When Aaron turned two, we decided it was time to try to start playing some games together as a family. We gave the children Hungry Hungry Hippos for Christmas, and promptly set the game up. We carefully showed Aaron and Maddie what you’re supposed to do, and why. (Whack at your hippo’s lever, and make him gobble as many marbles as possible.) We play the chaotic version of the game where all the marbles are released at once, and everybody whacks away furiously.
Maddie got the concept right way. She’s a master player. Aaron, on the other hand, apparently took the goal a little too much to heart. He would notice that some hippos wouldn’t get as many marbles as the others, and he would reach into the playing field, grab a marble, and pinch the starving hippo’s cheeks, raising its jaw, and gently force feed him the marble. (The way one might administer a pill to a sick cat.) He didn’t have the heart to see the marble distribution go unevenly.
But lest you think he’s a little saint, he’s got another side, too. That’s the topic of the next entry.