I Love Lucy

Yesterday afternoon, I was bone tired, but five-year-old Anton wanted to play ALL THE GAMES. Hide and seek! Magna-Tiles! Battle! Suddenly, I remembered a brilliant solution…

“I’m always looking for parenting ideas that let me sit still,” a reader named Emily had commented a while back. “My favorite one I’ve heard is called ‘What’s on my butt?‘ where the parent sprawls facedown on the couch and has to guess what objects the kid is setting down on their butt.” A toy dinosaur? An orange? Who cares, you’re lying down.

Another game to play horizontally is “doctor examining an incredibly sick patient — so sick that she can’t move and can barely talk,” suggests Raquel D’Apice, as well as an art class where the kids draw a woman in repose. Writer Michelle Woo recommends “Ninja training,” in which you close your eyes and have kids try to walk past you as quietly as possible. If you hear them make a sound, they have to go back to the starting line.

Once, when we were growing up, my mom was so exhausted, she paid my sister and me $10 each (which is approximately one billion dollars to nine-year-olds) NOT TO TALK for the entire evening. The two of us tiptoed around, like the twins in The Shining, while my mom read her book and drank a glass of Chardonnay with ice. Well played, Jean. Well played.

What would you add?

P.S. What parenting is really like, and going from one to two kids.