Board Games…not Bored Games


As my kids have gotten bigger, I have occasionally busted out some little kid board games just to see if they can play them. Up until today, every attempt usually ended with various pieces becoming Dora on some random adventure through the singing forest and over the silly bridge. That and the cards would be bent up, stepped on, or shoved in the DVD player. My patience would die around 3 minutes in, I would then give up the endeavor, quickly try to rescue any game pieces about to be fed to the dogs, and hide everything until a magical time where they would actually be able to follow rules of a board game somewhat reasonably. Well, today was that day. At least for Sasquatch. But it has also led to a new batch of problems.

First is that Urpling has not reached the age of board game enlightenment. So as I slowly teach Sasquatch the rules of the game, Urpling likes to run up and randomly grab cards, playing
pieces, etc. and run away leaving Sasquatch crying and yelling. (See my post on Swiper the Fox to understand a little bit more about this behavior) I solved that one by taking Sasquatch aside and making a deal that we would put the games away now and then pull them out when Urpling takes her nap.

There is also the problem that while Sasquatch can follow the rules somewhat reasonably, she still doesn’t always follow them very well. Candy Land when just fine (but at that point Urpling was still up and would take her piece and use it to crash into and knock all the other game pieces over). But Memory was a tad difficult. Especially the rule that she could only turn over two cards at a time. She would remember at first and then if she recognized a card everything would go out the window while she flipped everything over in search of the other. She’d remember the general area, but not the specific card so she often would flip over 4-5 cards before her “turn” was done. Of course, being a mother, I was at war with myself. Do I let her fudge on the rules since she is so little? But what if, in some hypothetical future, she’s playing with some friend who does follow the rules and she cheats and a fight ensues and they’re friendship ends all because I didn’t teach her to follow the rules? Or do I stay firm with the rules, but then inevitably crush her child-like innocence and cage her free spirit? In the end I tried to strike a balance and would remind her of the rules, but she won by a landslide as I never actually enforced the rules.

Either way, she had a blast and then the problem arose that she wanted to play these games for hours. I finally drew the line and said we could play each game (she owns 4 kid games) once each day and that was my limit. Or we run into the problem of my soul being crushed or worse….my sanity. (Yeah, yeah, I should cherish each moment with my children as they grow so quickly. But there is only so many times you can play Candy Land before you run the risk of a psychotic break…which would probably be a bad thing)


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