A quite fantastic thing happened the other day. The men-children, and sister of a man-child and me all sat down together after dinner and played a game. Not just any game. It wasn’t electronic, it wasn’t on a PS3 or an iPhone, it wasn’t on the TV or the internet, it was a good old-fashioned BOARD game!!
Now this board game wasn’t old fashioned to me, it was Pictionary. But my kids had never seen it would you believe (or the men-children might have when they were small but they couldn’t remember it). And certainly it’s way older than the seven-year-old. So it was exciting and “new” in a strange sort of way.
We found the game a few weeks back in a couple of boxes we pulled off a top shelf. It’s amazing what you find post-renovating when you decide to reorganize the house. The kids had a ball looking at the stamp and coin collections that had belonged to my husband and me as kids. We even found my old swap cards (who remembers Blue Boy?) and some old footy and collectible cards that had belonged to my father. (BTW, turns out those old 50’s footy cards are worth about $30 EACH!!!).
So the board games had been sitting in the box on the floor (okay, I haven’t put everything in a new place yet) and I had been meaning to actually get the kids to play some of them. So on Sunday night I asked the boys if they’d play with their sister and me for a short while (mention anything longer than 30 minutes and you’ll only see dust).
I am delighted to tell you we actually had a lot of fun. We pitched the men-children against Mother of a Man-Child and Sister of a Man-Child. That seemed fair, and actually we girls held our own easily. The funniest thing was playing a game that dates from 1985 – it’s the first edition actually. There were quite a few words none of the kids even understood (e.g. garter belt, punk rocker, bell bottoms, fondue, Mrs Thatcher), so we would just pick another card. And I was also amazed to witness the different skills for each of my children and to see who can a) draw, and b) think laterally enough to guess what a doctor’s stethoscope is when it’s drawn very, very badly!!! And oh, there’s not a competitive bone in their bodies (yeah right).
I’m not sure if we’re unusual, but how long is it since you played a board game as a family? Let me guess, on holidays at the snow when they have no TV’s at all (yep, there’s a lodge we stay at where there’s no TV – it’s fantastic), or on holidays in Queensland, when it’s raining and you can’t go to the beach and you’ve watched all the DVD’s and the kids find an odd assortment of board games with missing pieces? Or you pull out the playing cards for a round of poker or snap? We used to play games a bit at the beach house, but often with the adults after dinner – it was a ritual of sorts.
I do play board games with sister of a man-child from time to time at home, but after our Pictionary experiment I think we should endeavour to work our way through the boxes of old games on a regular basis. It was such a nice opportunity to have the kids all doing something together and the family for the matter (if you’re wondering Father of a Man-Child was let off the hook last week, but he won’t be again). With a seven-year age gap the men-children and their sister don’t have a great deal in common as you would imagine, so I like the chance to do these things.
It’s the stuff that memories are made of for me, and I’m hoping it will be the same for our kids. I can still remember learning to play 500 when we were about 14 years old on one holiday. We became so obsessed with it we played for hours and hours, day after day – our parents must have been thrilled at their ingenuity.
So pull out the Monopoly, or Pictionary, or Cluedo and get playing! I promise you’ll have fun!