Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Get Ready to Feel Really Superior About Your Parenting.

Those of you who are parents: do you ever have those moments when you realize you have possibly been remiss, for no clear or logical reason, in some seemingly basic component of parenting? Like, all of a sudden you realize the baby--who is now four--does not know how to reliably zip her jacket, which probably bothers the preschool teachers just a little bit, they with their million tiny people to dress for outdoor weather ten million times a day? (Not that this one happened to me. Well, sort of. But not really.) Or, tying shoes! Egad! We haven't taught her to tie yet, and she's six! Didn't even think of it, because seriously: kid shoes don't have laces anymore! But she's sort of supposed to know how to tie by now.

Or maybe something even worse than zipping and tying. Something universally-agreed-upon as fun, integral to a joyful childhood, the very essence of loving parenting. Something like board games and visits to Santa.

I hate board games, especially board games with children. This makes me feel bad, especially when I read about others--really good mothers--who adore board games, get really passionate about board games, surely have whole baskets or storage ottomans full of stacked board games, but, you know--sigh--it is what it is.

Board games should be called "bored games", as far as I'm concerned. (Ha! Did you like my little joke?! I crack myself up.) Therefore, it literally never, ever occurs to me to buy my children board games, of any kind, for Christmas or their birthdays. No, not even the classics like Hi-Ho Cherry-O or Candyland--both of which my daughters own only through the gift-giving efforts of friends and relatives. Not even the ones you would think actually might be a little fun, like Jenga or Boggle. (Wait--those aren't actually board games--or bored games! ha!--but you know what I mean.) Seriously, I never even think of games as gifts. Never. I rarely play the ones we have. I dread the idea of Family Game Night, even though children love that kind of thing--at least until they're, I don't know, 12 maybe? I know. I feel awful about it. I know.

And then there's visiting Santa. We don't do this in our family. I KNOW! Can you even believe it? Again: does not occur to me. Listen, my girls a.) are terrified of Sponge Bob Square Pants (I don't even know how to write that, we're so unfamiliar with him; is it SpongeBob SquarePants? Sponge Bob SquarePants? I don't know); how do you think they're going to react to a giant old man in an odd matching outfit with a huge white beard? Also: since dressed-up Santas are so baffling (there are multiples! how can it be? why do some of them look different from the pictures we've seen of Santa? why do their boots vary in color at times?), we've relied on the old explanation that dressed-up Santas at stores or events are just pretend, Santa's helpers, dressed up for fun but not the real deal. So it's not all that exciting to my daughters anyway.

But really, can you even believe it? Lacking in board games, and have never visited Santa.

Your opinion of me as a parent is probably a lot lower now, isn't it? I probably made you feel really good about your own parenting today. After all, you play board games with your children! You take them to visit Santa! My Christmas gift to you. Enjoy.


Mnmom said...

Every parent has their limits.

And as far as Candyland goes? STACK THE DECK! Get rid of all the single square cards. And get rid of that awful game asap.

We'll probably never make it to DisneyWorld. We've always had a horridly low Christmas budget. We never enrolled our girls in a dance class. I cut their hair short because they wouldn't let me comb it. We visited Santa only a few times, and told them the truth very early. I've dropped the F-bomb. We're all human.

Donna said...

Bored games is what I call them too. My son is really in to Monopoly right now and because of limited time, one game usually lasts four days. Ugh! And my daughter won't put up with a game that takes four days so while playing Monopoly with my son, I am simultaneously entertaining my daughter.

And while we do the Santa pictures, we don't bake together very often. You definitely have that on me!!

Mary S. said...

I don't think my kids ever had a picture with Santa either --- too much hassle. And, while I like some board games (Scrabble!!! -- and Scrabble Jr. for 3rd grade and up), the best board game for a Minnesota winter is Twister -- some exercise, some silliness, and you don't even have to play.

Rita said...

Um, I play board games and do the Santa thing... but I don't feed them nutritious food like you do with your children.

See? It's always something.

And? SpongeBob is AWFUL. My kid LOVES him, but I won't let him watch the show because it's so, well, AWFUL. So he's forced to sneak a peek when he's at my mother's house.

Heidi Mann said...

Yes, SpongeBob IS awful!! I can't believe the show won some "top kids' program" award many years in a row (they stated this during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade as the giant SpongeBob balloon went floating by -- talk about scary!). Gabriel loves SB, but it ALWAYS makes him really hyper and wild, so we have banned it in our house too.

Now, as for board games... Shannon!! I did not KNOW this about you!! Wasn't it YOU that made ME play Monopoly all the time, and it went on so long that we, too, like Donna, had to leave it set up for DAYS? Did you finally just burn yourself out on them, or what??!!

I do love board games, but as the others have pointed out, you do lots of things w/ your girls that I can't STAND to do w/ my kids. One thing I hate is sitting on the floor and playing imaginary things like "action figures" or "Little People" or "pirates." HATE IT!!!!!! Talk about BORING!! (And you may recall, I never liked playing Barbies much either.)

Shannon said...

@Heidi--Oh, I don't do that either.