Thursday, June 03, 2010

Family Game Night

My son is home from college, which means that our life has turned upside down again. I’ve begun to grocery shop every five days-our meager food supply will not keep one hungry eighteen-year-old happy for long. I’ve also started doing a whole lot more laundry. We now are back in the dining room for dinner-my daughter refused to eat in there when there was just three of us. And I’ve had to give up Suzy, the dachshund at night. Arthur likes sleeping with her, too.

One thing that has returned with a vengeance is ‘family game night’. Now, we’re just like any other family-it’s a small miracle to have all four of us home any evening after dinner. But for whatever reason-maybe the kids are just afraid to make me sad-they still stay home on Sunday nights.

Which is our family game night.

When the kids were little, we played Trouble and Clue and Life. Nowadays, we have two games that all four of us like to play: Hearts and Scrabble. We keep score and nitpick each point earned. And heaven forbid someone even thinks about putting down a word on the Scrabble board that cannot be validated in a dictionary.

We were all good with this little routine...until last Sunday night. That’s when my son pulled out Mad Gab. We had played it a few times last summer, and none of us were very good at it. But, well, I was sick of losing at Hearts, so we all decided to give it a try.

This was a very bad idea. First of all…Mad Gab is played in teams. Partners must rely on each other to decode phonetic sounding phrases. Timers are involved.

I’ll just go ahead and say it... None of us is very good at relying on each other for success. And none of us is very understanding about each other’s faults, either. After one round, the yelling began. Name calling was just around the corner. And wonder of wonders-I had to pull out my dormant completive spirit-otherwise no one wanted to be on my team.

Things got ugly. We kept switching teams. Finally, when no one could take it anymore…we gave up and put that darn timer back in the box. Later that night I made the call: Mad Gab will no longer be part of family game night.

There’s no telling when I’ll get everyone to stay home and play cards or Scrabble again. I might have to make a really good dinner in order to do that. Or maybe just promise that Mad Gab will never be attempted again.

Anyone have a game they play with their family?

Shelley Galloway


Rula Sinara said...

I love playing games with my kids. The ones that I played when I was a kid are my favorites. We have Trouble (the popping drives my nuts), Life, Memory Game, Battleship and several versions of Monopoly (regular, star wars, star trek, and electronic). The electronic Monopoly mimics credit card use, but I like the paper money versions better.

My personal favorites are Master Mind and Scrabble. It's an awesome way to bring the family together.

Marcie said...

Mad Gab is HARD. I gave mine away.
Scrabble and Word Up (like Scrabble) are my faves.