18 April 2006

Sleeping tigers

From Deborah:

When things get too crazy and loud, our friends Jim and Amanda play a game called "Sleeping Tigers" with their school-age children. The game is to lie down and pretend to be a sleeping tiger. Whoever can stay quiet and still the longest, wins. It's amazing to see wild kids become suddenly calm playing this game.

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There was a Roz Chast cartoon many years ago with a few equivalent games, presented as car games. I remember one was "Field Mouse". I never dreamed that they would work on any kids more than once!

I wish I'd thought of that when my kids were young! Now I just pay them to go away ;)


Somehow this reminds of the classic school yard games that bullies loved, "Let see who can hit the softest! You go first..."

Having tried similar "sleeping tiger" logic with my three year old, I can say he is perfect fine with losing this game. Maybe if I frame in the context of being an animal, perhaps my child of perpetual motion will be still for a moment or two.

My mom used to say "it's time to play vegetables," when we would compete to see who could stay quiet the longest. I admit to doing this with my kids in the car to which they'll shout "I want to be a carrot!" Whatever works. Sleeping tigers seems much more poetic.

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