I’m putting this post in my “Quiet Life” category, but it’s really the opposite of that. I played a game of Sorry with my six and five-year-old this afternoon, and it was anything but quiet. My son does not know how to lose graciously, my daughter kept trying to move her game pieces when it wasn’t her turn (“I’m going to sneak into your safety zone! Look, if I go here I can slide. Wheee!”), and I had to be loud and jolly to push back the rising irritation. I really wanted a Mountain Dew. And a book. And a a room to myself. But, we finished the game, which was actually quite an accomplishment. Usually my son stomps off when he finds himself losing.
I’m left wondering… when will playing a board game with my children be a relaxing rainy-day activity? I have fond memories of playing board games with my Mom after the Sunday noon meal. And when my siblings came home from college we often gathered around the table for rounds of Shanghai, a long card game. On New Year’s Eve my parents would play Rook with the friends they had invited over. Before the kids were born my husband and I played Risk (my favorite board game) with his best friend on Sunday afternoons. I have these idyllic visions of myself pondering a Checker board (really a Chess board, but I’m constantly forgetting how to play chess) with one of my children, while listening to the rain tapping against the windowpanes. Will this ever happen? Or will game-playing be rowdy and stressful for years to come yet? Now I’m wondering if anything about raising kids aged four through six is peaceful. Maybe the moment after they fall asleep at night? That’s about it. Reading books to them can be peaceful as long as they all like the same book, and the one on my lap doesn’t have to go potty. I’ll keep reading to them. Maybe someday we can play my second-favorite game, Scrabble.