Jul 14, 2005

Family Fun Time

7/14/2005 — cori

Normally, every night before bed we play a game with the kids. It's always something fun like, 'Go Fish', or 'UNO', maybe even 'Memory' if we want to go out on a limb and try to shake things up a bit. The point being, the kids love repetition and sameness. So, we were a bit surprised when Bennett suggested a game that was not on the 'pre-approved list' of fun family games. Throwing caution to the wind, we all agreed to play Bennett's game of choice: 'Let's Go Fishing'. I know, it sounds like we're getting wild now, but bring it on!

For those not familiar with this silly game, let me paint a picture for you of all the outlandish fun that was just waiting inside that box for us. I think the box says its for ages 3-6. We got that requirement covered. The actual game itself consists of a circular type thingy that has like 30 quarter-sized holes covering the top of it - this is meant to represent the pond or lake or wherever we are supposed to be 'fishing' from. Next, someone is supposed insert the enclosed brightly-colored, plastic, piraña looking fish into these openings in the 'pond'. I swear, the teeth on these little critters are sharp - and yes, they have teeth. I'd like the thank the guy who thought that would be a nice touch for a game geared to 3-6 year olds. Lastly, four plastic fishing poles are handed out to each player. I could probably catch these fish easier using floss than these flimsy plastic poles, but hey, they wouldn't let someone create and sell a game who didn't know what he/she was doing. So, we push on and trust the game makers that the poles they have provided us will actually catch the biting fish.

Competition is a strong trait in our family. We love to win. We are serious about our games - even 'Let's Go Fishing'. In order to start the game, someone switches it on and the little pond, with the little piraña, goes around and around and around whilst also pushing the little fishies up to open their mouths not quite wide enough for the 3-6 year olds and the 32 year olds to try to maneuver their dental floss fishing poles into their mouths in order to 'catch' them. Whomever has the most pile of pirañas at the end is the fishing champion. Sounds like a fine activity for two young children to compete against two grown, competitive adults in.

As the game ensues, chaos abounds. Gavin throws aside the 'fishing pole' and opts to use his finger instead. Good thinking, but nowhere in the rules does that say that using your finger is an option. Since when did game-makers encourage children to 'think outside the box' - this is a game for goodness sakes - we must follow the rules. We have to tighten the reigns on proper game playing procedures, so we make Gavin use his pole yet again and chastise him for coming up with a better way. Bennett seizes this exact moment to choke up on his fishing pole and find out that with a lower grip, one can actually catch a fish or two. Although this is not in the rules, we deem that it is definitely better than forsaking the pole altogether and we amend the rules to include this new 'fishing style'.

This little pond thingy, that is probably only 6 inches in diameter, now has four hands holding onto four very flimsy poles all trying to get 30 fish at one time. Again, I'd like to praise the game creators for their foresight. Naturally, pushing and shoving ensues. Once I got Chuck to stop pushing the kids out of the way, the boys decided to follow suit. Not to be left out, I joined in and was amazed at how much more fun the game seemed to be by just adding a little more physical exertion to it. I also failed to mention that Chloe was also 'playing' this game with us - or so she thought. During the fast paced tension of the game, I find it highly challenging to play at my optimal level while someone is laying across my lap trying to put all my little fishies back in the moving pond. Not only was she putting the fish I caught back into the pond, she was putting them in upside down. I guess we have a little environmentalist living with us.

I can already see more family fun in our future the older the children get and the more 'challenging' the games become. Until then, I vote for UNO.

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