Saturday, April 21, 2012

Plainsies, Clapsies


A ball bouncing game from my youth instructed the player to throw the ball up (plainsies), throw it up and clap (clapsies) throw it up and roll your hands (roll the ball) and touch your shoulders (tabapsies). In trying to locate the rest of the ball bouncing chant, I found out not only is my “tabapsies” a mondegreen, but also the motion – touching your shoulders – isn’t even the correct movement!

You are supposed to clap your hands behind your back and say “to backsies.” 

Yeah. That makes much more sense.

Being only slightly deflated by this discovery, I will still share my exciting news. 

In an attempt to counteract the stretching of my wrist from doing front squats two days in a row, I pulled out the tabapsies motion this morning.  This, in itself, is not newsworthy.  However, I grabbed both shoulders with all five fingers!!!

Again, not exciting unless you know that when I was nine years-old, I broke my left elbow doing a running cartwheel; the repair required a pin to hold three broken boney bits together, Dunlop’s traction for two weeks (during which time I learned to play cards with my feet), and physical therapy twice a week for a year.  I regained 95% of the range of motion of that elbow, feeling the loss only during . . . you guessed it – tabapsies! I was subjected to a life of partial tabapsies where I could only graze the top of my left shoulder with some of my finger tips. It was a real schoolyard challenge, but I met it stoically.

So this morning’s full-on tabapsies was a revelation regarding the fact that it’s never too late to improve your mobility.

Tabapsies on, people. 

10 comments:

Ashley said...

Ha! I was just teaching this game to the 10 yr old I take care of and decided to Google it. I always said tabapsies and touched my shoulders too! The way I remember it, it goes: plainsies, clapsies, roll the ball, tabapsies, high ball (throw high), low ball, turn around, touch the ground, touch your knee, touch your toe, touch your heel, and under you go (toss under your leg). So funny that I remember that after almost 20 years. The 10 yr old has been having a blast playing it for an hour!

Lynne said...

That is how I remember it, too! It must be a regional variation. :)

Donna said...

Thank you for this trip down memory lane. I was looking for the terminology for what I remembered as "roll the ball" - and that's what you called it. I also called it Tabapsies, though I don't remember what the movement was. What region?

Lynne said...

You're welcome, Donna! My tabapsies chant developed in northeast Massachusetts. And yours?

Happy Retro Girl said...

Lynne, my BFF remembered Plainsies Clapsies last night and I went crazy!!! We're from Massachusetts too (Dorchester-Mattapan) and we, of course, said "tabapsies" too. In the middle we had "high-ka-sies, low-ca-sies." What town were you from? Do you remember the other games we had like this one? We've remembered about a half a dozen.

Lynne said...

Hey, Happy Retro Girl, thanks for the comment.

In Salem, we did not say hi-ka-sies, or low-ca-sies, but I'm guessing that all made sense with the rhythm of the song.

Ahhh, the crazy unquestioned stuff of our youth.

Anonymous said...

We played this in Ipswich and we also said tabapsies and touched our shoulders. The rest was the same as what Ashley said, except that at the end we said "and away you go." I think we tossed it under our leg, though. Hard to remember, it's been almost 40 years!

chappy2004 said...

Hi, I came across this post tonight as I was looking for some games we played as kids. And YES, I am from MA also and played this game. But we said 'plainsies, clapsies, roll-the-ball, tabapsies, right hand, left hand, hi-casies, low-casies, touch-my-knee, touch-my-toe, touch-my-heal, and away you go (throw it high and twirl before catching). After finishing once through the plain way, we added the CLAP (the first movement after plainsies) to every move. Next time through, we added the "roll-the-ball" to every move... and so on through the series. This was the variation from Milton. So fun to see others who played this too.

Anonymous said...

From Northeast Philly about 1970 - Plainsies, clapsies, twirl your hands, two backsies, your right hand, your left hand, bounce the ground, high as the sky, low as the sea, touch the knee, touch the toe, touch the ankle, and under we go. At least, that's what I remember!

Anonymous said...

In Montreal we did "plainsies, clappsies, turn about, tabapsies, right hand, left hand, touch your heeel, touch your toe, touch your knee, and away we go (last was the twirl about and back to catch.