Thursday, February 4, 2016

I got to watch a fight while dropping X-Man off for school. I briefly considered getting involved, but if two grown men want to act a fool, who am I to get in the way. Even if their cars are blocking the parking lot exit. I’ll just let them know that yes, they are the awesomest men to ever man. It’s a dead tie and you morons left your car doors open in the pouring rain.

Yesterday we found ourselves without hot water. Typically we find ourselves in hot water, so this was definitely a change of pace. After dinner, it was clear this wasn’t an issue of running the washer and dishwasher at the same time. So, kitchen cleaning was a challenge and bath time became a Geneva Convention violation. And it occurred to me that I could take this opportunity to be a good mom. I encouraged the big kids to tidy up as best they could, I told them we could turn something on for the littles and play a board game. I’m pretty sure I read that on page 57 of the Good Mom’s Handbook. Maybe not so much littles watching Netflix, but I didn’t need their assistance while trying to investigate the water heater, and determine that it hadn’t actually exploded. And then try to relay this information to the Father Figure, who of course, was out of town.

So we all got settled to play a board game.

We picked colors, set everything up and began.

The first problem was that the kids kept laughing. You can’t have fun if you are trying to discourage the littles from crashing the party. I mean, they’ve been living with these monsters for how many years now?

But, as I suggested it, it was completely ignored by my children. So, soon enough Cinco emerged. She was already angry because X-Man took all her friends. And by all her friends she meant “Lego Friends.” I might have to consider therapy for her even earlier than originally anticipated. X-Man wanted to watch the Halloween episode of Littlest Pet Shop, and the whole alternating option lost all appeal to Cinco as soon as it was X-Man’s turn to select.

So, already outraged, Cinco joined us. She told on X-Man, got no sympathy, and decided “I play too.” Her first move was to gather all the pieces off the board and announce “Dese MINE.” I forgot to read page 59 of the Good Mother’s Handbook, which says Do Not Place Board Games on Coffee tables. My bad.

We wrestled the pieces back from Cinco, who was temporarily mollified when she was handed a die. Trying to work with the completely rational two year old, I offered to let her role for me.  She threw the die under the couch, but at least it was a start. Until I tried to move.

There’s something you should know about me. I am always the red piece. There’s no reason to not be red. It is THE color.

So I moved my red piece. And Cinco collapsed crying. “NO! You dis one!” and thrust the green one towards me. That prompted outrage from Baba “No I’m green! Mom’s red.” Cinco yelled back “No you lelow.” This left Mac without a piece. Somehow as we all tried to explain to Cinco that we indeed had selected our own colors, she ended up holding them all again. She handed the appropriate colors out to each person. And Cinco was the only satisfied person in the group. I told them to move their pieces on the sly as we tried to distract Cinco, but she was not one to be fooled. So every roll was trauma filled.

Fortunately X-Man emerged to announce his episode was finished. And both ran back in a desperate attempt to select the upcoming episode. Cinco was due a turn and did not select a Little Einsteins episode with a train and so X-Man was crushed. And the only balm for his soul was participating in our game with us.

Again, I tried to welcome him to my team. X-Man, not being a control freak of a toddler, was comfortable letting everyone chose their own color. However, he felt strongly about holding the cards and reading them. Something I had been doing previously, as I actually can both read and speak. X-Man is certainly making progress in the speaking department yelling loudly “NO I DO IT!” And again I tried to mollify him with the die.

X-Man is older and wiser. So he knew how to roll the die. He carefully put it down on Mac’s turn. He made sure it was a six. Baby objected strongly and demanded a reroll. Mac obliged and rolled a four. X-Man then objected and carefully adjusted it to the six he had “rolled.” Mac happily acquiesced to 
X-Man’s demands. Baby did not object when X-Man “rolled” her a six as well.

He had a system. He cupped the die in both his hands and manipulated it with his thumb until he had the desired result. And the desired result, when it was my turn, was a one.
It’s shenanigans like this which have convinced me, along with his teacher and speech therapist, that cognitive delays are not a concern with X-Man.

X-Man was clearly Team Progeny. And his siblings were perfectly content with the set up. That is, until Cinco’s episode was completed and she reemerged. And panic commenced. First of all, X-Man had her die. Not cool. And people were moving the wrong colors!!!! Mac was trying to move his piece six paces and Cinco was trying to force a green piece into his hand. X-Man was horrified, because if he knew anything, he knew that red was supposed to be in the back. And everything was broken everywhere.

So actually, it was the quintessential family game night. There was cheating, crying and fighting. And somehow I came out the bad guy. Of course the father figure came home and discovered the reset switch on the water heater—who knew—and ended up the hero of the evening.

Of course.  

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