Baby In The Air

colorful-ballI mentioned this game to someone last week and she never heard of it. That shocked me because the kids in my Philadelphia neighborhood played it almost every day during the summer. I can’t believe we were the only ones playing it.

This is how Baby in the Air is played.

Each player is given a number before the game starts. The oldest player starts the game by throwing the ball in the air as high as he can and yells “Baby in the Air number [whatever].”

The kid whose number is called runs up, catches the ball and screams “Halt.” Then he takes three giant steps toward the other players (usually the closest person) who have now stopped in their tracks. The kid with the ball throws it trying to hit the frozen figure in front of him.

If he hits the quarry, that player gets a “B.” If he misses, the “B” is given to the ball-thrower. The first person to spell out the word “Baby” is ejected from the game.

This may sound like an uneventful game, but it cost me three stitches through my eyebrow one afternoon.

Since you have to look up to catch the ball if your number is called, collisions can occur if you mistakenly think your number has been called. That’s how my  friend Bunny and I crashed into each other. Her number was NOT called (I like to point that out) and she didn’t sustain a scratch, while I ended up in the emergency room, a bloody mess. From that day on, I was able to call her “hardhead” with impunity.

Now, can you honestly tell me you don’t remember this fun game? Sheesh!

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