I can’t play board games with my kids. The girls have decided they don’t like the traditional rules established by Parker Brothers – so they make up their own nonsensical rules. I never understand their rules and I always play incorrectly and end up in jail. I don’t mind not winning. It’s the rules that change mid-game once I’ve finally figured out how to play the latest version that make me crazy. For example: I am only allowed to land on the primary colors in Candyland. Lena gets to jump on the secondary colors until she lands on some magical square that turns her into a Pegasus and she flies to victory. Mid-flight to the winners circle, she stops off at some secret Candyland confection rest stop that causes me to die in a torrent of lava. Or get squished to death by an anaconda. Or trampled by a herd of wayward turtles. No matter what the game we are playing, I somehow die. My demise is imminent and always macabre – even if we are playing Animal Peace Corps. “Oh no, Mommy! Landslide! Too bad I’m off being a veterinarian to the pygmy marmosets or I could have saved you!” I believe she must stay up nights and dream up elaborate and violent methods of obliteration.
And, there’s always a recurring theme of orphan being played in my house. The girls “find children” who have no parents and have been rescued by Ange-Lena Jolie. Or, my girls are on their own because their parents have perished after a tragic accident involving quicksand and cotton candy. They are now spending their day drinking tea and coloring while the "serving person" (me) takes care of their every desire. I’d like to blame this on Max and Ruby who are cartoon rabbits who live a grandiose life by themselves. They seem to have a stocked refrigerator, spotless floors and beautiful gardens with no parents to nag them about picking up their pajamas. Ruby gets to be soooo bossy with no repercussions (I’d also like to attribute Lena’s bossiness to Ruby. It has absolutely nothing to do with two type-A parents). They make cupcakes for breakfast and no one nags them about fire safety or third degree burns if they get too close to the hot stove!!! How lucky for them. Come to think of it, I’d like that too.
Although yesterday, I accidentally stumbled on to the best game EVER! Spa day! I sat in a beach chair in the driveway while the girls fixed my hair with giant, sparkly Halloween barrettes. It came complete with a hand massage, leg massage and “lemonade with a special ingredient!” (Which always scares me – what is that special ingredient? Visine? Draino? Arsenic?) I discovered the special ingredient was Gatorade - phew! I believe I will dare to play this game again today. However, Lena has now had a night to dream up my annihilation so I'm sure this will not end well for me. Oops, you were so relaxed that you fell asleep in the hot tub and drowned! We wanted to save you but the sauna was full of orphan baby wombats that needed us.