Jun 12

Family game night stinks

Comments (64) by Leslie Marinelli June 12, 2012 - 6:02 AM

Having three kids ranging in age from thirteen to five has always made it challenging to enjoy Family Game Night the way the television commercials would have us believe normal families do on a regular basis.

The thing is, nobody ever wants to play the same game. The games that the oldest kid or I want to play are never acceptable to either of the other two kids, and the games that the five year old likes actually make the rest of us want to slam our heads in the car door over and over.

Seriously, did Hitler invent Chutes and Ladders (aka Snakes and Ladders)? Because that game is truly the product of a misanthrope after a bad day. Candy Land is equally as bad. Just when you think you're nearing the Candy Castle at the end, you pull the Gumdrop Mountain card and have to go all the way back to the beginning. It's torture. Never play either of these games unless you have lots of time to kill, some earplugs to muffle the sounds of your preschooler crying, and a new bottle of hooch to dull the pain.

There are two games I love that my five year old is finally old enough to play with the rest of us: Uno and Jenga.

Uno is a card game that only requires number and color recognition, no reading. The hardest part about it for the five year old is holding his cards, so we let him spread them out behind him and we all promise not to look. At one point I bought one of those kid-friendly card-holder thingies but I'm pretty sure someone used it to scoop kitty litter or disarm a pipe bomb because it doesn't work anymore.

Jenga is fun for everyone except for my Uncle Rocco with the DTs. It's a wooden block game where you build a tower and have to remove one block at a time without knocking over the whole thing. This game is quick and challenging, but not so hard that someone cries, except Uncle Rocco, but that's a different story.

Lately though, my five year old has a new game he wants to play that nobody else enjoys: he calls it Smell My Finger. I'm totally not making this up. My five year old son has figured out that he can touch his bare butthole and then chase his siblings around while shouting "SMELL MY FINGER!" Naturally, everyone runs in terror when he does this. He thinks it's hilarious. Sadly, the fact that Mommy laughs until she cries when he does this has given him the unspoken message that this game is funny. (Bad, bad Mommy.)

I'm just imagining the kinds of phone calls I'm going to be getting from his kindergarten teacher this fall. You know, on second thought, ​​maybe Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land aren't so bad after all...as long as we have him wash his hands first.

by Leslie Marinelli June 12, 2012 - 6:02 AM

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Comments (64)

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  • Report Wed Oct 10, 2012 - 6:23 pm
    I have 3 kids aged 14,24 and 30 all girls but so far i we don't have a problem raising them because they're so close to each other and even the eldest sister know how be with and do things with her 2 younger sisters. :)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 10:51 pm
    by  Kate
    Thank you for this....My 3 year old son currently likes to play "look at my junk!" okay so yes it's my fault I called his penis junk ONE time and now every chance he gets (thankfully he only does this when he is already naked) he shouts "look at my junk" and then I can't stop laughing
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  • 4 replies, Last reply by online casino on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 12:58 am
    @Kate: I would DIE laughing! It is a constant battle in my house to teach the kids when it is okay to whip out their junk and when they should reel it in.
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  • Report Wed Jul 25, 2012 - 5:09 pm
    @Kate: i really like its fabulous article.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Aug 13, 2012 - 4:59 pm
    @Kate: I love that he is terrorizing everyone. Is that so wrong? I think Satan made Chutes and Ladders.
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  • Report Wed Sep 12, 2012 - 2:05 pm
    @Search Engine Optimisation: Literally. Thanks for the heads up about your cheating tendencies. If we ever play a game together I'll have to bring my A-Game.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Aug 24, 2012 - 8:17 am
    Replica tiffany jewelry necklaces cardboard boxes you are absolute to discover the one that suits your current needsBridge jewellery in addition to Outfit Jewellery all give rise to the options a person help make because you produce a person's look.tiffany jewelry replica
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  • Report Wed Aug 8, 2012 - 5:51 pm
    There are two games I love that my five year old is finally old enough to play with the rest of us: Uno and Jenga.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 11:39 pm
    by  lhewitt
    Oh I cannot help it! I love that he is terrorizing everyone. Is that so wrong? I think Satan made Chutes and Ladders. I also think you can make up rules as you go and should cheat at any and all board games.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by los angeles fencing on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 12:57 am
    @lhewitt: Isn't he a hoot?! What a stinker. Literally. Thanks for the heads up about your cheating tendencies. If we ever play a game together I'll have to bring my A-Game.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jul 20, 2012 - 1:13 pm
    @Leslie Marinelli: aThis game is quick and challenging, but not so hard that someone cries, except Uncle Rocco, but that's a different story. Lately though, my five year old has a new game he wants to play that nobod
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  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:51 pm
    by  Ray Bilodeau
    Not to bash Milton Bradley, Hasbro, or other well-to-do "American" game companies, but in my house we have an assortment of "euro-games" that we play. Games Night is fun with myself and my 5 and 3 year old - we usually have it multiple times a week. Big hits are Qwirkle (colour and shape recognition) and Tsuro (follow a path/tile game). They're easy enough for my sons to play, but can be challenging/complex enough that I take them to grown up outings too.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by los angeles seo services on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 9:22 pm
    @Ray Bilodeau: Wow - Ray...you sound like an awesome dad! Can I send my kids to your house for game night? I'll make Bucket Head wash his hands first, I promise.
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  • Report Wed Jul 18, 2012 - 12:57 pm
    @Leslie Marinelli: used it to scoop kitty litter or disarm a pipe bomb because it doesn't work anymore.
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  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:46 pm
    by  Arnebya
    The 2 yr old is currently into "looka my butt. Look!" And yes, thanks for asking, his pants are indeed down when he shows his bare ass. Is he doing this at school? I am mortified at the thought but I can't stop laughing. He's still too little for anything more than the memory game (which he plays not by finding matches, but by finding a way to make the mismatches go together. See: he turns over a fish, then turns over a pizza. His sister says, "Aw, you didn't get a match." He takes both cards anyway saying, "Fish eat da peesa. Dey match." I loooooooove family game night and I love Jenga. After the boy is in bed, daddy, the girls and I will play Uno or Hangman (the original one w/the letter tiles WHAT) or You've Been Sentenced. After the girls have gone to bed, though, daddy and I play drunk Wii.
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  • 3 replies, Last reply by logo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 9:20 pm
    @Arnebya: Us too! My husband and I have killer bowling tournaments. We wait for the kids to go to bed though so we don't have to wait so long for our turn!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jul 13, 2012 - 12:24 pm
    @Leslie Marinelli: This game is quick and challenging, but not so hard that someone cries, except Uncle Rocco, but that's a different story.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jul 14, 2012 - 1:15 pm
    by  logo
    @Arnebya: s go together. See: he turns over a fish, then turns over a pizza. His sister says, "Aw, you didn't get a match." He takes both cards anyway saying, "Fish eat da peesa. Dey match." I loooooooove family game night and I love Je
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:46 pm
    by  Kathy V.
    See, the problem here is that Smell My Finger really is pretty funny. Yeah, maybe not so hygienic, and the school nurse might choose to have a little talk with you in the fall, but seriously. Comic gold.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Roulette francese on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:29 am
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 9:18 pm
    @Kathy V.: Totally agree. Too bad the poor thing gets completely mixed messages from his cackling mother and scolding father, but I suppose it is good that we have at least one level headed person in the house to keep us all alive.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jul 14, 2012 - 10:29 am
    @Leslie Marinelli: lots of time to kill, some earplugs to muffle the sounds of your preschooler crying, and a new bottle of hooch to dull the pain.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 7:32 pm
    I have always said real life is nothing like a happy Fisher Price commercial. I'm glad someone else agrees! Thanks for the laugh!
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Payday Loans on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:35 pm
    @Kathy at kissing the frog: Oh thank GOD I'm not the only one. What an impossible dream those commercials are. But that's their trick...make us feel inferior so we'll buy their games! If we play that game, maybe our family will be as great as that family on the TV and we'll finally stop playing smell my finger and take turns and not cry when we lose.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jul 11, 2012 - 2:57 pm
    @Leslie Marinelli: you build a tower and have to remove one block at a time without knocking over the whole thing. This game is quick and challenging, but not so hard that someone cries, except Uncle Rocco, but that's a different story.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Jun 18, 2012 - 8:23 pm
    by  Cynthia
    Great Post! "Go To" game in my family is Scrabble. Everyone has a set and we just had a tournament at the annual beach trip. My daughter took one to college with her. The kids play Scrabble Jr. My brother would play 'smell my finger' in the car, where there was no escape and your only recourse was to beat his ass in the middle seat. Once I got old enough, I would claim the entire 'backety back' of the station wagon. As the oldest, I could do that. And eventually, as the driver, I could always threaten to toss them out.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by los angeles criminal lawyer on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm
  • Report Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 9:33 am
    @Cynthia: look. At one point I bought one of those kid-friendly card-holder thingies but I'm pretty sure someone used it to scoop kitty litter or disarm a pipe bomb because it doesn't work anymore.
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  • Report Tue Jul 10, 2012 - 2:05 pm
    @Cynthia: The hardest part about it for the five year old is holding his cards, so we let him spread them out behind him and we all promise not to look. At one point I bought one of those kid-friendly card-holder thingies but I'm pretty sure someone used it to scoop kitty litter or disarm a pipe bomb because it doesn't work anymore.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jun 30, 2012 - 5:46 pm
    Mountain card and have to go all the way back to the beginning. It's torture. Never play either of these games unless you have lots of time to kill, some earplugs to muffle the sounds of your preschooler crying, and a new bottle of hooch to dull the pain.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Mon Jun 25, 2012 - 1:35 pm
    That made me sad. Who plays a virtual card game? Well, I guess lots of people to but it still didn't seem right.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jun 16, 2012 - 9:15 pm
    We've got a lot of "Smell My Finger" going on over here too. We also like to play Doggie Doo. All ages can appreciate it. I think your family sounds like the kind of family who would enjoy Doggie Doo. You can see a video of it in action here: http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2011/12/doggie-doo.html
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by SEO Florida on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm
  • Report Mon Jun 18, 2012 - 2:43 pm
    @Jen at PIWTPITT.com: At one point I bought one of those kid-friendly card-holder thingies but I'm pretty sure someone used it to scoop kitty litter or disarm a pipe bomb because it doesn't work anymore.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sun Jun 17, 2012 - 3:11 pm
    The moment I read Smell My Finger -- a smell popped into my nose. We had a finger-smeller too. But he was much more in the closet about it. I would catch him sniffing away at odd moments. Good news is that he grew out of it. And saw my daughter playing Ono on her iPad. That made me sad. Who plays a virtual card game? Well, I guess lots of people to but it still didn't seem right. And one last FYI. We've had lots of success with Yahtzee on Family Game Night. When your 5 year old starts to add that's a good one.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 10:10 pm
    Ours often end in tears, but in all fairness, usually they are mine. RushHour by ThinkFun is fine, except that the kids make me play the hardest level and when I'm sweating to figure it out and they are mocking me I tend to start screaming MOMMY IS TOTALLY NOT STUPID! because Good God I am not skilled at spatial relations. Kids Mastermind is fine, too, except for when one of us actually guess the right pattern right away so my 5yo lies to us that we didn't and we use every single game piece until I figure out that she's a lying piece of...Mastermind. But at least I usually never smell anyone's colon. Which is a plus.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm
  • Report Sat Jun 16, 2012 - 6:22 pm
    @Kim at Let Me Start By Saying: I LOVE RushHour! Sadly, Bucket Head has been playing with all the little cars like "little cars" instead of irreplaceable game pieces, and now they all smell a little like butthole. I'll just play it on my phone, thanks.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Sat Jun 16, 2012 - 5:50 pm
    by  SEO
    out that he can touch his bare butthole and then chase his siblings around while shouting "SMELL MY FINGER!" Naturally, everyone
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 7:13 pm
    by  Kate
    Oh thats hilarious. I like to play "smell my finger" with my husband but it's never buthole. I mean occasionally I may have just changed a diaper but usually it's an onion or something.
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  • 3 replies, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:32 pm
    @Kate: OH MY GOD! Coffee-spew.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 10:13 pm
    by  Arnebya
    @Kate: Um, Kate, my mind SO DID NOT GO TO ONION OR SOMETHING. Well, it did go to "or something", but...I literally have tears right now.
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  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 6:02 pm
    @Arnebya: ME TOO! My mind just stopped functioning after "I like to play 'smell my finger' with my husband..." I can't stop laughing! Kate is awesome.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jun 14, 2012 - 4:56 am
    by  Suniverse
    I actually loved Chutes and Ladders and CandyLand, but only when I won. Hmm . . . I'm not sure what that says about me. I will NOT smell a finger.
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm
  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 6:00 pm
    @Suniverse: You're a winner, that's what that says...or a vicious cheater with good hygiene practices.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jun 14, 2012 - 11:48 pm
    by  Crista
    Our city sends flyers home in the fall announcing that a certain date will be city-wide Family Game Night. I'm certainly going to hell, but I've managed to send the kids to their friends' houses on that night for YEARS while I lay on the couch and read British romance novels. (I also loathe Chutes and Ladders.)
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm
  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 5:59 pm
    @Crista: You are brilliant, Crista. Also, see you in hell! I'll bring the nachos.
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  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 6:12 am
    by  Anna
    Hahaha - I cannot stop laughing about "smell my finger" - I guess I would be bad mommy on this one too :) It would help if your son wasn't so cute! Sigh...I hate playing those board games as well but Uno is one I can handle and actually do enjoy. Candy Land - yes, bored to tears. Awesome, funny post!
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  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm
  • Report Fri Jun 15, 2012 - 5:59 pm
    @Anna: Thanks Anna!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jun 14, 2012 - 3:27 pm
    by  Music
    unless you have lots of time to kill, some earplugs to muffle the sounds of your preschooler crying, and a new bottle of hooch to dull the pain.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 9:41 pm
    by  Robin
    You should try playing "where is sock monkey?". Seriously with the things you do to your elf on the shelf, this game should be right up your alley! We love it...the little ones through the adults. We got ours off Amazon.
    Reply Delete
  • 3 replies, Last reply by Robin on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 8:07 am
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 5:04 pm
    @Robin: Never heard of that one, Robin! I'm going to check it out. Thanks! Oh, and I'm already dreaming of what to do with Dobbie this year. Mwhahahaha!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 5:07 pm
    @Robin: Robin - just checked out that game on Amazon - it looks AWESOME. Put two in my cart. Thanks!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Thu Jun 14, 2012 - 8:07 am
    by  Robin
    @Leslie Marinelli: You're welcome! And I am looking forward to hearing about Dobbie's new adventure this coming Christmas!! Please keep me posted on the sick and twisted things you all do to that poor monkey!! (hee, hee!)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 11:59 am
    by  Kris
    Hahahahahahah reminds me of my dad chasing the kids around telling them to pull his finger then of course he farts... He even got Thing 3 to start doing it... only Thing 3 will aim it like a gun and and tell you "Gotcha" and run away giggling. On another note the other game the Spawn like to play is the UNO spitto game... there's a machine that spits out the cards... cracks me up!
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Kris on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 5:03 pm
    @Kris: Oooh, I've never tried that version of the Uno OR the pull my finger gun. Now I have two new items for my Life List! THANKS! :)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 9:14 pm
    by  Kris
    @Leslie Marinelli: No Problem! The other game the boys like to play is Operation... but (boys being Boys) they don't play the game version...Thing one bought one of those AB shocker thingys at a garage sale... and they take turns zapping each other... Then they come running over and show me..."Look mom watch this!!!!" as their eyebrows start doing the "Rock stare" repeatedly. I am so glad I have boys.... especially when they come up with stuff like that... ha ha ha.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 5:37 am
    by  Arieloser
    What's sad is.... "Smell My Finger" is something my DAD would do....
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 5:02 pm
    @Arieloser: Hahaha! Sounds like you have a pretty funny Dad!
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 7:16 pm
    I love both those games! I guess I'm just a little kid at heart.
    Reply Delete
  • 2 replies, Last reply by Kristen on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 4:14 am
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:35 pm
    @Janie Emaus: And by both those games, I assume you mean Smell My Finger and Jenga, right?
    Reply Delete
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 4:14 am
    by  Kristen
    @Leslie Marinelli: oh crap, this is my FAVORITE part of the whole post. Loved the article, but I love this even more.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 10:41 pm
    by  Mere
    When I was growing up with my numerous siblings, our house had a carpeted, sunken living room -- where we made up a game called Floor Hockey. Floor Hockey consisted of crawling around on your hands and knees, trying to swat a Nerf ball at the little step between the living room and the rest of the house. Dad, of course -- being the biggest -- always played goalie, trying to stop the ball from hitting the step, but every time we scored, we triumphed in our win against a "grown-up." Floor Hockey was a lot of fun... until one day someone asked Dad why all his children had rug-burn on their knees. Needless to say, Floor Hockey was immediately discontinued and replaced by Uno.
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 1:00 am
  • Report Wed Jun 13, 2012 - 1:00 am
    @Mere: Oh my GAW! Mere, you just made me cackle. CACKLE, I say. That sounds like a super fun game and I love that Dad played too! How sad that it had to end, but totally understandable. :( At least Uno is fun. Maybe not rug-burn fun, but still...good enough.
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 7:44 pm
    by  Jane
    Soooo funny!!!!
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:33 pm
    @Jane: Thanks Jane! :)
    Reply Delete
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:08 pm
    by  Catherine
    My kids use one of those clear plastic shoe size bins for holding cards. If you turn it upside down it has a lip on it that holds the cards perfectly. Love family game night! (and also despise Chutes and Ladders!)
    Reply Delete
  • 1 reply, Last reply by Leslie Marinelli on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm
  • Report Tue Jun 12, 2012 - 8:33 pm
    @Catherine: BRILLIANT!!! I will have to try that trick ASAP! Thanks Catherine!
    Reply Delete

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