"Ready or not, here I come!" is the excited cry I hear from deep within my covert position, deftly crouching in the inky darkness of the cupboard in our Study.
From this surreptitious position I can hear my 3 year old offering a running commentary as he performs rounds of the house: "Are you in the bathroom Mummy? Hmmm, no, she's not in here! Are you in the bedroom Mummy? Nope, cant see you in here!"
And then.... Nothing. It's suddenly all quiet on the Western Front.
Without warning, or notification from my son, apparently the game is all over red rover. All that remains to be seen is how long it will take him to want something, to realise Mummy is actually still missing.
In this house it's no secret my son has an attention span to rival the longevity of Kim Kardashian's marriage and this game proves to be no exception. On some occasions I have been left to languish in this clandestine corner of the cupboard for a solid 5 minutes or more. And while it is not always the most comfortable of areas in which to secure an unscheduled time out from your day, on some days it is better than the alternative - ie not a minutes peace even to pee alone is granted!
The other amusing trait I've noticed Master H display when Hide & Seek is the favoured activity of the day, is that almost without exception, he will hide in the EXACT SAME SPOT that I have just vacated. Without fail, I tell you! And then he has the audacity to be surprised and upset when I find him so soon. Sure, like any obliging parent, I go through the necessary motions of pretending to hunt for him in other hiding spots in the house, but ultimately, to his dismay, he is found. Plus there is the small fact he hasn't quite cottoned on to being quiet as a mouse when in captivity. His giggling squeals of delight heard from any corner of the house are quite the giveaway..!
Other times when I again find myself at the mercy of this game - and when my son is not quite so distracted by a TV show or toy he has stumbled across mid search - and I am actually found, he concurs that a change in rules commence.
'Mummy, next time you hide under the bed covers ok?" he commands, clearly with no plans as future Captain Cook type explorer in mind.
And when I protest and say that is not in the spirit of the game, he will have a little grumble about the time it takes to find me. Apparently a quick game is a good game in his books. Something I should likely be thankful for, as well as the unexpected extra moments of solitude and peace that are offered during those moments of hiding, especially the times when I am not so quickly "seeked"!