Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Playing Games

When I was little, I always looked forward to power outages, because it was during that time that we would pull out the board games and candles and play as a family.  Sometimes Life, sometimes Scrabble but usually Monopoly, it was one of my favorite times because I have been cursed by being a "game person" born into a family of "non gamers". 

But last weekend, while Joel was out of town for a festival, I learned that I'm not as much of a game person as I'd originally thought.

I wanted to do something fun with my boys, who were bored, fighting a lot and frustrated because they couldn't play outside.  So I pulled out "Don't Spill the Beans" and smiled when I saw how excited they were.  But about three minutes into the game, I began to question my own sanity.

Playing a board game by candlelight with a few quiet, well-mannered girls in the late 1980's is one thing.  Playing a game with a hundred tiny plastic beans and two wired ankle-biters should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention. 

They spilled the beans, as outlined by the game.  But they ignored the rule and tried to knock the beans onto their own side.  They threw the beans.  I pulled one from Graham's ear.  I'm pretty sure Oscar ate several.  I used the bathroom and returned to find that the red bucket was now holding beans and a handful of dog food. 

When the beans would fall on the other's side, each of them would explode in a fit of frustration and angry bean-related banter that had me repeatedly questioning what I was thinking.  And when I finally announced that the game was done and packed away, they banded together against me, pelting me with beans that they seemingly produced from nowhere.  When I was finally able to put the boys to bed, I sighed with the same relief you'd feel after saying goodbye to house guests that have vastly overstayed their welcome.

And all to make them happy?  Perhaps games aren't the key to childhood happiness, but to adult-onset anxiety. 

Guess I'll leave Twister packed away a little longer.  I'm just not in the mood for a broken leg.


  1. That is so funny! I love playing games....but not so much with my boys. I WANT to love to play games with them, but when we do it is just complete craziness. We tried to play Star Wars Trouble the other night and I had to resist the urge to upend the game and tell them I was going to throw it in the garbage!!!

  2. haha. I love to play board games, but not any of the board games my girls are old enough to play. Seriously, they love chutes and ladders. That is the stupidest game ever! It is never ending....each time I think we're almost done someone gets a stupid chute and goes back to the bottom again. I find myself skip counting when Raya isn't looking just so someone can win and we can be done! ;-)

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