Thursday, July 10, 2008

Monopoly Madness

My home has been invaded. Little land sharks, deal makers, financial whizzes have come to life in the form of my children, all thanks to that game of which we will not speak. I will thank my mother in law. She started it.. that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It all started many years ago. I was traumatized by the game of gasp, I have to say it, Monopoly. Not on purpose, of course. I just never could see the purpose in playing all the way to the end of a game I knew I was going to lose. And the house rule was you play until everything is mortgaged and you have no cash and no hope of getting any. It was embarassing to be so bad at a game of luck and skill. I couldn't make a deal to save my life. And, really, who wanted to spend 4 hours that way??

Fast forward to this spring. I had put my Monopoly hating ways behind me. We just haven't been a game playing family. My fault, not theirs. And then my Mother in Law buys a really lovely new Monopoly set. And she introduces the boys to the joys and fun of counting money, making deals, avoiding jail, free parking, and Boardwalk-- Welcome to OZ! Before long, they have incorporated Mob-like behaviors into their daily speech. "mmmmm, I am very interested in your St. James Place... Are you interested in a deal?" All said in smooth charm and con.

Before long I hear "Hey Josh, want to make a deal? How about I give you these two Kung Fu Panda toys for your Transformer?" "No way man, that's not a good deal. You get the best one." "How about if I throw in some free passes next time we play Monopoly?" "Hmmm, let me think about it."

Yes, the life lessons of Monopoly have invaded our Summer. Now, every morning they ask to play. And I get drug into games about one evening in 7. I have to relive the horrors of childhood. I'm no good with dice. Property strategy evades me. I can't bring myself to hose them in a deal to get ahead. But I play. They enjoy the family fellowship. So, I smile and pretend to enjoy my 3 hour tour through game hater's hell. I do get a giggle when the kids encourage me.

"Come on Mom, it's ok.. I'll come visit you in jail."

"It's ok, you can get those properties out of mortgage the next couple of times you pass go."

"Ooohh, to stay in a Marvin Gardens Hotel will cost you.... Well, I would just take your Park Place in place of that since you don't have enough cash."

I'm glad they love to play games. I love that Ryan can add, subtract, and manipulate big and many numbers in his head. I love that they will have happy memories of games. It'll certainly help them later in life. I enjoy the time with the family. But, wow, the vehicle of Monopoly would not have been my first choice.

So thanks for the new memories, dear mother in law. Really. Thanks.I never would have gone there on my own.

And Mom and Dad, watch out. The boys are coming, ready to play. And Dad, maybe one day they'll even love chess.


Us said...

Come to think of it I think I have always hated Monopoly, too! I was the youngest and ALWAYS lost or fell asleep ;-). I am so glad God provided a car for you and I will remember your family in prayer! Have a great end to the summer.

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