February 22nd, 2010

The Family That Plays Together Yells a Lot


The sound of one’s children playing together might bring a tear of joy or a sigh of relief to some. To me, it is a warning. Like the screeching tones of the emergency broadcast network, the seemingly innocent words “Do you want to play this with me” sends me running for shelter and canned goods.

The Ladybug and the Monkey don’t play together too often, which is normal for a brother and sister four years apart. It’s a live and let live situation in our house; an invisible divide that ensures that the Pet Shop animals shall not cross into Lego Land and light sabers do not end up in the hands of American Girl Dolls. Occasionally, however, the line gets crossed and the kids play together. It almost never goes well.

This happens for any number of reasons, but mostly it’s because the Monkey likes to get the Ladybug involved in games that are too complicated for her to understand. Perhaps he is hoping to help shape her into a more mature and interesting companion, but more likely he gets a smug satisfaction in being older and smarter. This always backfires, however, as he underestimates the amount of patience it takes to actually teach and play a game with an 8 year old.

Today it was the chess game that did us in. The Ladybug was looking for someone to play with her, and the Monkey stepped up, chessboard in hand. The Hub shot me a warning glance – I wanted to yell “Noooooo – don’t do it!”, but instead I kept quiet and let it play out to its inevitable conclusion.

Monkey: If you move here, I promise I won’t kill your knight with my king.

Ladybug: Okay. HEY!

Monkey: What? I ONLY promised I wouldn’t kill your knight with my king…I didn’t say I wouldn’t kill it with my QUEEN!

Ladybug: NOT FAIR. I’m not playing.

Monkey: Fine.

Ladybug: Okay, I’m playing

Monkey: Check

Ladybug: What is check?

Monkey: It means you’re almost trapped. Checkmate means your totally toast.

Ladybug: Humph. But I don’t WANNA BE ALMOST TOAST. I’m not playing.

Monkey: Fine.

Ladybug: Okay, I’m playing.

Monkey: No, forget it, I don’t want to play with a CHEATER.


Monkey: ARE TOO!

Ladybug: AM NOT!

Monkey and Ladybug: MOM!!!!!!!!!

Checkmate. I’m toast.

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This Weeks Tip

Store juice boxes or pouches in the freezer. They make great freezer packs to go in school lunch bags!