I never remember my parents playing many board games as a child, and I could never work out why until now. Sunday afternoon, I was round my in-laws house with a garden that could be mistaken for The Garden of Eden. A hot latte, freshly made with beans that smelt amazing, blazing hot sunshine and two kids begging me to go inside and play a board game. I felt parental guilt and agreed, not wanting my adorable kids to grow up and think I wasn’t a dad who didn’t play with them. When I got to the kitchen it was a famous game from the eighties where you had a trillion bits made of plastic, some instructions written on toilet roll with font size 3 and a two kids who knew how to play it without instructions. I was the old age person trying to read the instructions so when the first punch up started I proudly showed the kids the iffy diagrams, which went down like a lead balloon.
As we started rolling the dice we took turns and tensions were already rising faster than fighter jets and I missed out on a go, but I was happy to miss a turn. When it was discovered I had missed a turn boy, did arguments start. The last time I saw an argument like this was on television where they televised members of parliament having a debate. As time went on I could feel life passing me by, wishing the game would improve very soon, but it seemed to go on as long as a bottle of vinegar in a food cupboard. Eventually hope drifted into the building when it was announced whoever got a two on the dice would end the game and win. Man, I was suddenly holding that dice like a seasoned gambler, blowing on the dice, wishing Lady Luck was listening. Eventually my little girl won. I moved faster than a cat crossing the road! I shot outside and chose a hiding place to ensure I was not chosen for round two of board games.
I sat in the garden where my wife got excited when Captain Chaos came into the garden and proudly announced he had broken a thorn of a rose bush. I was scratching my head pondering why the excitement when my wife announced “Let me show you what we do with those.” I was ready to get the rubbish bin when she licked the thorn and put it on her nose. Okay my little dinosaur, here we are trying to show we are normal parents, and now this. Captain Chaos decided to copy this with more lick and spit than is usually required to ensure that it stayed on his nose until next year at least.
After a family birthday tea with the usual poking fun at each other, we left for home. As my wife started down the road I failed to notice half a tree appear inside the car. I thought I saw Captain Chaos get into the car but clearly I did not, and my usual frisk before we leave someone’s house had failed. My wife was a little cranky quoting the Highway Code, you know the bit where it says poking the driver with a tree could cause a crash so don’t leave the branch inside the car. At this point the driver was cranky and so was Captain Chaos. The drive home was quiet, very quiet until we announced bed time then suddenly a raging thirst and a famine was announced.
As the kids got into bed we saw their feet and they looked like they had been playing in the dirt for days on some survival weekend. A quick hose down and they crawled into their pits and silence reigned! They gently snored in peaceful serenity. Just kidding! As I type Captain Chaos is crowing like a rooster and coming down the stairs, whilst my little girl sounds like she is dancing in a nightclub on bare floorboards. I know what you’re thinking, “Dorset Dad, what’s the best advice for noisy children who won’t go to bed?” Well it’s easy, people, just turn the television up louder! No, I’m just kidding, it’s a snack in our case, which is carrot sticks tonight. They think they’ve won, when in reality we already planned the snack and actually it was the parents who won.
Yes people, tonight its parents 1, kids 0. Night, night everyone, see you bright and shiny next week!