My pen hovered over that question as I looked up at my husband who was busy reading over my shoulder. Our eyes met and simultaneously we both blurted out, "Make up Tag!"
So that is today's shared entertainment. Stephen and my husband Eric started this game when summer began. It started out humble, with only one rule. You had to call your tag, then call out of the game - and fast! I personally called the game I WIN TAG.
It started with something simple, a stuffed dog toy, I think. It was a squeaky grey squirrel. Stephen had tagged Eric in the traditional way and run off. Eric, never one to let a child win for the sake of being nice, or any other reason, chased after Stephen. But kids are FAST, and we are getting older- I mean, smarter- so when he couldn't keep up with Stephen around all the corners, he picked up the dog toy and tossed it at Stephen. Turns out old people can still aim. "Squirrel Tag!" He called. Stephen was only shocked for a second- they are both equally devious- then he picked the toy up and launched it back. "Squirrel Tag time out!" His father called out just before the nasty toy hit. And that was the beginning of the game.
So you get the rules now, right? Make up a type of tag (anything you can touch them with, and as the game progressed it was anything touching them), then tag them and call 'time out' in the same breath. Seriously, after a few rounds you practically have to call the 'time out' faster than you can think it.
The game is about using whatever is around you, but more than that, it's about being inventive. One of my favorites is Lazy Tag. That's where you convince the person to come to you and touch you. You can not raise your hands or arms, so offering a hug is out, you can't offer to shake their hand, or do anything that is creating movement on your part. You must be very lazy and they must do all the work. Then, when they do, it's a big fat, "Lazy Tag! Lazy Tag time out!" This is a game that gets employed on and off, all day long.
Some of the others I recall are:
- Oscar Tag (that's our dog. If you're seen touching him, it's Oscar Tag. The thing about that one is you don't have to worry about calling 'time out'. Oscar has to figure out to come touch you on his own, and he generally stays with the one who was last loving on him.
- Pillow Tag
- Blanket Tag
- Kiss tag (Often employed at bedtime.)
- Annoying Tag
- Pass Tag (inspired by Oscar's pass-by licking. Picture it: He's minding his own business, you're minding your own business, then all of a sudden as you walk pass each other you are licked, and he never even slows down or turns his head to do it. Massive skill involved. If it makes you more comfortable, this Pass Tag uses the hands not the tongue- we only borrowed the 'technique' from the dog. But you must be as sly and as casual as Oscar is.)
- Toe Tag (Be careful, you could stub one here.)
- Mind tag (Stephen's contribution one night when Eric snuck in to give him one more kiss goodnight. Stephen woke up to Eric's whisper, "Kiss Tag," and groggily answered back, "Mind tag." -Cracked Eric up for several nights after.)
- Frisbee Tag (A soft disk, not the hard plastic kind.)
- Remote Control Tag (can be handed to them, or combined with Lazy Tag if you can get them to pick it up off you without you moving a muscle.)
- Someone else touched you Tag (And this is why I personally call this game I Win Tag. I swear the stuff you can make up and get away with. Someone gets to call you tagged no matter what you do!)
- Hidden object Tag (like a Frisbee under the bed's covers, or at the foot of it to be accidentally stepped on. Great way to encourage your child to keep his room spotless. You can see a Frisbee on your floor a mile away if you can actually SEE your floor!)
- Paper plane Tag (I like these. They are soft and unpredictable when flying, so you might try 80 times before getting a tag! Obviously, this one is not employed often.)
These are the stories that will go around the table when we meet his future wife. These are the stories we will laugh about when we are old...er. The moments when being a parent was everything you thought it would be.