I'm a game player. I love games. Card games. Board games. Athletic games. I like them all. And I generally have lots of fun playing games with Staley. We play hide and seek. We play Memory. We play games of pretend. But lately Staley has been playing a few games that I do not like.
The first new game that Staley has been playing lately is called "Run Away." The rules are pretty simple. I want Staley to stay put or come to me, and she turns and runs in the opposite direction (generally giggling and saying 'I running away' while she does it.) And when does she like to play this game? Usually when I want to get her dressed/undressed, change her diaper, wash her hands for meals, or leave the house. But my least favorite time she plays this game? When I am trying to check out at a store.
The second game of Staley's that I REALLY detest is called "Noodle Legs." In Noodle Legs, Staley makes her legs go limp like noodles so that she falls to the floor. Noodle Legs is often played in conjunction with Run Away. For example, Staley will play Run Away. I will catch up to her and hold her hand to 'help' her remember the direction she should be heading. Instead of walking along with me, she then merges right into Noodle Legs so that she is either a.) dangling from my hand by one arm or b.) falling into a heap on the floor.
I think the thing I really dislike about both these games is I have yet to figure out a way I can win. Picking her up and carrying her is effective, but not really winning since she is getting heavy (and holding her while trying to check out, sign a receipt, and carry my purse and bags is not super-convenient.) Ignoring her is not always an option when she is running the opposite direction in a store full of strangers. Stern words or distractions sometimes work, but can't always be counted on. And the threat of a shopping cart or stroller is only available when I know I'm going to be able to follow through.
Games are usually fun, but only if there's a chance that I can win. So if anyone knows the secret to winning at Run Away and Noodle Legs, please let me know. Otherwise I'll struggle along, trying to avoid playing these games that I can't win.