Austin Texas Team Real Estate Blog


Meatball Tag and the Tickle Monster

I will be interested to see if the title of this post attracts people who have no idea what I'm talking about. 

"Must be some weird autocorrect feature."


Meatball Tag is the name of a game that was invented by my 4-year-old daughter, Jenny, and her older sister, Abby, who is 7 now. Before it got exceptionally cold outside (in my case, that's anything under 40 degrees - I live in Texas, not Alaska), I had been playing quite a bit on the trampoline in our back yard with my two younger daughters.

One evening, just after dark, we were playing out there for a long time. Well, it felt like a long time to me. When you're 43 years old, a "long time" on the trampoline is pretty much anything requiring full effort for more than several minutes at a time.

At any rate, one of their favorite things to do on the trampoline when I'm there is to just bundle up tightly in a blanket and let me bounce them around. As a protective dad, I get a little concerned about them bonking their heads into each other, so I make them spread out a little bit. They laugh and squeal loudly. "Do it again, daddy!" After a brief respite, I am obliged to continue as long as I can until I get worn out. It's a solid workout, truth be told.

That night, we also played tag, then "Meatball Tag", which basically involves curling up into a ball in the middle of the trampoline while the other players are pieces of spaghetti. I think the notion is that you can all become spaghetti or meatballs, or....something. Frankly, they were so excited that I don't think I got every nuance of the rules. That wasn't the point, obviously.  :) What struck me as funny was how it ended up sounding vaguely racist or somehow slanderous to hear my little girls shouting:

"Get up, meatball!"  

"You're a meatball!"

"You can't catch me, meatball!"

I have no idea what our neighbors must have been thinking. Maybe they think we're big fans of Archie Bunker. 

One of our other games is the Tickle Monster, wherein I get on the bed and cover myself with a quilt. They try to get as close as they can to me without getting tickled. They laugh really hard at this one, and I basically just move around and try to tickle them, while saying, "Tickle Monster!"

My lowest energy game (created for when Daddy is simply too tired for piggyback rides, or trampoline tag) is called simply "Slap Hand". This allows me to lie supine on the bed and close my eyes while the girls attempt to slap either or both of my hands while I try to "catch" their hands. It's harder than it sounds, but it's a lazy man's game, and I'm (almost) ashamed to admit this one publicly. 

I think it's time to play with the kids right now. 

Have a good day, meatball.



If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at  Thanks!

Comment balloon 9 commentsJason Crouch • January 07 2014 09:21AM
Meatball Tag and the Tickle Monster
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