The Maryn Game

One day, I walked into Charlie’s classroom and he was sitting at the table with his friend Maryn. She looked up at me with a sly grin and said, “I eat play dough.”

“Eww!” I replied with a laugh. “Don’t eat play dough!”

That night on the train, while Charlie and I talked about what he’d done that day in class, we got around to talking about Maryn eating play dough.

I said, “Eww. That’s gross. What else does Maryn eat?”

And Charlie said, “Alligators.”

“Eww!” I said. “No, Maryn, don’t eat alligators!”

He thought this was hilarious. So he added on: tigers, rocks, his teachers. Finally, as we neared our stop, Maryn ate bananas. I pretended to be extremely relieved.

Of course, “What does Maryn eat?” became his new favorite game.

Until I pretended his feet looked delicious and then tickled them with raspberry kisses.

Very quickly, he learned to pass the buck—“Maybe Daddy’s feet look delicious,” he said.

Gaming is all about strategy.


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