When did life get so serious? Why have so many people decided that once they hit a certain age it’s inappropriate to laugh out loud and giggle and snort (ok, only some people snort when they laugh…I’m one of them…and THAT’S totally fine!) Why can’t we laugh hysterically? I believe that children have a secret that we have all forgotten about.
Here is the scenario. Adult sitting and chatting with other adults. Toddler walks by and yells “CATCH ME!” Adults continue to discuss the news or politics or something else horribly dull and tedious. Toddler yells louder “CATCH ME!” Then toddler picks the “chosen chaser” by whacking them on the back. That got me thinking? How did this whole chase start? I know that I pretend to chase them as soon as they are crawling, but how did this actually start? Did people do this to teach their children to run away from animals or other threats? If so, when did it go from being a scary thing to a super fun thing? (See, there goes my adult brain again). Let’s get back to the chase.
Toddler starts running. Now, it is also quite interesting how a child runs. When they are first introduced to this incredibly fun game, they will start running forward. However, they will keep turning their head backward to watch the person chasing them and see how close they are. It’s kind of funny watching them run into walls and doorways or trip over toys. No, I’m not mean. You would laugh too. And they can’t run fast enough to actually do any damage. The whole time the child is running away they are laughing hysterically, which oftentimes slows them down because there are just too many things on the go: running forward, constantly looking backward, laughing, and the eventual crash into something. That’s a lot for a little brain to maintain.
Now, once you catch them there is the obligatory tickling or perhaps even the toss up in the air. Such an adrenaline rush! Chaser starts walking away and hears “Catch me!” Yup, time to do it all over again. This game goes on for about 15 minutes. After that the child is too exhausted to run and usually trips over their own feet. The adult is also tired because it’s hard to run (and not run) fast because you can usually catch up to them in two steps.
Now, think about the actual expenses of a game like this one. No dollar amount. It’s cheap…unless you are counting losing 15 minutes of your life which you would probably spend doing something adult-like and boring. Watching a child laugh and giggle makes you feel like a real superhero too.
When parents (guardians) buy toys for their kids, they try to find something that will make their eyes pop open wide with glee. I find it interesting that as children grow up they will forget the “special” gifts you got for them. Sure they might have a favourite teddy or blankie, but all the other toys will be forgotten. What they will always remember is the time you spent with them. The fun, goofy things you did with them. Time is more valuable than monetary gifts.
So, when your grandson says to you, “Grandpa come catch me”, and you look at him and say, “I can’t run. My knees are bad.” Then the little 3 year old smarty pants giggles and says, “Grandpa, walk and catch me.” Ha ha ha! Genius reply! He found the loop hole. There will always be ways to play chase. There will always be those magical memories that seem so insignificant to older people, but the kidlets will remember them forever.
Your time is valuable. Do something fun with it. Remember that if they are crawling, walking, or running you can always play the chasing game and feel like a kid again. A creaking, arthritic kid, but you’ll appreciate that bit of time spent free-wheeling in KidWorld.
Time to end this short escapade of a story. I’ve been whacked in the back…time to do some chasing!