Master9 threw himself on the ground and curled up tight.
“Ball!” I yelled. I mean, obviously.
“No,” said my ball shaped child.
“Sphere? Planet? Orb?” It’s surprising how few things I could actually think of. “I don’t know. You’ve been kicked in the nuts?”
That, at least, got a chuckle.
“Apple!” yelled Miss10 suddenly.
“What?” I said. Apple? How could she get apple from that? If she wasn’t going to make proper guesses then I didn’t know why she was even botherin-
“Yep. Apple,” said Master9, getting up.
“What?” I stammered.
We were all gathered in the lounge room because, as a parent, you always try to do your best to teach your children the important things, and this week my mother had brought to my attention this week my kids had a problem.
“We played Charades last night,” Grandma told me when she dropped Master9 and Miss7 home from a sleepover. “It was…interesting.”
Everything about Grandma’s tone told me this was an understatement. She gave me some examples, like Miss7 trying to convey the word ‘friends’ by playing a game of tiggy with herself through the house.
Naturally, I rounded up the children at the first opportunity for a game. If nothing else, it sounded like a laugh and I could show them how it’s done.
Miss7 was up next and after telling us it was two words she started contorting her body and doing an eighty’s dance.
“The robot!” I said confidently. Nope. “Robot dance? Cyborg? Lost in Space? Marvin the Paranoid Android? Something from Yo Gabba Gabba?”
“Frozen Dolls?” Miss10 asked her.
“What?” I snapped.
“Yes!” squealed Miss7.
Next was Miss10. It looked to me like she was also doing the robot dance moves, but apparently not.
“Statue Cat,” guessed Master9. Correctly.
“That’s not even a phrase,” I mumbled.
And so it went on.
Lying on your back like a log?
You’re a pillow.
Mouthing a song while doing absolutely nothing else?
Being angry and stomping your feet?
Actually, I got that one.
Then Miss4 insisted on a go. She quietly asked me to tell her something to act out. I chose her favourite Frozen character. I figured she’d pretend to freeze something by throwing her hands out in front of her, since that’s what all the girls do around the house at the moment. Miss2 actually tries to freeze me everything I attempt to put her to bed.
…Miss4 indicated to everyone it was four words (?) and then curled up in a ball. She did the robot. She mimicked a cat statue. She became the most rigid and uncomfortable looking pillow I’ve ever seen. And then she put her arms out in front of her with her palms facing outward.
“Queen Elsa?”said Master9.
“What?” I said.
“Yeah!” yelled Miss4, and a cheer went up amongst the kids.
What the hell was I thinking? Teach the kids how to play Charades? Grandma was wrong. They’re brilliant at it. I can’t teach these kids a thing. In fact, they should be teaching me.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”