No, not the real one. The important one. You know…the board game. Which, if you ask me, is truly the ideal way to live. Because at the end of the game, at least you get to give the kids back.
Amid our varied and often hectic schedules, my husband and I strive to find ways to ensure that we are spending quality time with our two boys. Board games are one of our favorite go-to options. But let’s face it: sitting at a table, facing one another in close proximity, and working together to bring something to a fun conclusion is quite the challenge when children are involved.
The first battle is trying to agree on a board game that is age-appropriate for everyone. How we wound up playing LIFE with a 4-year-old in the mix is beyond me. After the four of us scanned the closet shelf filled with everything from RISK to Pop the Pig, we let our youngest (I’ll be referring to him as Scamp from this point on) choose.
“WE CAN PLAY LIFE BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT A FAMILY!!!” And who can argue that logic?
My husband, myself and my oldest son (and we’ll just call him Moody from this point on) all agreed that we would just let Scamp “think” he was playing. Don’t feel too badly for him. He usually wins anyway and we have no idea how it even happens.
So we head to our family table with game in hand, consenting to hand him money, random playing cards, and insurance papers so he’ll feel super important. The game begins and we let him spin the spinner and drive his car around the board so we can proceed without fuss.
If you’re familiar with the game, you know that your first decision needs to be whether you’d like to start your career or head for college. Naturally, my husband and I opted for the college route, while Moody leaned back in his chair and smirked, “You guys are soooo going to lose,” as he breezed past the college option without hesitation and immediately headed toward the career path.
Scamp is now filling his vehicle with little blue and pink pegs and heading for the hills of Millionaire Estates. His ‘vroom vroom’ sounds are just obnoxious enough that I’m already rethinking this.
The game progresses and halfway through it I hear myself saying through gritted teeth, “So help me God, I will take all your money and run you and your entire family off the road.”
That is exactly what I told Moody after we had switched salaries for the second time. This is, I believe, a completely mature and rational reaction after one has been living in a log cabin with a leaky roof as a doctor with a measly 20,000 dollar pay check trying to feed four stupid kids in the backseat.
“I told you….you shouldn’t have gone to college,” Moody says smugly. Sure, kid. That’s easy for you to say since you’re living in my mansion with a 100,000 dollar salary as a musician and no kids in your car! Who plays LIFE and manages to skip over all the kid tiles? WHO?
“I’m sick of this game. I don’t want to play anymore,” Scamp whines, as he throws his car, family and all, into the middle of the board and proceeds to forcefully hand me all his money and cards. This transpires just as I’m rounding the corner to retirement and I can swear the little blue husband peg has just jumped out of my front passenger seat on purpose.
At this point I was tempted to flip the board and call it a day.
So thanks for nothing Hasbro. Because these happy smiling people on the cover of your game…
Yeah, them. Well, they’re a bunch of liars.
If we play Monopoly next, there had better be Free Parking.