Tag Archives: board games

The Game of Life as a Tool for…. Life

After a very long day trapped inside by the snow and cold, our little family decided to play a few games. I don’t mind when the kids cheat or refuse to follow the rules, but I do try to use the time for teachable moments on sportsmanship, be it for winners or losers. Like broccoli hidden in a brownie, I will find a way to squeeze in something that’s good for you without you knowing about it.

Now, on this particular night, we played Trouble followed by Life. Trouble had all of the typical ups and downs of game night (Son: she’s not supposed to move that piece! Daughter: why did he get a 6?! Me: pass me the wine…), but Life brought an education for all of us.

Let me preface this by admitting that I had enjoyed two glasses of wine by this point. I mean, we were in the middle of game 2. It’s to be expected, right? You somehow have to fill the void when the losing child storms off to pout. Plus, wine is delicious. Wine and Life

The kids reached the point on the board where you gain a spouse, which entails popping a second person peg into your car. You don’t have to pay an obscene amount of money for the privilege of having this peg in your car, which would be a lot closer to the real experience of getting married, but I digress.

When my son reached the marriage square, he picked a pink peg and named it after a girl in his school. A small part of me thinks it’s sweet and the other part thinks, “You’re 7. You wear underwear with Skylanders on them. How do you have a wife candidate already?” My husband picks a pink peg and says it’s me. Good boy.

My daughter has gathered up all of the pink pegs and claimed them for herself. She tends to do this, absorbing pink items like a black hole. Or, a pink hole, as it were. I digress, again. Anyway, I told her that she could always put a pink peg in her car since she has already gathered every available pink peg. She said that she could not because. “Girls marry boys.” And then my son chimes in with, “That would be weird.”

Two pink pegsI don’t always climb on my high horse, but after two glasses of wine and a VERY long time at the gaming table, I leaped onto that horse and rode it off into the sunset.

I started off calm enough explaining that it wasn’t wrong and that boys can marry girls or boys and vice versa. Now, mind you, we had just gone through this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day when we discussed discrimination in today’s day and age. And, frankly, I expected more out of my kids. Aren’t kids supposed to be without prejudice? I know we didn’t teach that. So, I decide to take my uppity stand, and when it’s my turn, I pick a pink peg. Well, wrestle it away from daughter is more accurate. I go through the game, and my partner and I buy a lovely beach home, live an artists’ life and make some money in the stock market.

It wasn’t until it was time to adopt twins, and I announced, “My partner and I will adopt these twin boys,” that my son pipes up with, “Mom, you can’t be married to a girl.” Mildly incensed, I ask why. His response? “You’re married to Daddy. You need a blue peg for him.”

So… my kids are not against same-sex marriage. They are just against their mother being with anyone aside from their father. Much chagrined, I ate a bit of humble pie. It is easily washed down with a little wine.

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Let’s Pretend…

I absolutely hate playing pretend with my daughter. I know that this sounds heartless, but when I hear her sweet little voice say, “Okay, let’s pretend you saw this kitty and you wanted to adopt her,” it is all I can do to not roll my eyes so far back in their sockets that I look like Little Orphan Annie in her comic strip incarnation.

Don’t get me wrong, I play. I will be the best kitty mama, pony queen, or pet buyer this side of the Mississippi. Scratch that. Both sides of the Mississippi. I know drama. I throw it daily. But the only reason I even entertain the thought of prancing with my hooves held high is because I don’t want to scar my daughter and have her go into therapy claiming no one ever loved her enough to play with her and that’s why she’s now a neurotic cat hoarding mess.

I am not a cat hoarder, but I don’t remember my parents playing games with me when I was younger. At least not games geared to my age range. Candy Land? Nope. Chutes and Ladders? Didn’t even know how to play until I played with my own kids. We played Trivial Pursuit, Facts in Five, or anything else that required useless knowledge. I am not bitter. In fact, I have a great love of useless knowledge and a nerdy passion for research. Did you know that there have been two yellow Labs on Downton Abbey? The first was Pharaoh and the second, Isis. Pharaoh was there for season one, died somewhere between seasons one and two and was replaced by Isis. True story. You’re welcome.

So, I may not like playing pretend, I do it. I do it because I love my daughter and I want her to have happy memories of the time we spend together. But, if she doesn’t remember this and chooses to remember the time the cheese slipped of my cracker and I screamed like a banshee when she didn’t put her shoes on when I asked her to, well, then I might become a crazy cat hoarder. Which is really a shame because while I like cats, I am not a huge fan of litter boxes, cat hair or animals with abscesses and mucousy eyes.

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