Thursday, September 3, 2009

Love Thursday: I Love Them Because They Don't Make Me Play

I love my children. I do. I love to do things with them. I can sometimes even be sweet-talked into playing a game or two. I love Mancala, Blink, Slap Jack, War, "Goldfish", and of course Scat. I can be cajoled into Nutty Elephant, Pretty, Pretty Princess, Buckaroo, Guess Who, and Perfection. But my children will tell you that I would rather gouge my eyeballs out with a rusty fork than play Candyland. They will also tell you that I would rather slice my fingers with a dirty knife and pour lemon juice over the open cuts than play Chutes and Ladders. Usually if I am approached by one of my beloved offspring to play one of those games, much whining ensues. And I am the whiner. My point is, I don't like those games so much.

What they won't tell you is that I have been known to cheat at both of those games. They won't tell you this, because they don't know. I don't cheat to win. And, being older and therefore much more subtle about my cheating, I have never been caught by a fellow player. I cheat, my friends, to finish the game. I don't care if I win--after all, it's Candyland, for crying out loud.

There! I have spilled one of my deep, dark, shameful parenting secrets. I am not hanging my head over this one, though. I am a Candyland and Chutes and Ladders hater and I don't care who knows it!

My children are growing up, however, and so my days of being asked to play these horrific, never-ending games are numbered. (Boo hoo...) The upside of their aging, is that they are able to play with each other. (Oh the bliss!)

The last few days when Sean has come home from school, he and Mary have either played with action figures or games from the game cabinet. Watching my offspring cooperate and enjoy each other's company has warmed the cockles of my shriveled black cinder of a heart. Sean helps Mary with counting the pips on the dice and moving the correct spaces. Mary lets him boss her. It's a naturally symbiotic relationship. Heh.

My prayer is that these games of superheroes and Candyland will strengthen their sibling bond and be the stuff of memories that they can look back on when they're strolling memory lane while they spoon applesauce into my toothless mouth. I'm hoping that the afternoons spent rolling a die and sliding a game piece over a board will lead to close relationships when they're older. I know this isn't the only ingredient to a healthy and successful adult sibling relationship, but it's a good start.

In the meantime, it's keeping me from searching my silverware drawer for a tetanus covered fork.

Happy Love Thursday! May your day involve many rounds of your favorite game with your favorite people.

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