Monday, October 18, 2010

Free for All

We are a family who loves to play games. We have an armoire full of boardgames, cardgames and puzzles in the school room. Tonight, I settled down to play a game with the kids for the first time in what seemed like forever. My first thought when we began playing Yahtzee! Free for All was Why don't I do this more often?


I have a four year old and a nine month old.

Playing board games with them around is less like entertainment and more like character training. Tonight, Hannah deemed herself fit and ready for duty in the vacant seat at the table. I patiently encouraged John that she would only play as long as she could keep herself in line. My other charge was wide-eyed and in full octopus arm mode as she made for those tasty looking dice.

I found myself saying, "Oh, it's my turn again?" Then I held Cote close to my body while I shifted that side from the table and rolled my dice. I examined them to realize I had three sixes and a one and a four. Suddenly, I realized that Cote had snaked her hand around my body and was drooling as she lunged nearly out of my arms in hopes of attaining a forbidden cube.

It was at that moment, Hannah reached over and decided she didn't like the card she'd earned on her last turn and decided to exchange it. I ordered Hannah to stop and threatened her with eviction from the game. I slid the dice a little further from the edge of the table and promptly picked up those three sixes I had and rolled them again. Oh well, at least no one was choking and no one was being throttled.

This scenario played out a few times with minor variations and I remembered why I always say the baby has to nurse at game time and suggest that Theo and the kids get started without me.

John was very patient with the whole situation but I felt vaguely as if he was making the most of it. I know I couldn't possibly have been able to count but it sure seemed like he took more than three rolls a time or two. I think I also noticed a four turn into a five to become a yahtzee. But what do I know, I had bigger fish to fry.

Shortly before her four-year-old attention span led her to forsake our game, Hannah really got into the role. She cupped her five dice gleefully in her tiny hands and shook for all she was worth. As she threw them on the table she blurted, "I'm gonna take my baby to Venice!"

I began to laugh hysterically and wonder what had inspired that outburst. I asked her if she said Venice (just to be sure) and she nodded. She repeated, becoming even more animated, "I'm gonna take my baby to Venice, Son!"

John just smiled patronizingly at me, "Dad said last time, 'I'm gonna take my son to Vegas, baby!'"

I decided he can. I'll stay home and nurse the baby.


Roy and Missy Helton said...

Try playing chess with John with Hannah crawling all over you and trying to get involved. Interesting, delightful, puzzling, and sometimes flabbergasting.

JeniferRiddle said...

I remember trying to play board games when the girls were younger. What an adventure.

Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

Roger loves board games, but some nights it is a real adventure. He loves games so much that when people ask me what to buy for him, I tell them games. The top shelf of his closet is full of games and puzzles. I am going to have to figure out a better place for them soon. By the way, we played Yahtzee tonight too.

Carissa said...

That's hilarious!!! And how perseptive of John to figure out what she meant.
Murray and I tried to play Aggravation tonight while Jonathan roamed around the table, trying everything he could to get a marble or die. He finally pulled a bag of counting bears from the school desk and scattered them all over the floor. Most distracting. :| At least that's my excuse for Murray winning. Both games.