Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nothing Wrong with Her Memory--It's Her Ears.

Chutes and LaddersI was sitting on my bed reading when Lillian, age 4, came into the room and sat down beside me.

"Mom, will you play a game with me?"

"Um, yea," I said with my eyes glued to the book and my mouth doing the talking without much thought, "what do you want to play?"

"A game like Chutes and Ladders or Memory."

I hate Chutes and Ladders. It's like being caught in an eternal space-time continuum disaster that wraps you in its vortex, sucking you farther and farther downward, never to escape. NEVER! It's the game that will not end. Just as you think you're about to break free you hit that last chute and *wham!* you're back to square one.

Besides, Lillian can never keep our pieces straight (not that she lets me choose which one I'm going to be anyway). She moves whichever marker catches her eye first and then always goes the wrong direction. Forget that there are arrows to guide you, forget that the spaces are numbered sequentially, it doesn't matter which way she's supposed to go, she always heads the wrong way. Guaranteed--kind of like how she's guaranteed to get her shoes on the wrong feet. I mean odds are that she'd at least get it right 50% of the time but no, they're always backward so she must be trying to get them that way. With odds like that there must be some effort involved.

So no Chutes and Ladders. Period. Get one of your minions (David or Spencer) to play with you but I'm retired from the Chutes and Ladders circuit. Memory, on the other hand, actually takes some skill and though my four year-old consistently creams me at least it's competitive and takes some thought.

"Sure," I said, turning a page, "I'll play Memory with you. Go get the game."

She paused, considering, then said slyly, "How about Chutes and Ladders?"

Still without looking up I said, "No, but I'll play Memory."

She came closer to me and leaned her head against me. "How 'bout Chutes and Ladders?"

"I don't want to play Chutes and Ladders, if you want me to play go get Memory."

She at this point began to turn on the maximum charm and flattery, climbing up besides me, throwing her arms around my neck and planting a big kiss on my cheek. However, she forgot she was dealing with Mom and not Dad who is easily suckered by such simple feminine ploys. "Pleeeeease? I want to play Chutes and Ladders."

"Nope. Memory. Go get Memory and I'll play."

"Okay." She slid of the bed and pattered downstairs and came back a couple minutes later and set the box on the bed behind me.

Without looking at the game I turned another page and asked over my shoulder, "Did you get it?"

"Yup," She said brightly, "I got the game! Chutes and Ladders!"

My jaw tightening a bit I said through clenched teeth, "I'm not playing Chutes and Ladders. If it's a game you want then it's going to be Memory. Nothing else, got it?"

There was silence as I reread the paragraph and she settled into some thought. It must have been about a minute before I heard her casually say with that "I just happened to be in the neighborhood/nothing to see here" inflection to her tiny voice:

"Mom?"

"Hmmm?"

"We need to share. You play Chutes and Ladders with me then I'll play Memory with you after."

Maybe after beating me all those times she thinks there's something wrong with my memory. I'm old but I'm not that old. Nice try sweetheart but no Chutes and Ladders.

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53 comments:

Mel said...

LMAO!!! Sounds like you've got one of my kids up there.
I always call mine "little litigators;" they'll always try to bargain their way out of trouble or into what they want.
Hold firm, Mama, hold firm!

Robin said...

She's going to go far in life that one!

Personally, I'd choose Chutes and Ladders over Memory any day. Memory never ever ever ever ends. Still, either is better than pokemon cards (she says running screaming from the room).

PortraitofPeter said...

Kids make good "pschologists".

Luv the post.

Macoosh said...

see, now i didn't like chutes and ladders growing up because it ended too soon....hm...maybe my family was cheating because they knew it'd last forever.

i'm going to have to investigate this. i may have missed out on some valuable chutes and ladders time.

....maybe that's where my issues stem from!!! :)

maggie said...

Now Mom you do need to share. I would have to give in to that one!! Weve marked all the chutes with activities so when someone lands on one they have to cluck like a chicken etc. Makes it a bit more fun.

meredith said...

Well, she does get bonus points in persistance.

allysha said...

...to which I say, Amen.

snarflemarfle said...

Ha! Cute! She's a persistent one, isn't she?

Erica said...

Haha - and she's only four!! You have good willpower, I fear I might have caved in after that :)

Erica
(littlemummy.com

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

You hit the essence of children's games on the head! Argh.

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

That's a smart kid.
You said your hubs was a lawyer right...She is too.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

that was fun to read your post. that little one is so persistent, so tenacious ... i loved her last comment about how you need to share ...

thanks for the first thing in the morning laugh. g'day,

Author Mom with Dogs said...

You've got a little powerhouse on your hands there! hehe.

First woman president, anyone...?

Heather said...

That's really cute! My boys' latest craze is Trouble. The first tiem they played it, I couldn't join in, but Dad played it with them. Since then, I am not allowed to play. "It's a boys game." Funny how they think.

Lisa Milton said...

I try to tell myself, sometimes daily, that all this persistence will make my kids strong leaders someday. Maybe they will use their 'powers' for good.

It gives me comfort to know that I am not the only one that refuses to play certain games. But Daddy will. Thank goodness.

soccer mom in denial said...

What a great story!

I've created a version of chutes and ladders for work (Climbing and Sliding) to help rich people (don't laugh - our organization's board, etc) what happens for those of us "less fortunate". I have one version in which the economy is going great and it is all ladders, one in which the economy is so-so and has the same number of slides and ladders and one with the economy tanking and there is only one slide and ALOT of ladders. No one wins on that board.

Kim said...

In our house right now, it's Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. I'm with you, though...I cringe every time Xan asks to play Chutes and Ladders. We played it last weekend and it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

chelle said...

I so throughly enjoyed reading this. I always have internal proud moments when my toddler attempts to pull one over on me. She is thinking creatively and problem solving! hehe not to mention the charm!

nutmeg said...

I think we could start a support group: "My name is Meg and I despise Chutes and Ladders". "Hi Meg!" I've hidden ours in the heating vent.

JAM said...

Next time she tries that routine, tell her that you'll play the memory game now, and that Daddy will play chutes and ladders as soon as he gets home. Promise!

Maybe Cain could play chutes and ladders?

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

that cracked me up how "nutmeg" has that game hidden in her heater vent! lol!

i just throw stuff away and i sometimes have to hide it down in the garbage can until it is taken outside because our girls have been known to pull discarded stuff right out of the can, exclaiming, "mom, why'd you throw THIS out!!??" how could you?!

i've gotten better at stashing the garbage, so i never have to be bothered with certain things again :)

allrileyedup said...

I look forward to my daughter being old enough to play games with my son so that I can finally start saying no.

Poopydigs said...

hehehehe. The manipulation! Love it!!!

jen said...

what a doll. a smart little doll.

good for you for holding your ground...she had me playing chutes and ladders, for sure.

Pieces said...

That is exactly the way I feel about Candyland. That game should be banned forever.

I solved our Chutes and Ladders issues by drawing a direction arrow on EVERY SINGLE SQUARE with a permanent marker. It helped a little.

strauss said...

I must get us a "Memory" game. We have shutes and ladders and it is played in almost the exact manner you described it, but I don't mind. I quite like board games.
I detest when the kids drag out Buckeroo. That is one game that should be banned.
I LOVED your childs reasoning to get you to play chutes and ladders-Priceless, hee hee.

Penny said...

That's my child! LOL! We have the same child! Don't you hate it when good parenting backfires on you?

lol!!!

Great post!

elena jane said...

ahh, chutes and ladders, funnest game to never win! always a fave of the 4 yo group :) and this mama pads the playing field...it's okay when they're 4!! :)

Heffalump said...

Now see, I would surreptitiously cheat to end the game sooner. Even if it meant cheating to let her win. Or I would set a timer and say whoever is closest to the end after ten minutes wins! I used to love playing board games, but some of my boys are viciously poor sports...

Bon said...

i've had lawyers less competent and tenacious than your daughter. :)

we had a game of chutes & ladders in the house when i was a kid, but as i was an only child and no one (ie. my mother) would ever play it with me. glad to know i didn't miss much.

An Ordinary Mom said...

We love Memory in our house, but Chutes and Ladders is indeed the game that never ends ... I think it needs to be redesigned with less down chutes and better directional arrows.

I think it would be fun to get Lillian and Gabie together (Julie Q's son). I can already imagine their conversations!

Leslie said...

You've got one persistent little girl there!

We don't own Chutes and Ladders. Candy Land is enough. We have Memory - the My Little Pony version. Julia beats me every time because they all look the same to me while Julia can explain, from Memory, the subtle differences between Cotton Candy and Sweetberry.

Marie N. said...

hee hee hee...
I hate that game too. I'm so glad we gave ours to Good Will. It was the happiest donation I think I've ever made there.

Cece said...

Oh the manipulation is just surfacing! lol

Momish said...

That was classic, what a smart one!!!

e-LauGhs :-) said...

These sweet little smarties think they can make us do whatever they want with their hugz and kisses, huh?

...well, they are right!

Loved that kid :-)

scribbit said...

Yea, we've got two Memory games, the original and then a Disney princess version that is impossible because all the darn pieces look the same. "Did I turn over the Ariel on the rock or Ariel swimming or Ariel and Eric or Ariel with Sebastian?" I'm toast.

Jerusalem said...

Kids are such good and persistent negotiators! Maybe kids should work for the government, lol.
That was too funny. I loved Chutes and Ladders as a kid. But not as much as Hi-Ho Cheerio : )

my4kids said...

OMG! That is too too cute. Sounds totally like my Madison though. You have to give her credit for trying though. You've got a spunky one on your hands there. hehe. You gave me a good chuckle at work and I needed that.....

Danielle said...

My son puts on the same charm opening with Sweet Pie Dandylion (after my mother divulged to him her nickname for me), with the hugs and kisses. I am not much of a sucker but hugs and kisses and the look on his face get me every time.

JennyMcB said...

Just wait, I won't play Monopoly or Risk, but will play anything else. When my kids were little and we played Candyland, I would take out that last card, I think the Plum princess? But there was no way I wanted to be sent back and have the game prolonged.

I heard a comedian explain why four year olds are so good with Memory, it's because they have nothing else in their brains to worry about, like bills or taxes.

Like the spunk of your daughter though.

Alex Elliot said...

I feel the same way about Candyland!

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Oh this one had me chuckling all the way! I hear ya - LOUD AND CLEAR! Chutes & Ladders AND Candyland. Is it wrong that when the kids aren't looking, I move their pieces closer to the finish line? It's just so incredibly painful to play. I like Memory, too. Oh, and Perfection - that game where you have to get all the yellow shapes in their proper spots before the timer goes off or all the pieces pop out. Great times!

Joyful Days said...

Never played Chutes and Ladders. The one I wish we'd never purchased is Mouse Trap. I really don't like Mouse Trap.

Jen said...

I think she and A would make a frightening law firm. He does the EXACT same thing to me. And since C&L hasn't yet sucked the life out of me (because somehow, and yes I know how lucky I am, we've always managed to finish a game in 8 minutes or less), I still play. God help us if these two combine forces; I fear for the future. :)

Anonymous said...

Loved this post! Ironically on the Today show the other morning, they were interviewing four sisters who are all now CEO's of major corporations. Guess what they named as one of the secrets to their joint success? Their mom playing Chutes and Ladders with them! You think I'm lying! Go check out the interview!!!

scribbit said...

Sounds like I've ruined her chances in the corporate world. I still hate the game :)

Julie Q. said...

There's just something about that age. Re-LENT-less!

Maybe you could get her a penguin to play chutes and ladders with ;)

K T Cat said...

Chutes and Ladders is HORRIBLE! On the other hand, I never tried playing it by going backwards. Maybe that would get the @^#&^@&*#%@&* game to end!

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Whoa - that's some seriously good manipulation. HOw old is she again?! LOL!

laughing mommy said...

This sounds like my 4 year old daughter!

kailani said...

ROFL! After all of that you actually didn't play the game? I don't care for Chutes and Ladders either. Now Candyland is my kind of game!

TherapyDoc said...

Come on, just one game. You tell her that no matter who's ahead it's over when you decide you have to close your eyes, do your nails, whatev. You never play a whole game of C & L. Never.