I’m a bad mum. I admit it. I don’t enjoy playing board games with my kids. One more lap around “Parcheesi” or another clink of a plastic cube falling in “Don’t Break the Ice” is enough to drive me to tears. But, as mothers, we are never allowed to admit this, are we?
Spending the quality time together that board games often promote should be a joyous event, something to be revered and coveted as a parent, right? After all, we know the precious Sweets Land years are going to slip away from us all too quickly. Logically, I appreciate this notion and I would love to embrace Family Game Night, but the rotten mum in me rebels. Why?
Am I just being impatient with the pace at which my kids are playing the game, or is it a lack of contentment on my part? Am I so stuck in the business as usual mode of “rush, rush, rush, hurry, hurry, hurry” that I simply cannot slow down enough to savour these little moments as they unfold?
Certainly an impromptu game of Cranium could bring some quiet balance into my family’s typical world of all things sports and physical activity centered. Am I so highly distractible that I cannot happily endure such games? For me, I think the answer is this: I simply have a difficult time sitting still long enough to focus on (and enjoy) the game at hand. I love being in motion, and while so many things require me to slow the pace of life (reading with the kids, doing schoolwork, making dinner), other things are harder for me to accept as a normal, “acceptable”, sedentary activity that will benefit my children.
Of course, I never refuse the kids when they cosy up on the couch and ask for this kind of quality time. To me, that would be as despicable as turning them away if they asked for me to read them a story. But the ants in my pants get the better of me when it comes to board games, and I find myself secretly wishing the game would hurry up and finish. Heaven forbid they present me with “Monopoly”! That is textbook board game commitment.
I think I have found a compromise, however, in my perceived boredom with board games. My son recently discovered his love (and natural aptitude) for the game of chess.
While a typical game requires a serious investment of time, it is really fun when it is larger than life!
While I definitely cannot qualify it as a “workout”, these big board games keep us moving while calculating the next move and hauling the oversized pieces accordingly. I think this is absolutely brilliant! There is a version of huge checkers, dominoes, and Tic Tac Toe as well. Increasing in popularity among kids and adults alike, these boards are popping up more frequently: in malls, outside toy stores, even in some doctors’ waiting rooms.
So, am I a rotten mum for tiring of another sit-down game of “Connect Four”? Maybe I am just a busy-body mum who has to find the discipline to slow down and take time to enjoy the fleeting moments while my kids still want me around.