Real Thing Fake Thing
I took my youngest to the Magic Kingdom for his 6th birthday this year, just the two of us. Towards the end, as we were eating dinner, he asked me the traditional question: “Real thing, fake thing?”
“Real thing, fake thing” is a game we play. The idea is that at dinner, you each come up with one real thing and one fake thing. You say them both, and everyone tries to guess which is real and which is fake. It’s a fun little game that gets the kids talking about their day, and gets me talking about mine.
When we’ve had an adventure, however, the game grows in significance and complexity. The big guy and I had done a lot at Disney, and there were loads of things that we thought we could trick the rest of the family with.
We discussed it at length, tossing ideas back and forth and coming up with what he would say and what I would say.
“But Daddy,” he said after we’d worked it all out. “You have to give the fake thing first.”
“Because you always say the real thing first.”
“No I don’t. That’s crazy.” At least I didn’t think I did. I hadn’t really thought about it.
“Yes, you do. Everyone has a pattern.” He went on to explain each of us, who usually said the real thing first and who usually said the fake thing first, and some special cases that caused us to change what we did.
“Wow,” I said. “You sure about all that?”
“Yeah,” he said, “but every once in a while, they say things differently, and then it’s like, like it’s crazy!” He laughed.
Have you ever been playing a game and suddenly realized that your opponent is on an entirely different level? Like you thought you were doing pretty well, only to discover that you hadn’t even been aware of much of the strategy? That’s pretty much how I felt.
Now, though, my eyes have been opened, and the game is a lot more exciting. It’s not just about finding out what happened during the day any more. This is real competition.
Bring it on, little six-year old. Bring it on.