Monday, October 09, 2006

I Think I Might Be Queen Frostine

Okay admit it, you've done it too--stacked the deck while playing your fiftieth consecutive game of Candyland because as soon as you can get Queen Frostine to come to the party you're home free.

Lillian is a board game fan. Chutes and Ladders, Mr. Mouth, Cooties, Break the Ice, if it's plastic, requires a battery or has a million cards we've got it. Up until this week she has favored Candyland because she loves (and I mean loves with a passion that never dies) all things pink, all thing sugary and above all--Queen Frostine.

QF is up there with Barbie and Ariel on Lillian's "I Wish I Was Her" List. Long hair, all-powerful, controls all the sweets in the kingdom (hey wait, that's me!) What's not to love about Queen Frostine?

I, however, am not a Candyland fan because A) it is boring and B) there is no skill involved. Let me repeat that: There is NO SKILL involved. Unless you call knowing blue from red a skill--it's all about the luck that never seems to run my way.

I can't advance more than one stinkin' square at a time and the only time I draw Peanut Brittle or Princess Lolly is if I'm already well past and poised on the threshold of victory. Lillian has the patience of Job and will happily draw card after card, moving forward and back, never reaching the end, but to me it's like trying to get your car unstuck from a snow bank, rocking the car back and forth to get yourself out of the trench and every time you think you're just about to make it to the edge and break free you're pulled back in again. Poetic, huh?

So I taught her a new game--Memory. Now there's a game of skill--at first I helped her but she quickly improved until I didn't have to hold back. Now she is the Bobby Fisher of the Memory circuit, probably because her four year-old brain hasn't lost all the memory cells mine has--she always knows where the matching card is.

Plenty of times I can't remember where I saw the other lady bug card and she will patiently tap tap tap with her index finger on a card, saying nothing, and she is always right. I'd come to rely on her knowledge so implicitly that it took me by surprise a couple days ago when I turned over the card she was pointing to, expecting to find a skateboard, and found a beach ball.

"You're wrong," I said, slightly puzzled. Was she losing her edge?

She smiled. And then turned over both skateboard cards. As she collected her match I realized she'd set me up. She'd known where it was all the time and just wanted me out of the way.

And that's how it's been ever since. She thinks it's a hoot to fake me out and get me to turn a wrong card and since my brain can't remember where the stupid frog is I'm relying on her mercy. She doesn't need me anymore. If I'm stumped I'm on my own because there's only a 40% chance that the hint she's giving me is accurate, she's most likely trying to sabotage my game--as if I needed anyone's help losing.

No, my role has been reduced to Card Layer-Outer, that's all I'm good for any more. I've tried to get her to do it herself, surely if she's capable of the skill and deception I've observed she's capable of laying 72 cards out in even rows but she won't lift a finger unless I'm down there on the floor helping.

I guess one good thing has come out of the whole experience. She can't tell me that she forgot to pick up her dirty clothes or shake her rugs because I know she's got the most powerful memory on the planet. I'm onto her.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sneaky minx!

My son surprised me this weekend when (on Wednesday) I told him that every saturday morning, he had to take his dirty clothes down to the laundry room.

My brain being a hideous mess of short circuits, I subsequently forgot that I'd said that.

Until I found his hamper in the laundry room.

The "wow" whoosh hit rather strongly. Indescribable really.

Indigo Black said...

This is hilarious. Kids have memories like elephants until it comes to having to do something they don't want to do. Then it's like they have a sudden case of amnesia. My neices and nephews are just kill me with this.

Jenny said...

What the crap is that? That is not the candyland I used to know and love! Sigh...I'm going to have to go to an antique store to find the old version of Candyland, aren't I?

Rainbow Momma said...

Our almost-4-year old plays memory the same way. But heaven-forbid she should lay out the cards ... or remember where she left her favorite toy. *sigh*

LOL!

Leslie said...

We're stuck in Candyland in my house right now. My two-year old can't get enough. I'm not sure she's ready for Memory, yet. Although she can always remember any promise of popsicles, whether it is minutes, hours or days later.

The Wooden Porch said...

That's so funny! I have a 3 year old who is pretty good at memory, but not at waiting her turn. I haven't brought out the candyland game yet...

girlymama said...

i think that memory is - by far - the most interesting childrens' game (well, from an adult perspective.) at least you get to use your brain a little. as a bonus, when they get bored, there are 438 other versions of memory to choose from! (princess! pooh! toy story!)

plus, it is always good practice for me to try and remember things, since i am the queen of walking into a room and saying, "why am i in here?"

Julie said...

Loved the snow bank metaphor! Your memory cicuits might be shorted out but your nifty-poetic-association cells are working just fine.

jen said...

card layer out-her. no wonder you are bored. maybe jello shots might help? kidding.

Jennifer said...

My little ones like Candyland, but to Anna the big prize is not getting to the candy castle, its getting that Queen Frostine card. If she doesn't, she really is crushed.

Also, as an adult, Candyland does take skill... not to become a hag while you remind the preschoolers that hey, its their turn, and don't accidentally go backwards on that twisty path. You wouldn't want this game to last a minute longer!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Ugh...my daughter refuses to clean anything up unless I help her...I started teaching her how to clean up after herself by saying: "C'mon, I'll help you"...now I can't get out of it. Ever! She NEVER forgets!

But when I remind her that it's bedtime...she conveniently "forgets" a bajillion things to stall going upstairs.