“…and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!”

You know, some things make SO much more sense the further you get along in life.  That line from the old Christmas song is one of them.  I adore my children.  I would lay my life on the line for them without hesitation.  I love their hugs, their laughter, and playing games with them.  However, as I like to say joke these days, I know now that I was meant to be a stay at home mom of school-aged children.  For my own sanity’s sake.

The noise began at its normal level the evening of December 19, which had been the last day of school before two weeks off for the holidays.  Then it began escalating.  Just a little each day, until, by the time we got to last night, nothing I could say or do could contain the noise, rambunciousness and sheer ENERGY that is two little boys stuck inside on a rainy day after two weeks off of school.

Anyway, back to the things I adore about my children.  I believe I mentioned playing games.  If you are a parent, and you’re like me, you’re pretty sick of the standard kid-loved games.  I know I’m not the only mom out there who’s stacked the deck in Candyland to get it over with more quickly.  (Come on, fess up!  I know you’re out there…)  So, obviously, since we are a game-loving family, and we (the parents) are more than a little tired of Mouse Trap, Candyland, and other various games that entranced us twenty-five and thirty years ago, we are constantly on the lookout for fun family games.

Santa came through this year with the family gift.  Boy, did he ever!  I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised, I suppose, that it’s a Cranium game.  Some of our favorites are from Cranium, most notably Hoopla, which is admittedly not for the kiddoes, but one of the only non-card games we pull out regularly with our best friends.  My parents like it, too.  And it’s compact.  (Gosh, wouldn’t I love to be a packaging designer for that company!  Kind of makes me wish I’d finished that Industrial Design degree I started…but I digress.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, the miracle game.  Beloved by all four of us.  Enjoyed when we took it to our friends’ house on New Years Day.  Adults and kids alike!

Whoonu?

Yes, Whoonu?

(I’m sorely tempted to turn this into a cheesy Abbott and Costello take-off, but let’s not and say we did.)

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The instructions are so simple, people are confused when we try to explain them.  It’s better just to start playing, but I’ll try anyway:

One player is “It.”

Each other player has four cards (see photo).

Each player chooses the two cards in their hand that they think “It” will like best.

“It” looks at all cards received and ranks them in order of preference.  Points are awarded based on said ranking.

Each player is “It” once, then the game is over.  Very quick.  We usually play four games when we sit down, but the brevity can be a very good thing.  Tonight, for instance, we only had thirty minutes before bedtime, so two games were the perfect solution.  Family time without feeling rushed, without trying to “fit it in.”

It can get pretty hilarious – think about it.  For Kalen tonight, I was dealt these cards: science fiction; breakfast in bed; algebra; and pickup trucks.  Perfect for a five-year-old, don’t you think?  And then, sometimes, you get lucky.  Last week, for the same boy, I was dealt trains and the color green.  Guess who wants to be a “train driver” when he grows up, and whose favorite color is green?

Bingo!  I won that round.

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