Playing a Game with a Little Kid

Cast of Characters


Scene 1: Living room floor with a gameboard.

Adult turns over a card.

Adult: I go three spaces. One-two-three. Yay, I get a token! Now it’s your turn. It’s your turn. Honey, stop playing with the music box.

Kid winds music box that he picked up on the way to playing the game.

Kid: When the music is playing, we play.

Adult: Okay, it’s playing. It’s your turn.

Kid checks music box again, then turns over a card.

Kid: Go four spaces, and go again.

Kid makes spaceship noises as he drops his hand down to his marker. For each space he moves, he makes crashing noises. This causes him to lose count on the way to “four.” Adult moves his marker back to it original spot. Kid makes spaceship noises as he drops his hand down to his marker. For each space he moves, he makes crashing noises. Adult assures him it’s in the right place, which it isn’t.

Kid: I get six tokens!

Adult: Yay!

Adult takes out six tokens and hands them to Kid.

Adult: Okay, go again.

Kid: No, I need  ALL BLUE tokens.

Kid replaces five of the tokens and painstakingly extracts six blue ones. Kid then counts his tokens and realizes he has one extra. He puts back two. Adult takes out one and tosses it in his pile.

Adult: Go again.

Kid takes another card.

Kid: Go ahead two spaces and—haha! I go AGAIN!

Adult bares teeth in what is supposed to be a cheerful smile.

Kid draws card.

Kid: Four more tokens!

Adult takes out four blue tokens and tosses them at Kid.

Kid: No! I need yellow tokens this time!

Kid puts back all the tokens. Then he takes out six blue tokens and four yellow tokens in a process that takes only slightly longer than the last ice age.

Adult: My turn! Adult draws a card. I go BACK two spaces. Ugh!

Kid laughs uproariously.

Adult: Your turn.

Kid leans over to get the card, and bumps the music box. He realizes that the music box isn’t playing anymore.

Kid: Uh, oh! We can’t play if the music isn’t playing!

Kid winds music box, then takes a card.

Kid: Go two spaces and go again!

Adult stifles a sob.

Kid notices a penny on the carpet next to the gameboard. He picks it up and puts it three spaces ahead of his marker.

Kid: Whoever lands on this penny gets superspeed and can go really fast.

Adult: Stop getting my hopes up like that.

Kid: Okay, right. This is the Super Penny Speed. Super Speed Penny. It makes you go really fast, and you can fight the evil guys if you land on it. If you land on the Penny Super… Super Penny… Speed Penny…

Adult: Draw another card.

Kid draws a card.

Kid: Two more tokens! I don’t know what color to get.

Adult: Green

Kid ignores Adult. He arranges his tokens in front of him. He counts his blues, then his yellows. Adult sees him miscount and corrects him. Kid counts again. Then he draws two green tokens. He adds them to his pile, then arranges them all in a straggling line in front of him. Then he counts them again.

Adult: My turn! Draws a card. Go six spaces. Yay, I get three tokens! Your turn.

Kid winds music box. Checks position of Super Speed Penny. Bumps a few tokens out of line, so fixes them. Makes dinosaur noises as he drops down his hand the card pile.

Kid: Go ahead six spaces and go again! Haha! I’m getting ALL the ‘go again’ cards!

Adult dies.

(SJ is the mother of four and author of the popular tutorial, “How to Make Candyland Go Faster By Cheating.”)


7 thoughts on “Playing a Game with a Little Kid

  1. I do love being and playing with young children. But I hate playing Candyland with anybody. You deserve chocolate or some other guilty pleasure for every game you survive.

    • When we all manage to be in the same place at the same time, I can assure you that Joneses will want to play games. But I promise you won’t have to tell me when it’s my turn, and I won’t wind a music box to accompany us.

      Or, alternatively, you can sit to the side and make fun of us, the way I plan to do to all of you foodies.

  2. Halfway through i was thinking, “I would be dead by now.” You are a much better mother than i m grandmother.

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