I wasn't able to buy my granddaughter a "real" present for her birthday because of the state of my so-called "finances," so I bought her a token gift of a set of Jacks. No, not the old hard ones that perforate your foot if you step on them. I got her a set of oversized, soft plastic jacks. I may may as well have brought her an alien from outer space. None of the kids had any idea how to play the game and I'm not the best one to teach them, either. My coordination has always been less than perfect and. now that I'm old, getting down on the floor means finding a crane to help me get up. My son went online to find out the standard rules for a game of jacks and told them how to play. Within five minutes they had turned a simple game of jacks into a full-contact sport. How could I have thought that they'd actually play a game quietly together?
I really should know better. The three little girls involved are 3, 4 and (now) 6, and their favorite game is to shriek havoc on the house, destroying every room they enter, which is every room in the house. Its a really good thing that they don't have any neighbors too close. If they did we'd have the police called on us regularly by neighbors who thought there was a murder in progress. They are the only people I know for whom the "quiet game" is played at a noise level approximately equal to that experienced directly in front of the speakers at a heavy metal concert. Some days I'm almost glad I'm hard of hearing.