'Does your person have on glasses?'
Her turn, my turn again.
'Does your person have red hair?'
Her turn, my turn again.
'Is your person Shirley?'
'Wait, well Shirley is the only one I have left, who was it?'
'Mary? But you said that your person didn't have a hat on, and Mary has a hat on!'
'Well that turn it didn't because I first picked Frank, but then I decided to pick a different person, and I picked Mary.'
MmmHmmm...oh. 25 minutes of your life playing Guess Who, only to find out that she decided midway that she just wanted to pick someone else. It's game time. And you know you feel like a terrible Mom when they ask...'Hey Mommy, want to play Uno Moo,' and you would just really rather have them all sit around in a circle and scream at your while you trim their nails.
And you really try and have the best intentions. Games sound like fun, it's quality time, and not only that, it's a learning experience. So you set out to have just that with your joyful children. But I would just like to say to Milton Bradley, thanks a freakin lot. Because who decides to put together a game for preschoolers and just when they are about to win, about to be victorious, they pick up a card that sends them all the way back to the beginning? Destined to lose, destined for all h-e double hockey sticks to break loose in our playroom. This is a trigger Milton. Clearly, he was not a hands on father, never played games that were intended for preschoolers, if he even was a father, aren't they two last names? Who cares, I just want to meet their testing children. The ones that sit in the circle and think it is fun to lose. They are clearly slipping something into their juice boxes and they haven't a clue what they are doing just that there is pretty colors in front of them.
And I begin with Candy Land. And I want to play games with them, I really will it to be a great time. But how can I with Queen Frostine being involved? 'I promise Mommy, I promise I will not be upset if E picks Queen Frostine, I will keep on playing.'
I hate Queen Frostine.
Who decides to put one character in the game that is royal and beautiful? No, I'm serious. The rest are some comical plump blueberry grandmother types and a lanky lollipop man and things of that nature. If there was one caped gumball super hero involved, the game would easily become Ethan's demise. Because every little girl wants to be associated with Queen Frostine. As if picking her card, and getting to move to her spot makes her your BFF, almost royal-like yourself. So you know what I went and did? If I must subject myself to Candy Land, we are going to play in peace, and I took away the Queen Frostine card and tossed it in the trash while no one was looking. And now, at the end of each game Kendall has the same remark,'I can't believe it Mommy, no one picked Queen Frostine, again! That's crazy!' Nope, just your mother is crazy. But it is for the most part, peaceful since I sent her away. They might even get another round on the rainbow trail with me now and again.
You might say that I am a terrible mother. Shielding them and protecting them from disappointment. You say games are teachable moments about life; winning and losing is important to learn. I say, get a grip.
My daughter, like me, sometimes lives in some fantasy land. And like I said, when she gets the card with the princess ball gown for the wedding dress when playing The Bride Game, that is just the dress she is really going to wear on her wedding day. So she better have picked up the right card, no one wants the too casual Semi-Formal Gown.
You know, if you loved the Game of Life, you get what I am saying. You know that if that little spinner led you through college and then you landed on being a doctor, then having twin girls, and living on a country estate, that that was just what was going to happen to you when you grew up. Similar was the game, M.A.S.H., you played in junior high school when you were supposed to be doing 'group study.' As the choices you picked were narrowed down, it was as if you were actually creating your destiny. 'Oh! I am going to be a vet! And I am going to drive a Fiero! (that's right, remember those hot little numbers?) And I am going to have 8 children, live in a mansion and be married to Steve!!!!!!!!' It was too much to handle, and if the choices that were made by your chosen number led you to be left with living in a shack, it was just plain embarrassing, and you begged to start all over again. Even though the next day would be a whole new game with a whole different future.
This is my son with the game of Memory. We have the Super Hero Edition, and with each match he gets its like he becomes that Super Hero that he matches. If he makes a mistake he tries to fix it because he really wants that Wolverine match, 'wait, wait, let me pick again, I didn't mean to flip that one over.'
'That's cheating E, please stop cheating.'
'I not cheating, my hand slipped and I flipped the wrong one.'
'Now you are cheating and lying. If you cheat one more time, I am not playing.'
'Ok Mommy, but is this one the other Wolverine card? Just tell me.' (as his little hand hovers over top of the card)
And games can be fun, and bring back a lot of memories from your childhood. But it's funny that you forget the bad experiences as you grow older. I used to love the game, Old Maid. And it is clear now, why I loved it, because I loved laughing at the person who was left with the Old Maid. It was just plain mean. But, what I didn't remember was the break down when I was left with this card. Yet, it came right back to me as we played Old Maid with Kendall. Back and forth, in and out of hands went the Old Maid, Kendall giggling incessantly when it would leave her hand and go to the doomed game player who would live a life alone with her 27 cats. However, when she would pick it, her face would fall, she would panic, threaten to quit, she hasn't quite mastered the poker face. We pushed her to keep playing and a few times other people were left with the Old Maid, and we would point and laugh, and say, 'you're the Old Maid,' and play again. But it was quickly over and done with once Kendall was left with the Old Maid. Emotional breakdown, 'but I don't want to be an Old Maid, she's ugly and alone.' Memories flood over me. I tell her, 'hey Kendall, look at Mommy, sometimes when I played Old Maid when I was your age, I too was the Old Maid, but look at me now, I'm not an Old Maid. I am a crazy woman who thought it was a good idea to play games with my children so I could hear them whine and cry all afternoon.'
But now I get all envious of that Old Maid. I am sure she is curled up somewhere with a bowl of ice cream and reading a good book, laughing at me, who thought that having10 children and building hotels on Boardwalk would be a piece of cake.