Playing Sorry

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.

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6 thoughts on “Playing Sorry”

  1. I wish I had some great, practical words of helpful wisdom, but it seems you have gained a good perspective. Even at 12 and nearly 11 years old I am often struck by how young my children are. Why do I forget that? We also have a sore loser/highly competitive issues. Even to the point that a few years ago I nearly banned board games. This would have been a poor choice, however. They really are great for teaching so much. Eventually, I am sure you will enjoy a quiet, rainy day playing games. In the meantime, know your children are gaining more than you think, and are collecting memories.

  2. I also have so many memories of playing board games with my sisters- I don’t recall my mom ever even being involved in the games. Occasionally my dad would play with us, but usually it was a kid-directed activity.
    I think it was pretty normal with my older kids- they could play a game together without it being chaotic. We all like games, so it’s something I’ve always emphasized. And I still play a lot of games with my younger two, but often it’s just one of them and me (or my husband). They never play a game together. Occasionally my husband will play Monopoly with them, but it often degenerates into chaos.
    I guess every child is different, and it’s good not to set unreasonable expectations. I’m thinking a lot of kids don’t play board/card games much at all any more, so if you’re making sure that they’re a part of your kids’ life then that is a good thing. And hopefully they’ll mature and it will become more peaceful.

    1. You reminded me that it is a bit easier to play a game with just one of my children than with two or three. Sometimes they request to play with “just Mom” but then the others want to play, too, and then there is fighting over that. I do agree that playing games is important, even if it is stressful for me. I just have to stop whining and do my mom-job, I guess:)

  3. Probably will be a while before board games are idyllic. My children are 20 and 13 and still get rowdy with each other. 😀 That said, choosing the right board game is helpful, and the ones that are short and full of activity seem to go better for younger kids. Great site for checking out games is boardgamegeek (dot) com.

    1. Thanks for the website suggestion! I’ll go over there. Our most recent game purchase is Hoot, Owl, Hoot. It is a cooperative game (so either we all win, or we all lose). I like it. The kids like it, too, but they don’t love it to the point that they always want to play it. But, yes, there are all sorts of games out there. Sorry was probably just too complicated and long for a late afternoon game:)

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