There are morning birds and nighthawks. My wife is a morning bird, singing and busy at dawn. And there is me, the nighthawk — I come alive at night and fand busy when everyone else is asleep. Over the years, I have trained my youngest son Henry in the art of making pancakes on weekends, so that I might sleep in a bit. Now, at age twelve, he is the pancake master.
Our Saturday tradition is quite simple — Henry makes breakfast for himself and his older brother. Later that morning, my boys will give me the secret signal and sneak down to my basement’s master bedroom. In the spirit of generosity, I give them a few minutes of privacy and then I join them for our Weekly Big Wrestle Time.
We typically play three games:
1. Alligator: two players are stranded on an island (in this case, my king-size bed) surrounded by a very hungry alligator patrolling the floor. The person playing the alligator must keep at least one knee on the ground at all times. (Alligators can’t jump) If the beast touches any part of your body, you are eaten and then become the new alligator. Since this is a game of survival, it is legally allowed to gently shove your fellow islander to the edge of the island.
2. Rolling Pin: I play the rolling pin spinning with my arms crossed (tight) across my chest. I roll from one side of the bed to the other. I can’t stop. I roll over anything in my way, including young children who are not quick enough to jump over me. Sometimes I roll slowly, but sometimes my levers get stuck in high and I can’t slow down. I roll back and forth, crushing young bones.
3. Mayhem: We pile all pillows up against the headboard for safety. I Say “Go”, then everyone attacks me. Good luck!
The ground rules for all our games are simple: The bed serves as the base. I am the enemy. Stop means stop, and crying ends the game, so it is strongly discouraged.
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John Dolan is a photographer based in New York.
POSTED IN: ENTERTAINING THEM · TAGGED: BREAKFAST, FAMILY BONDING, FAMILY RITUAL, PARENTING