On pause

Preschoolers are playing freeze tag on the playground. They still call their game "freeze tag", at least, but they call being frozen, "on pause".

"Why do I have to tell you the same thing everyday?," I ask. Well, duh. Because in kids' lives now they don't have to retain anything. They can always watch the same DVD again tomorrow. Ursula the sea witch will explain over and over that they need to have their lunchboxes checked before they throw away their trash. They need to fold the paper placemat corners in toward the center to trap their crumbs so they can carry it neatly to the waste basket.

I am crabby. I want to kick the can and yell "Olly, Olly, ox in free!" as primal scream therapy. I want kids to learn to tie shoes and tell time. What was that old backyard game about time and "Mr. Fox"?

What time is it, Mr. Fox? What time is it, Mr. Fox? What time is it, Mr. Fox? LUNCH TIME!!!

In the evenings after supper kids would gather on our front yard to play "Mother may I?" and "Statues". We would have already played cops and robbers, hopscotch, jacks, and baseball, then climbed trees, made mud pies with blue juniper berries, and built sandbox interstate highways before supper. We would have already sung "If all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops," and "Little Rabbit Foo Foo".

The game we called "Statues" is more widely called "Swing the Statue". A big kid held you by the hand and twirled you around and around and then let go. You had to freeze in position as fast as possible, or be "on pause".

In this whole long day I did not twirl or fling anybody. Please hold your applause.

Where to Play
A grassy lawn is best for Swing the Statue.
How to Play
One player is chosen to be "it." He or she takes each of the other players in turn and, holding them by a wrist or hand, swings them in a circle and then lets them go. The swung player must freeze as soon as possible and hold that position as long as possible. The first player to break the freeze becomes "it." Since the first player swung must hold the position longest, begin with the oldest child first. The entertainment value comes from seeing the strange positions that players end up in and watching them try to hold those positions.
© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


seana graham said...

It's so interesting how games get transmitted down through the generations. Or don't. Although we certainly had freeze tag and Mother May I, we didn't have Kick the Can. But my dad's family did, which I know because there was a story about how one of his brothers had put some stones in the can and another brother kicked it and broke his toe.

Kathleen said...

Happy Cranky Doodle Day. I fondly remember Statues, as we called it, too!