Tuesday, April 12, 2016

puppy love

One thing I really strive for as a parent is to teach my kids to play independently. As much as I love reading to them, or playing cars with them, ("Hey, Graham, why don't you drive that big one up and down my back while I chill on the couch watching 'The Bachelor'?") I still want them to be able to entertain themselves.

Consider it a preemptive strike against the dreaded, "Mom.... I'm bored!"

But as I have learned lately, there is a real caveat to this method.  Not only will your kids still not utilize the thousands of dollars worth of toys in your home, but they will invent the most irritating and bizarre games imaginable.

For over a year now, Cael and Graham have developed and perfected their latest game, "puppy".   

(Please note that I made no grammatical errors in that last sentence. I deliberately did not capitalize "puppy", because doing so would make it a proper noun.  I refused to use the word "proper" in conjunction with this game because I dislike it on all levels.)

Kind of like miley cyrus, but that's a post for another day.

From what I have observed, the rules to "puppy" are as follows:

- One person (Cael) plays the role of the master, and has complete control over the puppy.  This person gains points by giving the puppy countless menial tasks to complete, despite a puppy not having opposable thumbs.

- A second person (Graham) plays the role of the puppy, and has to do whatever the master says, no matter how ridiculous or demeaning it may be.

-  The "puppy" may only speak in a high-pitched puppy-like voice, which, if executed properly, should sound like the vocal equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.

- Although it may seem unrelated, all stuffed animals belonging to the participants must be crammed into ankle socks as though they were wearing ill-fitting hoodies.  This is of the utmost importance.  (Side note: removal of the sock is grounds for discontinuing the game and/or complete justification for an elbow in the ribs.)

- After completing the chores originally assigned to the master, the puppy must try fervently to induce a psychotic break in the adults nearby by talking in the puppy voice and ignoring all requests to cease and desist.  *Bonus points if the child already has some speech issues like Graham, so that 95% of the dialogue with this affected speech is unintelligible, and the remaining 5% are recognizable but unrelated words shouted after inhaling helium.)

Hard to imagine?  Let me enlighten you.  And don't worry, for those of you at work or who are unable to see the video, I have transcribed it below.

We booby!
We be super booby!
Whenever you need a superhero, here do we bein' da do.
Nooing, mooing, mooing.
Ooh, me! Banaoing.  You ma booby!
Mmmm..?  We booey.

Perforated eardrum.  Temporal lobe begging for a hot fireplace poker to the ear canal.   

With that framework in place, Cael and Graham have found a way to occupy their time.  I should be grateful (and probably am on some level) that they had the creativity to invent an activity that didn't involve guns or toilet water, but I continue to be perplexed not only at the game's allure, but by how Cael was able to convince Graham to accept him as his master.

And now, with all of Graham's ankle socks missing and me desperate for some quiet, I think I would have rather listened to "I'm bored" after all.

Now where are my earplugs?  Oh, yes, with that miley CD...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.