The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, May 12, 2008



When it comes to board games, my family used to be fair-minded, good sports. On a rainy weekend afternoon, my eight-year-old daughter might cheer if her brother rolled a Yatzee. My twelve-year-old son might slip me a stack of pink bills when, almost broke, I landed on my husband’s Park Place. Meanwhile, my husband, the banker, pretends not to notice.

But then my daughter received Clue for Christmas, and everything changed.

As soon as we opened the box and held those tiny weapons in our hands, the mundane but menacing rope, the utilitarian yet dangerous lead pipe, the handy yet deadly wrench, a fiercely competitive pall descended over us, clouding our judgment, turning us into cut throat, board game Crime Scene Investigators.

Each of us devised a sophisticated method for tracking the clues in hopes of getting an edge on whether a distraught Miss Scarlet fired the fatal shot in the wood paneled library. My husband favors a spread sheet, my son a detailed list, and my daughter a bar graph. I stick to the official note pad that comes with the game augmenting it with a customized assortment of abbreviations and codes.

After each player’s turn, a moment of tense silence follows. Scribbling and the shielding of notes ensue, followed by glaring at one another. A single game leaves us all mentally exhausted, the losers grumpy and the winner smug.

Despite the intensity of each game, none of us were conscious of the pitch at which we played until one day my son returned from a friend’s house. At dinner, in an utterly surprised tone, he announced, “Today I found out that not everyone plays Clue like we do.”

I cringed inside with embarrassment. Our aggressive, over the top approach to what is supposed to be a friendly, family past time revealed itself. We were family game night frauds. But would my son recognize the clues and draw the obvious conclusion: despite appearances, other families are more stable, less manic and better adjusted when it comes to board games – and who knows what else?

Would this evidence lead him to suspect a broader truth about his parents -- that we don’t always behave well? Would our authority dissolve, his confidence in us shatter? Had we been found out? Was the jig finally up?

Rather than immediately confess, I listened to my son recount his afternoon. His friend suggested they play Clue, and my son asked for a spare sheet of paper to construct his suspect list. When his friend shrugged his shoulders, looked puzzled and asked why he wanted extra paper, my son demurred.

“I got the feeling that they just don’t play Clue at our level, so I skipped the paper,” he explained.

I breathed a sigh of relief at my son’s self restraint, reassured that we had at least set a good example in that regard, that all was not lost.

Then he added, with a gleam of family pride in his eye. “I won anyway.”

By Tina Bournazos


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So funny. Clue was my favorite, too. Although I was an amateur next to you guys!
Really funny blog!! Family game night frauds indeed! I am impressed that your kids are good sports. Mine try to cheat at Candyland! What a nice family activity-I think it is great that you all play to win.
Ah the cut-throart world of Family Game Night! Well-behaved parents or not, there is no denying that game night sounds like a lot of fun at your place!
Hilarious. Great images.
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