Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mouse Mouse Cheese (Neighbor Labor Part I)

We have two girl neighbors downstairs—five and three--who are totally on Bub’s jock. Anytime they spot us, they paw and smooch at him while I try to push through to the upstairs, like some sort of budget personal bodyguard, mumbling about nap time.

As we walked up the street the other day, I could see them half a block away, clutchy arms ready to pounce. Bub doesn’t trust them any more than I do, and for good reason. They’re women. Not to mention that the three year-old has a meaty rap sheet of stealing his toys and knocking him on his can without provocation. It’s a strange, violent mix of Bieberish infatuation and misplaced aggression.

Anyway, I was tired. Beat down, actually. And nap time was light years away, so when they descended, I looked Bub fondly in the eye, nodded a silent goodbye, then threw him at their mercy. It was nearly Biblical.

“Dadyyyyyy!” he screamed, like Karen Allen in Raiders of the Lost Ark. At least he wasn’t in one of those hamper-looking thingies. I debated probably a little longer than I should have about whether or not to follow.

I walked back, and asked the 5 year-old what they were playing. The boy next door, also three, had been haplessly roped into this game called Mouse Mouse Cheese. As she explained:

“There are two balls. These are the cheese. And one person is the mouse and they have to get the cheese. And then THEY are the mouse.”

“So…it’s Tag, but with balls,” I said. “And shouldn’t it be called Mouse Cheese Cheese?”

“Noooo, it’s Mouse Mouse Cheese,” she clarified.

“Yeah, but just fundamentally speaking, it’s Tag,” I continued, for no apparent reason.

“Nooooo, it’s not like Tag at all. In Tag when you tag some one, THAT person is It.”

“Right, but you said when you take the cheese away, you become the mouse. You become It.”

“But we’re all mouses. Mouses each cheese.”

“Okay, sure, MICE eat cheese, yes,” I said, getting pissed. “So why don’t you just call the game Mice? Or Mouse Mouse Mouse, then?”

“Noooo,” she said, with patient arrogance. Like she was counting 2 + 2 on an imaginary abacus for my dumb ass. “It’s Mouse Mouse Cheese.”

Whatever. You can’t argue with 5 year-olds; just a complete lack of reason. No vision. Bub’s version of playing was watching the kids run around until one finally held still, then he pointed and said (to me):

“Ball. Have it? Daddy, have it?”

Apparently he thought the game was fucking stupid, too. High five, big boy! Now let’s skedaddle, before you catch The Annoying. It’s nap time.

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