An Afternoon With A Child

Life and Happiness

Last Sunday the hubs and I bent to the pressure of our 5 year old god daughter to have her over for the afternoon (I am kidding – we LOVE spending time with her.) She came armed with a bag full of “activities” as she calls them and we made use of every single one in the short span of two hours. To say she has more energy then us is a bit understated. Having just turned 40 I will even go so far as to say that this old lady can’t keep up with her at this point. And I thought 40 was the new 30…

The first thing out of the bag was a game called Zingo! It’s kind of like Bingo, but not. At least according to Megan.

“Oh, it’s like Bingo,” I said. (BIG MISTAKE.)

“NO!” she stated, “it’s ZINGO. We have to yell Zingo! when we win.”

Oh… completely different then. I acquiesced.


Photo courtesy of the ThinkFun website

There is a little box thing that puts out two words at a time on plastic pieces. If you have either of those words you can use them to fill the space on your board. Since we didn’t get a full briefing of the rules, and we unfairly assumed it was like Bingo, we were a bit taken aback when the 5 year old was whooping our … uh, butts after only a few seconds of play.

“Wait! It isn’t your turn!” John cried as Megan swiped another piece for her own board.

“JOOOOOHHHHNNNN!!” she retorted, exasperated, “anyone can pick up a piece anytime.” (I could hear the unspoken “duh!”)

We consulted the rules book.

She was right.

Our play became more animated as we began to snatch at pieces with our big, adult-sized mitts, without considering her tiny hands – I’m surprised Megan still has her own hands intact we were becoming so aggressive. I looked at John and motioned that we might want to stand down a bit.

“Zingo!” John exclaimed.

We both looked at his board and Megan cried his name in that long drawn-out way again, rolling her eyes up into her head. Apparently you had to fill out the whole board – not just a row like in the aforementioned, not-like-Zingo, game Bingo. Again, the rule book was consulted.

Again, she was right.

Back to the action we went.

I won the first round (properly) and cried Zingo! as instructed. After I won another round, Megan, having decided that we were on to this game, decided to switch it up.

“Let’s play Go Fish now Aunt Sue.”

I dutifully retrieved it from the bag.

Now John and I had both played this game a lot as kids as, I’m sure, many others have, but Megan gave us a full run down of the rules this time.

“In this game we don’t say anything when we win, okay, we just stay quiet. Don’t say anything. Only. Only, when it’s our turn, we look at our cards and then ask the other person if they have a card we need to make a match. But we don’t say anything at the end. Just when it’s our turn. And we don’t show anyone our cards (even though she was, at the time, showing me her whole hand), because they can see and we want to make a match, but if they see what we have then they can take our cards and we won’t win. But we don’t say anything at the end. Just. stay. quiet!” (All said whilst finger pointing accusingly at me…)

“Yes Ma’am.”

I almost saluted her. John promptly cried out “Go Fish!” just to irritate her.


Despite our old age and our shortened memories John and I each won a round – to which Megan was then ready to move on to another “activity.”

In the span of 2 and a half hours, we played two games, watched a third of one movie (I still don’t know how Ice Age 2 ends… And we had to use our laptop because John “broke” the TV. Another story for another time.), colored two pictures each, read several Princess stories while snacking on some pretzels and water, and played “diner”.


Photo courtesy of

Then while walking her home we decided to run.

The three blocks to her house.

She giggled the whole way so it was worth it, but Aunt Sue had to sit down and recoup when we got to her parent’s house lest she die of a heart attack.

Once revived, I sat and played with her one year old sister for another 2 hours or so (they did feed us at least) while Megan and John made, and played with, a marble maze contraption. Then we walked back home. I have no idea where we found the strength to walk at that point, but we got home so I guess we made it.

I’ll never know how their parents do it – we had only about 4 hours of their antics and we were wiped. They do this day after day for up to 12 hours a day. Granted they get to go to work for some rest, but still…


2 thoughts on “An Afternoon With A Child

  1. It’s like any exercise program. You start slowly with a baby that just lies there (if you’re lucky) and then you work up to the kind of afternoon you survived. Who am I kidding? My last baby is 24 and I’m still winded.

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