Monday, June 18, 2007

Twenty questions... at four

Ever play Twenty Questions? You pick a famous person and others have to guess who it is by asking yes or no questions. We play it in the car when we're taking long rides. It's a great time killer, and helps to avoid other questions like "Are we there yet?" and "When are we going to eat?"

There is nothing more fun than playing Twenty Questions with a four-year-old--or at least my four-year-old. Susie participates in our games as much as everyone else.

She will make us guess and guess again as to her "secret person" 's identity. We'll ask, "Does this person have the same name as a scrumptious dessert?" She says, "No..."
So we'll ask, "Is this person friends with a girl who has the same name as a fruit?" She says, "No..." We ask, "Is this person berry sweet?" She says, "No..." We ask, "Is this person Strawberry Shortcake?" She says, "No..." Then eventually we give up, and she says, "It's Strawberry Shortcake, of course!" Silly us, why didn't we guess that?

(Ben, though he's eight, isn't any less predictable:
Anyone, asking Ben: "Is it an athlete?" Ben: "Yes..." )

What's even more fun is that Susie is such a good guesser. I can't list all of her amusing questions because there were just too many, but here is a sampling of her most recent questions about our secret people:
-Does he take turns and share?
-Does she stay in her house a long time when she's sick?
-Does she paint pretty pictures?
-Did his grandfather die on the twenty-first eve?
-Does he jump over fences?
-Is he a dog?
-Does he watch movies?
-Does he cut his hair when it grows longer and longer?
-Is he dark and gray?
And, my favorite,
-Is it you, Andy?

Ah, the fun, the innocence. I want to write down every word. I can remember all too well when the older kids were little, but I can't remember their funny little sayings. I can't remember what their nightmares were about. I can't remember what they fought about (then--I can certainly tell you what they fight about now). Yet it was only a few years ago. They grow too fast, and they leave too fast.

I think adolescence prepares the parent for the flying of the coop... they first get all attitudinal and sulky, making us want to throw them out. Then they go off and spend half their nights sleeping at other kids' houses. Pretty soon they will be driving everywhere on their own. (I'm not ready for that!)

Then, we'll be playing a different version of Twenty Questions.


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