Games My Children Have Invented While We’re Trying to Avoid the Hospital

Audrey Burges
Published in
2 min readOct 1, 2020

Can’t we just play some Jenga instead? (Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash)

Hot Dog Snake

Open your mouth as wide as it will go. Pick up your hot dog while loudly chanting snakes got no teeth, snakes got no teeth. Use your fingers to shove pre-sliced hot dog segments directly toward your trachea.

You must turn your face blue before another snake tries to steal your hot dog.*

Bite them.

Crystal Princess Goggles

You will need two glasses. Use the wooden stool that has your name on it to reeeeeeeeach into the cabinet in the Room Where We Eat When It’s Special. Retrieve the sparkly glasses that are only out when Grandma comes for dinner. Hold one glass over each eye, like binoculars. The world looks so different now!

You must speed-walk into the nearest wall before the magic portal closes.*

Mountain Climber Man

The hallway floor is an icy mountain. Lay flat on the mountain and drag yourself, inch by inch, along the carpet. You need something pointy or you’ll slip on the ice! Get the scissors from the Box for Haircuts, which are something we get at home now instead of at the Haircut Store with the uppy-downy racecar chair.

You must sprint back to the mountain with the scissors before the ice melts.*

Stair Olympics

Get your ruler from the backpack on its backpack hook. Tape the ruler to your foot. You have a ski! You need two skis. Dig into the bag of yarn your grown-up has been keeping by their bed to make a sweater, because that’s something they do now. Find a long, pointy needle. Scotch tape it to your other foot.

You must bounce, bounce, bounce down the slope before the lodge stops serving hot cocoa!*

Beach Shark

Dump your Kinetic Sand onto Couch, because Couch wants to pretend to be The Beach. Dig into the basket of gardening tools that your grown-up uses to tend their container garden, because that’s something they do now. Find a gardening claw that wants to pretend to be a shark. Put the claw’s handle in your mouth. Now run toward Couch Beach! Because sharks are fast and like to eat people, particularly other small people who are just watching Nick Jr. and don’t know they’re swimming in the ocean.

You must eat the small beach person before a mean fisherman catches you.*

*Before your grown-up spoils everything, like they always do

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Audrey Burges

Author, THE MINISCULE MANSION OF MYRA MALONE (Berkley 2023); work in McSweeney’s, Belladonna, Slackjaw, & elsewhere. Twitter: @audrey_burges;