere. Everything about this site screamed “I AM A PERFECT PLACE FOR YOU TO DEVELOP AN AFFECTED GERMAN ACCENT AND PRETEND YOU ARE A POST WWII NAZI HUNTER!!!!”. My bestie and I made quick business of using this field to hunt down imaginary Nazis, jumping in pits when spotted by them, being snipers atop mountains and throwing grenades (chunks of dirt, or waiiiit a minute, maybe they were cow patties) at the imaginary offenders. We would tirelessly play this game for ever, perfecting our accents and pretty much making up history as we went along. I can’t remember what retired the game, we must have hunted the Nazis so effectively that there were no more to capture.

What makes me sad is I have NEVER heard my girls take on a heavy responsibility like Nazi hunting. Edie can talk the ear off a dust-bunny, I have no doubt the child has an imagination (or has a serious mental illness, jury's out on that one) but I have never seen either one engaged in a balls-out game of creativity and action.

I just may have to dust off the old Nazi hunting uniform and show these kids how it’s done.

Do you have an awesome game you played as a kid that just involved a keen imagination?


Little Red Hen said...

Barbies. I could play them all day, every day in the summer with the girl across the road. We would set up their awesome houses out of bits of junk and fabric our mothers would donate to the cause. They all had very elaborate and complex lives and travelled the world.

Pauline said...

"You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'!"

(Sorry couldn't resist, being a Tarantino lover and all!;))

I used to pretend that I was super heroines/comic book characters when I was younger. Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn were favorites. There wasn't as much electronic stuff when I was younger, but I didn't need it!

Rob said...

Ah......dirt bombs/grenades........

I remember those well!

XUP said...

I didn't know you were a child in the 1940s?? We used to play Wells Fargo and Indians and Injun Joe and Bounty Hunter and stuff like that. We had acres and acres of orchards and woods and a creek to play in though and all the time in the world to be loose and on our own. I think a lot of kids now have their lives organized and controlled from day one that they never get the chance to get into games like this. Did you have "playdates" when you were a kid? Or did you just hang around outside until someone came by you could corral into playing with you?

karen said...

Little Red Hen - I loved barbies. I made pools out of tinfoil for them. So many possibilities!

Pauline - That was such a great movie, I can't believe I didn't remember my Nazi game watching it!

Rob - yup. The days when it didn't matter if you got a little dirty.

Xup - We just roamed the streets and the group would ebb and flow in size. It was so great. Massive games of hide and go seek. I wish it was more like that today. I'm trying to rally parents in the hood to let go a little, let the kids roam a bit. Strength in numbers, right?