Annie’s Favorite Games

by Mary Beth

These are some games that Annie likes to play:

1. “Does This Hurt Your Ears?”: Annie makes a noise. Sometimes it is a quiet noise. Sometimes it is a deep, sonorous noise. Usually, however, it is a very high-pitched noise and usually it is quite loud. Then she will ask: “Does this hurt your ears?” Annie can happily play this for long periods of time. She does not care that no one else in the house likes this particular game.

2. Putting Things Into Socks: Annie gets out one of her socks from her sock drawer. This part is sometimes tricky, since she plays this game often and now has few socks left in her sock drawer. Once she successfully locates a sock, she stuffs things into the sock: small toys, bottles of shampoo, a comb, hair elastics, other socks (when she’s lucky enough to find more than one sock). Then she will find a family member, sing “Happy Birthday To You” and present them with the sock. The family member must take out the contents of the sock and then feign delight, as this is a great honor. She has tried to give presents stuffed into socks to her friends at school. Her daddy allowed it but insisted she bring the sock home.

A smaller shampoo bottle in a sock
A fun new variant

3. Anna and Elsa: this involves assigning roles. Sometimes Annie is Elsa, sometimes she is Anna. Sometimes Mommy is Elsa. Sometimes Cora is Anna, but usually Cora is the snowman, Olaf. Daddy cycles between the male roles. Assigning roles constitutes the entire game.

4. Moving Important Items To Special New Locations: Annie often plays this game in secret. Some of her favorite things to move around include: toys; medicine, particularly baby Tylenol; diapers; wipes; Cora’s toothbrush; socks full of mysterious objects; Mommy and Daddy’s toothpaste (this is especially fun when Mommy and Daddy don’t notice Annie has chosen a new place for the toothpaste, and it’s morning and Mommy is already late for work).

Lining Things Up On Windowsills And Then Forgetting Them is a related game
The shampoo is apparently “juice” but soon it will mysteriously move to a corner of the room and be forgotten.

5. Playing “School”: This game starts with Annie saying to Mommy, in her most polite voice, “Teacher, where do I put my lunchbox?” This is a cue that it is time to play School. It is Annie’s first day in school, and she doesn’t know where to put her lunchbox. Mommy has to tell Annie where to put it. There is only one correct answer to the question – the lunchbox (which is always a vaguely box-shaped object that Annie has found around the house and stuffed full of something) goes at one end of the couch. Mommy has tried giving other answers but the new student has had to correct her, gently. Right next to the place where the lunch boxes go is the Place Where You Jump Off, formerly known as the armrest of the couch. Mommy does not like this latter designation but it is not up for debate. That is what you do in this school. You jump off. Sometimes Mommy is also a student in school, and sometimes Cora is, too. Usually everyone is assigned a new name; usually these names are the names of Annie’s past friends from Connecticut, or of her new friends here. Once in awhile, the students will eat their lunches in school, and once in awhile, they will have News, in which Annie stands up in front of the class and talks to them about something, briefly. But usually school consists of putting away her lunch, and then jumping off the Place Where You Jump Off a few times.

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