I assume that not all our readers have lived with four-year-olds before, and so you might not be aware of the sheer variety of absurd games a four-year-old wants you—a full-grown adult—to play, nor the alarming frequency with which she wants you to play them. Before I even took a shower this morning, for example, Kina and I played:
“Burlingame wakes up Baby Rainbow Cat on the airplane, and the flight attendant hits him away”
“Baby Rainbow Cat goes in the fort, and you can’t get in”
“Tea time with Panda”, and (as noted in our top headline)…
“Whooooooooa I’m flying aroouuund caaaaatch meeeeeee!”
In this relatively new game, she twirls slowly through the house, evading every attempt I make to grab her, like an audibly-desperate mote of dust. It is almost meditative in its mock futility. As she floats past me, she rolls her eyes and lolls her head to the side, giggling uncontrollably. It is really fun to play this game.
I don’t know if it’s her age or our collective adaptation to pandemic home life, but these games have become very important to the whole family. Without the opportunity for any of us to really socialize, we seem to have agreed to communicate on Kina’s level—so, silly games. This is actually a great stand-in for real adult conversation, in that we cannot talk about world affairs, strange maladies, or work. The closest we get to Real Life is when Kina plays one of her “mundane adult thing” games; Laurea’s favorite Kina game, for example, is “Tell the patient at the doctor’s office that it’s not her turn”, which can go on for several rounds at a shot. Those games can be torture, but at least you get to play the receptionist half the time.
Tomorrow morning, instead of looking at Twitter, float around your house moaning plaintively for help. When your roommate or partner comes to get you, pretend that the breeze stirred up by their approaching body whisks you even farther away from them, and whisper “ohhh nooooooooo”. If you do not have a roommate or partner, use your cat. If you do not have a cat, enjoy floating around for five minutes or so, and then land gently on your back, facing the ceiling, and enjoy being four.
Kina, ultimately, knows where all the sequins come from. It is her gift, her curse. No sequin left behind. Mystery solved.