Saturday, March 9, 2013

Monopoly '13

Let me preface by saying that on Christmas night in 1984 there was a game of Trivial Pursuit played in my parents' living room.  Triv, as we called it, was the hot new game.  Useless trivial knowledge would pay off in spades.  

So, we had 3 teams:  my Dad & Aunt Gert---both of whom were educated 50-somethings with all the life experience/knowledge that comes with being 50-something.  My brother, Michael, his then-fiancee & my cousin, Stephanie--all of them in their 20s with advanced degrees.  The 3rd team was comprised of my brother Todd & myself.  Todd was a college drop out & I hadn't graduated high school yet.   

Long story short, Todd & I won.  Todd is just naturally smart & incredibly well-read & me, I am nothing if not a font of useless trivial knowledge.  Accusations of cheating were thrown down, feelings were hurt & to this day, my brother, Michael , will not play Triv. 

Twenty eight years later, we're not really allowed to talk about "the game" when my brothers & I are together.  Todd & I don't gloat, but really---college drop out & non diploma having 17 year old?  We were the USA playing Russia in 1980 here.

This leads us to today's Monopoly game.  We had THE Monopoly game in my house today. Sunshine has been obsessed with Monopoly since both Hunter & I have it on our phones as well as on my Kindle.  So, when I found it at a consignment sale for $5 I figured it was a no brainer to get it.

We started playing this afternoon & I knew there would be problems as Sunshine & I argued over who got to be the dog.  I am ALWAYS the dog in Monopoly as it looks like Smitty.  So, I gave in & let her be the dog.

My strategy (or strategery if you're a Bush Republican) is the same----get the cheap rents & stick hotels on them early but don't drain your funds to do so.  Hunter isn't fun as he won't make deals & my possibly low point came when I offered Sunshine  $250 for Connecticut Ave so I could start building.  Hunter warned her about selling to me.  He told her bad things would happen.  I didn't press the matter too much but may have waved the money about.  

She sold Connecticut Avenue for $250.  And that's when I started building.  Hotels.  

When she landed on Vermont Ave in the next round & owed me $600 that she didn't have I felt bad because tears were starting & the "babbun" *  was appearing.  We helped her mortgage her properties & pay me.  She was left with about $45.

Things got hinky when she "found" $500 on the floor under the table.  She won the Free Parking money on one turn so maybe that's what it was.  It's too soon to call shenanigans on her hiding $500 on the floor.  Knowing of my habit of changing the rules mid-game as a child, I wouldn't put it past her but it's really not in her character.

Then Hunter landed on Baltic Ave & owed me $450.  He had a lot of properties but no cash to build upon them so when he landed on Connecticut Ave in his next turn he was too frustrated to mortgage everything & quit.   

Long story short, I won.  Handily. Sunshine held up her right hand in the "L" for loser gesture & put it to her forehead.  I felt bad & reassured her that she beat her father & that when I was little my father would NEVER let us kids win.  If we won a game against him it was because we truly beat him fair & square.  And I reminded her that she out lasted her father.  

She had more fun afterward setting up the houses & pretending the dog lived in them.  

As for Hunter, I fear that he will never play Monopoly against me again.  Ever.  And possibly not even on a team with me.

* "babbun" (or however you spell it) is a French-Canadian expression for pouting or in proper French, a moue.  My Mom's first language is French, the Canadian version--Southern Quebec to be exact,  which is peppered with words not found in most French-English dictionaries.  When I was little, sticking out your lower lip in a pout was known as "making a babbun"  

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Being a third grader in our school opens a lot of doors for kids.  Fourth grade opens even more.  Third graders are able to test to be on the Science Team.  Fourth graders can join Chorus, Science Team, Math Team, Broadcast Club, just to name a few.

Sunshine is in her second year of Drama Kids (not a school activity per se, but it is held at school) & loves it.   So, when she started third grade we discussed which activities would open up to her this school year.

She wanted no part of it.  Didn't want to discuss it.  Even when her fourth grade friends participated in these activities; they didn't appeal to her.

Until last week.

She came home from Drama last Friday with a permission slip that she told me to sign.  Seriously, I went through her folder & she said "Just sign it"  It was a permission slip for her to stay late on Monday to test for the Science Team.

I smiled, told her that I would gladly sign it & how excited I was that she wanted to test for Science Team.

Then the anxiety set in.   What if she didn't make it? She REALLY wanted this.  How would she handle the rejection?

So, Monday came & went.  She told me they had to take a 70 question test & finish in less than an hour.  And that some of the material on the test was stuff she hadn't covered in school yet.

Anxiety went into overdrive.  "Please let her make the team!" I'd pray.

Thursday afternoon she came down the path & pulled out a little gold ribbon from her teacher congratulating her on making the Science Team.

People, I literally screamed, clapped my hands like a nut job & jumped up & down,    Sunshine did too!

A phone call from the SuperBookatarian came later in the afternoon on something non-Science Team related & I learned just how competitive it was for third graders to make the team.    Teachers who are FB friends replied to my Braggy McBraggerson FB status of Sunshine making the team that it's like the Iron Bowl of the Science Olympiads.   And oh, LaurieC, you are entering some intense parental competition!

So, I'm starting my week with a big brag on my sweet, "wicked smaht" girl.  Daddy & I are SO very proud of you!