“Wanna play a game, Dad?” my son asked as we drove home from church one Sunday afternoon. It had been a long service and I was looking forward to lunch and a nice long nap.
I made a right turn from a stop sign and answered, “Sure. What do you want to play?”
I glanced at him in the rear-view mirror as he sat in his car seat and stared out the window. After a moment of tapping a finger on his chin, he decided, “How about ‘I’m Thinking of An Animal’?”
I smiled at his choice. ‘I’m Thinking of an Animal’ is a classic in our family.
“Ok, you go first,” I prompted.
He caught me looking at him in the mirror. “I’m thinking of an animal...” he began, “that’s brown and furry.”
“Brown and furry,” I mused. “Hmmm. Is it a bear?”
“Nope,” he said.
“Is it a spider?” I ventured.
“Ok, give me a hint.”
I stopped at another intersection and waited for the light to change. He looked at me again in the mirror and hinted, “It lives in the woods.”
“Brown and furry and lives in the woods, eh? Is it a wolf?” I guessed again.
“Give me another clue.”
Apparently I’m the dumbest Dad in the world and any first grader would have guessed the answer already. I was feeling rather stumped by now and wondered if the next clue would give it away.
“It has three legs.”
Ok that wasn’t very helpful at all. Brown, furry, lives in the woods, and has three legs. Admittedly I’m no expert of forest creatures, but I’ve watched my fair share of Animal Planet episodes and nothing with that description was coming to mind.
We made a left and continued on a winding street where I had to slow down to navigate the curves.
“C’mon, Dad!” he pleaded.
I wasn’t about to admit defeat this early in the game, but I was honestly at a loss. My only option was to stall.
“Hold on, I’m thinking,” I said.
Brown and furry with three legs in the forest. What on earth? I had to go back and think about the rules of the game. We did clarify these animals were from our planet, didn’t we? I couldn’t remember.
I knew this was a wild stab of a guess, but I threw it out there anyway. Who knows? It could just be how an eight year old thinks.
“Is it Bambi with a busted leg?”
He shouted, “No!” then laughed, sounding as if that was about the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard before in his life. I was a moron.
We rounded the corner onto our street and I finally succumbed to defeat and told him, “Ok, I give up. What is it?”
“It’s an octopus, Dad!”
I almost ran over the curb as I tried to pull into the driveway, tears welling in my eyes from laughing so hard. ‘I’m Thinking of An Animal’ is a classic game in our family.