Wednesday, February 5, 2014


When you're a parent, there are some things that you know for sure you're supposed to do. Sometimes those things sound fun. And then you actually do them. In the doing of the things, you realize sometimes you're supposed to do them because it is helping your children become better little people. The goal then becomes my not becoming a worse person in the process!

The sentiments above are how I feel about playing games with my kids.

You can think me a witch. If you do it's because you don't have kids, or you have tiny kids. I know. I was the same. I couldn't wait for my kids to get old enough to play games. I LOVE games. And, I don't want to ruin it for you. But maybe if I give you a little glimpse into reality, you'll be, shall we say, prepared, for your own game playing days.

The thing about playing games with your kids is that it is the most interminably SLOW process ever in the whole world. Not only does it just take kids longer to do everything, they have very small attention spans. Being able to wait a whole round until their next turn is like you and me sitting through an hour long lecture on deep space.

For Christmas my aunt got us a Bingo set. I was SUPER excited about it because it has the cage and the handle and you turn it and the ball comes out the bottom. I know!! It's OK that you're jealous, because who doesn't want their own Bingo cage?

I was excited about this game, because it is really a simple concept. There's not counting of spaces, there's no strategy to teach, very straight forward. I had high hopes that this game would not make me lose my mind.

As the holy scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." My hopes have been deferred.

First, when we pull out the Bingo, there is the fighting over who gets to spin the cage. I'll be honest and tell you that it is tempting for me to declare myself the all-time spinner. I fancy myself like the lotto girl who comes on after the local news. If only my Bingo cage were bigger...

After we decide who the spinner will be, we have to make sure the spinner can actually make the cage spit out the balls. Sometimes I have to hold the base of the cage because the spinning gets too vigorous. Sometimes the spinner will spin the cage in the wrong direction, seemingly deaf to my calm requests that they spin it the other direction. They only catch on when fire shoots out my ears and I scream, "Turn it the other way!!!!!!!!!!!" "Oh yeah," is usually the response uttered. I mean. I just...

Finally, when the spinner finally gets the ball out of the cage, one of the younger of us may have some trouble reading the higher numbers. Which is fine, because said family member is young. What is not fine is the refusal of this person to have help. Also, this same person might fall into fits of laughter in between the reading of every.number. Sometimes both of my children will just completely stop what they are doing and just stare at me! WHAT???? Spin the dadgum cage!!!!!!!! And, of course, the grand finale comes when the loser throws a complete fit as the winner prances around the family room. What? I get excited when I win!

You can imagine that I'm very fun to play a game with.

I wonder how my kids would describe this same game. Probably something like, "Yeah, Mom, she's a nightmare to play a game with. She sooooo impatient. Just chillax already." Just kidding. My kids don't say chillax. I was trying to project into the future and give them a teenage voice. But I suppose teenagers won't be saying chillax by then. It'll be something just as delightful. I can't wait to throw the word around just to annoy them!

I'm counting on the fact that all these hours I'm logging playing games with my kid is like character building double duty. We're working on them, and we're definitely working on me.

If only I could figure out a way to work wine into our game...


Jinny said...

Wine? The winner gets juice, yours will just be from a different bottle!

Heather S. said...

Oh, dear. I hate playing games now, with actual grown-ups, so I can't imagine the agony that will ensue in a few years. Better stockpile some wine...