Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let the Games Begin

Babysitting resumed this week but, thanks to the seven inches of now, I got a snow day on Monday along with the rest of the kiddos in the area. Made me feel all of ten again!

On Tuesday, I went to hang with my talkers, the two kids I sit for regularly that are old enough to chat, sing to the radio, and hang out. The younger one, fourth grade, loves games. LOVES them. Every week we play something and this week, heaven help me, it was Twister.

Twister poses various issues. Remaining decent, for one, while bending and moving toward the little colorful circles. But then you try playing it with two people. Technically, the rules say you just take turns calling out orders and moves. My talker, however, wanted to take turns. As in, "I go until I fall then you go until you fall." Oh goodness.

I played through my various turns until I figured out that she didn't so much care to have me play and was content to take turn after turn all by her lonesome so long as I called out the orders from my cushy purple chair with some defined cadence. Done!

The thing is, when you're little, your arms and legs are shorter, so you fall more often and much more quickly than you do when you're an adult. That said, can anyone blame me for cheating to her advantage?

It started small. Instead of making her contort cruelly while moving her left leg from yellow to green, I moved it to blue instead. But then I realized that so long as I spun the board, I could say anything. We played a 15 minute game of her just crabbing and downward dogging around the board. Brilliant!

On Wednesday, my little bit's big brothers had the day off from school again, so instead of having one (non-speaking) boy, I had three, two of whom could talk, walk, play, and (thankfully) feed, dress, and go to the bathroom by themselves. I almost called B's Mom for advice: what do I do with three boys ages 8, 4, and 10 months?

But all was fine. When the little bit was napping, the four-year-old busied himself making an "aquarium" and I played Scrabble with the eight-year-old. If you know me, you know I love Scrabble, so this was a great day. Until I remembered that I'm playing an eight-year-old, who's asking me if "quicks" is a word, along with"bon," "dee" and ... you get the picture.

It was nice to play with someone who didn't guard his letters at all. Instead, he'd ask for help and we'd find him something and so sue me if I didn't let him start playing real names and arguably incorrect words. He didn't know, he was happy, I was happy. I did get a new respect for Scrabble, though. A) You have to do math to keep score. B) You have to know how to spell words to use them (ok, at least most of the time). It made me so happy to see him loving a word game. So what if I purposely left the spots open so he could spell "quick," a 50-point get that helped him trounce me by 90 in the final game. (Keep in mind that I was also playing aquarium at this point!)

I did learn something that might come back to bite me. It was way easier to take care of a baby with his big brothers around. He didn't need me to entertain him at all! So maybe the trick is having more than one? Do me a favor, when I do have a few around and am pulling my hair out, please don't send me the link to this post...

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