Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Push down pussycat

This past weekend, we visited with a friend, her daughter, her son-in-law, and their two children.  Sarah was sitting with Zoe, the older child, a lovely and very smart four-year-old (or is she five?  I think she's four) on the sofa.  I was listening to their conversation.  Zoe mentioned a game they played in school that she liked.  Sarah asked its name.

"Push down pussycat," Zoe said, her focus never wavering from the bowl of cheerios she was eating.

"What is that?" Sarah said.

"You push down someone," Zoe said, a very matter-of-fact expression on her face, "and they have to be a pussycat."

Sarah couldn't help but smile and laugh a little. 

Neither could I. 

What an imaginative, wonderful, simple game.  No rules, because at least at that age everyone can figure out what to do.  No one wonders what it means to be a pussycat.  No one argues about duration.  No one complains about being pushed down.  You get pushed down, you're a pussycat. 

I was talking with a friend at work about it.  We agreed that many offices could be improved by a few--safe and gentle, of course--rounds of Push down pussycat, maybe followed by a little milk, some cookies, and a story while you rest for a little bit on your mat. 

I have zero, absolutely zero memories of any time in my childhood when we played that sort of game, but I wish I had them, and now I do have the memory of Zoe's face as she told us about the game.  I'll treasure that.

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