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I've Been Thinking: Toying with a fun family game

A kicking and screaming good time

Experts tell us that families should spend time together. This was a recent together time with some of my family.

“Mom, can you, me and Grandma play this board game, please?” my 9-year-old granddaughter Megan pleaded. My daughter Cathy agreed, cut the cellophane and opened the box of the game I’d just bought Megan for her birthday. Megan loves to play games and, honestly, so do I.

“Only two people can play,” Megan sadly assumed, seeing only two playing pieces once the box was opened. I read the instructions. “Megan, it’s a two-team game,” I told her. “That’s why there are only two playing pieces.”

To make two equal teams we needed another player. My daughter called to my 13-year-old grandson Matthew, who was sitting at the computer in the dining room.

“Matthew, come and play this game with us.”

“I’m busy, Mom,” he called back.

“Come on, Matt. We need another player,” Cathy insisted.

“I don’t want to Mom,” he answered, clearly annoyed. “That’s a baby game.”

“Really,” I chimed in, trying to be funny, “then why am I playing?” No one laughed.

“Matt, you’ve been on the computer long enough. Now get in here right now!” Cathy demanded angrily.

Matt stomped into the kitchen, flopped down on a chair and folded his arms over his chest.

The game began. It went well until my granddaughter and I were instructed to spell the word watermelon backward taking turns saying the letters one at a time. She said “n”; I said “e.” (I’m not a great backward speller.) We scored no points. She gave me a sour look. The rest of us laughed, even Matthew.

A few minutes later, Matt told his sister, “Megan, stop kicking me under the table.” Megan ignored him. A minute went by. “Megan, quit kicking me!” he demanded again.

“I’m not kicking you,” Megan replied innocently.

“Yes, you are. Mom, tell her to stop.” Matt demanded.

My daughter lost her patience and insisted, “Megan, stop it!”

Megan whined, “I’m not kicking him!”

I jumped into the fray. “Megan, let’s change chairs.” (She wouldn’t be able to kick him from my chair.) She didn’t answer and didn’t move, at least not any part of her body we could see.

“Megan,” Matthew again shouted at her, “Stop it!” He was really angry.

Cathy thundered back at him, “That’s no way to talk to your sister! Tell her you’re sorry.”

Matthew, furious, shouted at Megan, “I’m not sorry because you are still kicking me.”

Megan ran out of the room crying. Cathy turned to Matthew screaming, “See what you’ve done.”

Scowling at her, he pushed back on his chair and, grumbling, loudly stomped back to the computer. Back at the table, Cathy continued to shout after both kids while I couldn’t help laughing as I read what was written in huge bold letters on the cover of the game box as we put the game away.

A Fun Family Game.

Carol Kloskowski is a resident of Elburn. Feedback on this column can be sent to

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