Hide-and-seek in plain sight

We went to the park Sunday. Thing 1 and Thing 2 challenged Sweetie to a game of hide-and-seek, and Thing 2 (the 5-year-old) found the perfect hiding place:

The swings.

While Sweetie was looking behind trees and inside the climbing place, Thing 2 was swinging with the other kids, keeping an eye on her. Soon as she spotted him, he jumped down and ran to base.

I asked him later, “Where you trying to hide you were on the swings? You weren’t just swinging?”

“No,” he said. “I just knew she’d never find me if I was up in the air.”

What’s funny is that this is actually a thing. It’s called “selective attention.” The idea is that sometimes you’re so busy searching for something that you miss the thing that’s right in front of your face.

Here’s what I mean. Watch the video (it’s short) and count how many times the players in white pass the basketball to one another:


(It probably works better if you don’t see it cold; they showed us this at a work retreat a few months ago, and nearly everyone in the room, um, miscounted.)

I don’t think they’re teaching this in preschool. Thing 2 somehow figured it out by himself, and, as a parent, that scares me, because he’ll be a teenager in 8 years, and if he’s this clever at age 5, then I’m doomed, I tell you, doomed!

Breaking up a Monopoly

Thing 1 (the 10-year-old) got Monopoly for Christmas. It came in a wooden box, and everything except the logo in the center of the board is retro. It’s a nice, as Monopoly sets go.

Growing up, I was never a fan because it took forever to play. I’d bail after a couple hours, and I was never around when the game finally ended.

Sweetie’s been at work, though, and I’ve been off, so I thought I’d give the game a second chance. Thing 1 set up the board on the dining room table, and we’ve been playing an hour or 2 a day since Monday, and, as far as I can tell, we’re just getting started.

We’ve bought and developed property, gone to jail and collected $100 when our building and loans mature. Thing 1 has a monopoly on utilities, but we own 2 railroads each. We roll the dice, pass go and collect $200, over and over and over again.

I thought we must be missing something, because we were steadily becoming richer, so sometime on Day 2, we checked the rules, and it wasn’t my imagination. There’s no end to the game. The rules say, “The last player remaining in the game wins.”

So, here we are. Right now, I have a little more money then Thing 1 does, but that could change if I land on Boardwalk again and have to give her $1,400 in rent. We’ll keep playing until she’s tired of the game, or Sweetie reclaims the dining room table or Thing 2 (the 4-year-old) messes up the board.

Which is fine, because, honestly, I can think of a lot worse ways to spend New Year’s Eve.