Family Game Night

game-sorry-parker-brothersLast night, in the brief moments between when our heads hit our pillows and when the snoring began, Art and I discussed our plans for today. His plans involved waking up early and spending vast amounts of time working on a certain paper he has due next week. My plans involved doing as little as possible, in an effort to a) get the rest I need to get rid of the bug that I’ve had all week, and b) live up to my true potential. We did, however, decide that at some point we needed to do something as a family, so we both fell asleep with the tentative plan to rent a movie this evening.

This afternoon, however, when we again fell to discussing our plans for the night, we were reminded of how our last “family movie night” ended– with Ryan in tears because Wall-E couldn’t remember Eve, and with Sam in tears because I told Ryan to wait and see, the movie probably had a happy ending. All Sam heard was the word ending.

Anyway, after that fiasco we weren’t quite ready for another epic movie night fail, so instead we decided to get a pizza and hunker down around the table for a fun game of Sorry. We would even get ice cream to cap off the big event.

It is a testament to how exciting our lives are that our sons were actually extremely excited by these thrilling plans. They were excited about the pizza, purchased from our dear friend Papa Murphy and baked in our very own oven. They were excited about the root beer– so excited that Sam simply couldn’t wait for us to pray for our dinner and had to dip his finger in his cup about 75 times.

And boy, oh boy, oh boy were they excited about playing Sorry.

We pulled out the game and put it on the table. I dumped out the pieces so everyone could take their color and put it in their start zone. I “shuffled” the cards and placed them on the board. (Honestly, I am the worst shuffler I have ever met. Ever.)

“I’ll go first,” said Ryan.

“No, actually, I’ll go first,” I said, reminding him of his manners and the rule “ladies first,” which is my sons’ very favorite rule ever.

I drew an eight.

Ryan drew a seven.

Art drew a ten.

Sam drew a five.

Sigh. So far, no one was even out of start.

After six more turns around the table, during which only Art had managed to move at all, I declared a new rule which stated:  “When Mommy is starting to twitch, everyone gets to move one guy out of start.”

At Sam’s next turn, he drew an eight.

“What number is that, Sam?” I asked, trying to make every moment a teachable moment.

“Eight!” announced Ryan, who is decidedly not Sam.

Let Sam answer the question!” I hissed.

“Eight!” answered Sam, quite proud. Sigh.

“Can you count to eight?” I prompted as he prepared to move his little yellow pawn.

“One– two– three– four–” At this point I realized that the counting was happening in stereo.

“Ryan! Let your brother do it!” I commanded.

Another turn around the table.

“Okay, Sam, take a card and tell Mommy what the number is,” I instructed in my best we-are-going-to-have-fun-family-bonding-if-it-kills-me voice.

“Take a card and tell Mommy what the number is!” repeated Ryan, in his best no-one-will-ever-be-as-good-at-bossing-Sam-around-as-I-am voice.

“Ryan!” I shrieked patiently. “I do not need an echo!”

Sam took the card, read me the number twelve, and helped me count twelve spaces on the board.

Several more turns around the board. We had all gotten a couple guys in the safety zone. Art had been stuck with a guy in home, two in the safety zone, and one in start for about six turns and was starting to rock in place in his chair. Ryan was making great progress and hadn’t bossed Sam around in like three turns.

Sam took a card. “What number is it, Sammy?” I asked.

“Um– eleven?”



“Try again!”

“Um, oh, this is tricky–”

At which point my husband cracked up. “It’s turkey?” he repeated.

“Tricky. He said tricky.” At this point Ryan and Art were both laughing semi-hysterically, and Sam was laughing too, having no greater joy than to make the rest of the family laugh.

“It’s ten Sam,” I informed him in my most longsuffering voice. “Now, can we count to ten?”

“One– two– three– four– five– six– seven– eight– nine– TURKEY!”

Ah, yes, the joys of family game night.

I can’t wait till they’re old enough to teach them to play Monopoly.


10 thoughts on “Family Game Night

  1. Erin, we don’t even attempt family game night anymore. It always ends in tears or arguuents about the rules and our kids are 8-11! I wish we could, but inevitably it’s easier to play one on one games with the kids or have 2 of them play with each other. I won’t even attempt Monopoly as I flash back to my own hysterics and poor sportsmanship as a child, lol.

  2. Well, we had our family night reading the Ernie blog. HA HA HA! I am seriously considering the possibility that Liza has two persons going at the same time in two different states. 🙂 (that is, elder, bossy, know-it-all-all-the- time sibling.)

  3. This is the exact reason that we just don’t play games. I have a closet full of games, and I leave it closed. In fact, maybe that’s the closet that I should purge next.

    Mom always gives the kids games for Christmas, and then the next year when they come to visit, she sees that they are all still in plastic.

    This year, I think she started to understand WHY we don’t play games when she tried to play Go Fish with all three kids. Wish we’d gotten that one on video.

  4. Loved your Family night. Monopoly is going to be a blast with your crew!! Especially with the big kid you are married too!! Hope all family nights are this much fun!!

  5. This is a funny post! You know your kids will remember family game night, don’t you? My teen-agers still make fun of me for the “funny” things they remember about family game nights. But at least they remember the laughter, not how I wished I could overturn the game board and send all of them including my husband to time-out corner. I hope you keep having game nights 🙂 The memories you’re making are priceless.

  6. I was really enjoying this blog until I read your last sentence. My blood pressure shot through the ROOF. We are NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER….upon PAIN OF DEATH….going to play Monopoly in this house. E-V-E-R. Daddo Baddo the Great and Mighty has SPOKEN. So let it be written, so let it be done!!!

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