Lately, Katie Anne has gotten really into making up her own games for us to play or for her to play with her stuffed animals. What's the common thread between all these games? Well, they all verge on the edge of scary experiences or bad behavior. I think that - if I were some kind of psychologist or something - I'd say that Katie Anne is enjoying field testing some frightening or bad ideas under the safety umbrella of a game. Regardless, it is very funny to see what her next gaming creation will be - and what poor Daddy will have to do as a part of the game since Mommy isn't much of a game-player these days!
So, her newest creation is a game called "Crazy Dentist". First of all, let me say that Katie Anne has never been to the dentist. However, she's come up with some wild ideas about the dentist's office. One evening last week, KA and Daddy built a lot of stuff out of her Unifix cubes, including guns, knives, etc, that they used to battle each other. The next day, one of the guns became a "tooth cleaner" or, after Saunders called it one, a drill. Then, Crazy Dentist began! The game begins with Katie Anne calling Daddy "young boy" or "young man" and escorting him into the "dentist office" aka the living room. She says, "Lay down, young man, and let me clean your teeth." At first, Saunders was complying completely, and that was kind of boring, so she whispered to him that he was supposed to run away "because this dentist is crazy". So, then the real game began! Katie Anne chases Daddy all through the living room, kitchen, and dining room, screaming "Come back, young man! I need to clean your teeth! Lay down, young boy!" Daddy runs and runs and screams and occasionally gets caught and stabbed with the drill - and that's the game! Here are some pictures of Crazy Dentist from last week.
It is wild, crazy, and very funny ... but I don't know what will happen when Katie Anne needs to go to the dentist for real!
The other game - which I don't have any pictures of, but I'm sure I can add because we play this game several times a week - is called "Bad Baby". This game can be played with either a parent or a stuffed animal, and the players alternate between being the overbearing, frustrated, stressed-out parent or the bad baby. The bad baby part is easy to play - you lay in the floor, crying, whining, talking baby talk, and basically throwing a fit. What was the original infraction that led to the bad baby's fit throwing? Well, that's not important. What is important is that the baby is being bad, bad, bad. The parent part is a little harder to play - you've got to subdue the bad baby, and that is virtually impossible. You're supposed to start with trying to be nice to the baby with sweet talking to get it to stop throwing a fit. Then, you give the baby (basically) logical consequences and choices to try to get it to stop being bad. Then, you progress to tough talking the baby and threatening it with various wild punishments and consequences, most of which you could never carry out. If that doesn't work (it won't), then try to drag the baby to time out, but the baby will fight mightily to stay in its chosen spot and continue the fit throwing. Then, as your last resort, just start popping the baby on either the back of the hand or the booty with your hand.
Katie Anne plays either the part of bad baby or disciplinarian with equal zeal. She loves to be able to throw a fit without really getting "in trouble", and usually her bad baby part ends with her dying laughing because it is so funny to her. She also LOVES to discipline either one of us or one of her animals. Her threats are hilarious - "If you don't stop throwing fits, baby, I'm going to take all your toys and throw them in the river." (or the woods or the ocean or the mountain... anything of that nature will do) or "If you don't stand up and be nice, baby, I'm going to read all your best books to stranger kids." I guess reading to stranger kids is a big deal to her because this is a go-to discipline strategy for her! The funniest part is to watch her play this by herself with a stuffed animal ... she lays down next to the animal (usually Peach) and holds it over her face so she can make the baby talk/screaming sounds for it, and then she jumps up to discipline it, then flops back down to play both roles again. It is an exhausting game to play, but it is very funny to watch her and listen to her crazy ideas about how to stop a baby from throwing a fit!