Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mind Games

My five year old is obsessed with UNO. Which, all things considered, is better than being obsessed with the game Trouble or with the dreaded Candyland but still, played compulsively, one can even grow weary of UNO.
When he first got the hang of the game, which was roughly three weeks ago, he couldn't bear it if he didn't win at least one game before retiring for the evening. If you've ever tried to purposely loose a game of UNO let's just say it's more difficult than it looks. You'll draw a wild draw four card when you've only got two cards of the same color left in your hand, one of which is a skip card or you'll have UNO and your opponent will change the color to match to remaining card that's in your hand - do you go out or pick from the deck and keep playing? And it wouldn't be so bad to loose on purpose if your children didn't do victory dances around the room after they (finally!) win and trash talk you.
Thankfully he's rapidly become a good enough player that I no longer have to try to loose, conversely, I find myself loosing all the time.
H can remember everything about every game we play. What color the opening card was; the last four moves up until he got UNO and went out; how many "good" cards he got dealt, and so on. The best though is the trash talking. C does it as well. Nothing too outlandish, just the occasional "Man! You're tough!" "revenge," and "take that!" I think it's a great little release, since I usually discourage, in the spirit of the Peace Builder's Pledge, put downs. A fast-paced game of cards gives them the chance to hurl a few insults and slights at each other in a playful environment. One in which everybody is a loser sometimes and (thankfully) everybody is a winner. And nobody makes fun of your happy dance.

song: Mind Games  • artist: John Lennon

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