Wednesday, November 4

Played for a Joker

Walking into our dining room is like leaving Barbados and entering into Antarctica. A weird configuration of walls and ceilings causes it to be at least 20 degrees colder than in our family room. Because I am a wuss, I frequently refuse to make the trek through the dining room and into the play room. When it became apparent that Alexis needed some one-on-one time last night, I pondered freezing my face off to go look for a board game, but then I figured I would try to get Mr. Husband to go fetch a game for me. When that mission failed (curses!), I remembered that there was a deck of cards in the drawer, easy accessible from lovely Barbados.

I had never tried to play cards with the kid before, so I figured Go Fish was a good place to start. After wowing her with my mad shuffling skills (seriously, I wish someone went, "Ooooooh!" every time I performed a simple task), I started explaining a watered-down version of the rules. I assumed the game was going to quickly morph into 52 Card Pick-up, but somehow Alexis actually managed to understand the premise.

We made it through about five rounds of perfectly scripted Go Fish. She would ask for a card, I would send her fishing. She would accidentally show me her cards, I would ask for what I needed, and she would hand it over. (P.S. I show no mercy, not even to three-year old kids. Don't show me your cards if you don't want me to cheat, yo.)

Perhaps it was because she initially played the game correctly. Perhaps it was because I'm a control freak. Perhaps it was because I'm a jerk. Regardless, when suddenly the kid stopped playing the game "right," I started to develop a nervous twitch.

"Ask me for a seven," she said.

Twitch. "What if I don't want a seven?" I replied. Twitch.

"Ask. me. for. a. seven." Apparently freedom of choice was voted out in Go Fish World during the elections yesterday.

"Fine," I replied. "Do you have any sevens?" Twitch.

She flippantly tossed the seven at me, simultaneously yelling, "GOOOOO FISH!" Double insult.

Twitch. "OK, your turn to ask me for a card," I said as I grabbed another card.

Alexis looked down at the pond of cards and start flipping them, one at a time. "Look! I found an eight! I have a match!!!!!" (Yes, she really does speak with that many exclamation points. It's very endearing, in a I'd Like To Show You Where to Shove that Extra Punctuation sort of way.)

"And another match!!!!!!"


And so on.

In a matter of minutes, she sat empty-handed while I had more cards than even seems possible in a so-called friendly game of Go Fish.

I thought I was slick doing a little cheating here and there, but in retrospect, I think I totally got played by a 3-year old. Wonder where she learned that whole Play Dumb routine?



  1. Gotta watch those toddlers...I hear they are card sharks;P

  2. she's smarter than a fifth grader ... and an adult ;-)

  3. My mom used to play Candy Land with me when I was about the same age as Alexis, hoping to teach me that I can't always win she played fair too. Only I had incredible luck with Candy Land. Eventually she quit playing with me because she was tired of losing.

  4. Hehehe. Such a smart cookie!

  5. I love that she resorted to cheating. Awesome. Games in your home are going to be interesting over the next few years.

  6. Anonymous8:47 AM

    You totally got played. I can't wait until Peanut can play board games! Right up until he can beat me. And then he has to only play with Dad.

    /begin wiseass enginneer commments
    Also, your dining room? Does it have a ceiling fan way way way up there? Heat goes up. Turn on fan. Heat comes down. Magics! =D
    /end wiseass engineer comments
    (I plead dynamic ignorance if this doesn't work. I don't like things that move. Like air.)

  7. This is about as good as my Giggles stacking the deck in Candy land when she was that age. Love this!

  8. Crazy that I read this today!! On Monday I introduced Dylan to Go Fish, and now we must play it at least twice a day. We so often underestimate our kids, huh? I really didn't think he would get it, but he is. He can't hold all the cards up, though, so he lays them on the ground, which makes it hard not to cheat!

  9. So how many pennies did she take you for?

  10. You're better than I am... I tried to play some games with Sam but she gets mean. If you have Jenga, a truckload of patience and a strong sense of humor break it out and hold on to your butt.

    You betcha!


  11. You should teach her how to play War. I get schooled each and every time. Gracie whips the cards away before I even saw what she had and then all is lost is her ginormous pile of cards.