Let's talk about game-playing. No, not the kind that takes place in passive aggressive interpersonal relationships. Let's talk real games like Yahtzee. Yahtzee - beautiful in its simplicity, comforting in its own repetitive dice-rattling way. Playing games with your children is supposed to be the hallmark of The Good Life. You gather around the game board and you play and you laugh and you love each other just a little bit more when it's all over. Just look at this commercial playing on televisions everywhere these days:
Doesn't that look like fun? Can't you feel the love? What does it mean, then, that this is what our familiy game nights look like this:
The fighting begins as soon as we open the box. They argue over who gets to be what color. They argue over who goes first. They get mad and cry when they aren't winning. There has even been some attempted stomping of the hands. We have trouble even when we play a cooperative game. Every game is a nightmare. We stop the games immediately when they are acting out but it makes no difference. The next day, they ask to play a game again and promise that their behavior from the previous day will not happen again. They lie.
I want the good times promised by the commercials, dammit. I want my share of laughter and family fun. Actually, at this point, I'd settle for quiet seething and dirty looks - my standards have dropped quite a bit.