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The beanbag game sits carelessly by the couch as though left there by an un-scheming grandma. Suzie is too excited to see us to notice it when she gets home from school, but when Alan arrives, he homes in.
“What’s that, Nana?”
“It’s a beanbag toss game for us to play.”
“Can we play now?”
“Right now it’s dinner time. We’ll play tomorrow after day care, okay? Suzie will play, too.”
“Okay. I will play, and I will get the beanbag in and I will get three points!” So young, yet he already knows the game.
Friday is long, and when we pick up our boy, the young woman tells me, “We hear you have a beanbag game.”
“Yes, we’re going to play as soon as we get home.”
“I’m going to win! I’m going to win!”
I’m a little worried about his focus on winning. I mean, he’s 3. Is he able to toss the beanbag into the net? Will he be crushed if he can’t?
My plan was to take the game outside in the lovely sunshine. However, dark clouds gather; it begins to rain. When we arrive home, Suzannah and Papa are playing on the iPad, so Alan and I carry the game up to his room. He’s pretty excited, especially since he can play without sharing.
We unpack it. In their wisdom, the manufacturers have included two small tables of targets. Alan helps me jam the legs into the odd-angled receptacles. I am sure, in his newly found masculinity (“I’m not cute; I’m cool!”) he will want the blue beanbags, but he opts for the red ones.
His fingers seek the tag on one bag, stroking it, holding it between his fingers, letting its weight swing. He cradles all three in his arms. He walks up to his target. He drops a bag in each netted pocket.
“I win!” He dances around, yelling with triumph,“I got three points! I won, Nana! I won!”
Now it is my turn. I stand four feet away from my own target — a distance from which it is nearly impossible to miss — and toss in my bean bags.
Alan’s dance is repeated with equal ecstasy and glee. “You won, Nana! You won!”
Kangaroo Bean Bag Hop may be the best game I ever played.
And guess what? We won!
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