Risky business

A rainy Sunday meant that we had to take a raincheck on our plans to play lawn bowls with our friends. Instead I decided to teach Elliot and his cousin Mason to play a board game - Risk.

It was unfortunately not as entirely enjoyable as I had hoped. We were certainly not the classic picture of smiling family members in pursuit of the game. No it was about learning how to lose and even how to win.

Risk relies on strategy and as well as with any game involving dice a fair degree of luck. Both children were visibly wounded by any loss when throwing the dice - something I simply could not comprehend - throwing dice does not involve any skill so how could they take it personally when they lost. I had obviously forgotten how hard it was to learn to lose.

We played "Complete World Domination" which takes a fair amount of time to play till its completion. I found it was good whenever the boys were not enjoying their bad luck to take a break and do something else. Fortunes changed many times over the course of the day. Even P got drawn into the game once it was started and we variously played either for ourselves or assisted Elliot.

Tonight we finalised the game and Elliot won virtually every territory bar one Madagascar. We declared him the victor and then he started to cry - "Why can't I win Madagascar!" "Oh please - if this is how you react to winning then what would have happened if you had lost" I replied.

Seriously he whinged for such a long time I declared he is to no longer play boardgames with his father and me.

Which would be the biggest shame as P and I love games - we spent 15 months in London where I fine tuned my pool game and darts. My darts are still pretty good but the pool game is shocking. While in London we went through a spell of chess and dominos as well.

Indeed we love all boardgames Backgammon, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. We spent many years playing card games too -Crib with P's mother and father drinking tea and eating chocolate. We spent a few years playing lots of Scrabble as well and Upwords - I think this all must have been pre-children. We took travel Scrabble and Backgammon on trains and planes as well.

Talking about Scrabble - P's father and mother have been married about 39 years (there was one separation for about 2-3 years but they managed to work through it). Over the majority of those years they have kept a record of every Scrabble game they have played together - who won and what was the best scoring word in each game and who was the winner for the year. The scores kept in the book are littered with notations about family life - it is a very lovely thing to see the family history and the game all interwoven like that. You have to be a bit of a Scrabble nerd and sentimentalist to enjoy that type of thing I suppose - like me.

Another piece of family game trivia concerns Backgammon. At one stage Backgammon was so well loved by P's sister and husband that they hosted a Backgammon tournament for about 5 years running. The tournament was called the P_ _ _ _tt Invitational and we even went to the trouble of video taping and turning it into a show - based on the format of the Wide World of Cricket. P and his father were commentators and interviewed the competitors - usually about 12-16 players. P's brother did a Tony Greig impersonation and did a reading of the Backgammon pitch etc. It was definately pre-children and was a fun filled day of Backgammon, wine and spicy buffalo wings. I was the first woman to win a final and the only woman to get to two finals.

So as you can guess this family are a family of gameplayers and Elliot will have to learn very quickly that there is fun in playing a game together.


At 12:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the significance of those scrabble scores and family notes: my grandparents were devoted scrabble players (cribbage, too). What a beautiful piece of family history. And how wonderful that they have managed 39 years together, overcoming whatever obstacle caused that hiccough for a couple of years.

At 12:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to leave my name: Lucinda

At 8:19 pm, Blogger anyresemblance said...

Woohoo, I have named comments! I am mad about scrabble and have all the scores from when my old boyfriend and I used to play - 15 years ago or more!


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