Wednesday, 18 May 2011

6 + 6 = 4 and Other Nonsense

At what age do we lose our imagination and nestle comfortably amongst routines and scripted outcomes?

On Sunday afternoon, as I was finishing up the dishes, Avery asked if I would play a game with him.

 A game, you ask? Well of course I would love to play a game with you!  How about Sequence, Monopoly, or Sorry?  For those of you who don't know me well or haven't had the opportunity to play a game with me, I LOVE boardgames! But, I can be a tad bit competetitive and have been known to throw the odd temper tantrum (or dice) when it looks like all hope is lost.  Before you pass judgement, I want you to ask yourself what would you do when oh, let's say that your devious husband has just obliterated your defenses in Canada and is about to wage a war of mass destruction in North America taking both you and one of his sweet, innocent offspring out of the game entirely?  Really?  What happened to chivalry?  Ah, but this is a whole other story and one best left to when I can put some distance between myself and that unpleasant evening. 

Anyhoo, so Avery replies "No, no, mom!  I have made a game and it is already set up."

GASP! I can feel every muscle in my body tense.

 A game that my munchkin of terror has created? Will it make sense?  How do  I win?  Is this a game of chance, a game of strategy, or a combination of both?  Oh sweet sugarsticks, what am I to do?!

Then I see his pleading face and remember that I am his mama, and in eleven short years he will be off creating his own life, while I am left poring over old blog posts and yearning to relive each precious moment we shared.   Can you say over-the-top?

Could you say "No" to this face?
Me: "Sure, that would be fun.  What is the game called?"
Avery: "Room of Death."
Me: "Of course it is."

Now remember when I said I am competitive?  Well, I am also a wee bit obsessive compulsive.  So, when Avery was explaining how the game is played, I videotaped him just in case a point of discrepancy arose and we would need to consult the rule book.   You are probably asking yourself at this moment if I am for real. Sorry folks, I really am that crazy!

Unfortunately, I was unable to upload this video for reasons beyond my comprehension so I will just give you an outline of the rules:

1. Here is the game board, or the game chair if you are particular.  Avery has to move your man through this labrynth of nonsense because, trust me, you would get lost.

2.  At each pit stop in the game, you must battle the monster that lurks there.  The highest roll wins and the loser must pay the winner $500.

3.  If you roll two 6's then you move four spaces.  The teacher in me did check that he knew in fact that  6 + 6 = 12, but I guess in the Room of Death 6 + 6 = 4.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Hence my apprehension to play.

4. A pack of ninjas can drop by at anytime and you have to fight them.

5. You are not given a set amount of money to begin with, and you can "steal" some from the bank at anytime.  He really is drawn towards acts of delinquency.  Should I be concerned?

6.  Basically, the game only ends when Avery decides he has had enough, or if you roll "exactly" a two when  you are at the end of the footstool.

Got it? Let's play!

It was interesting to note that when we asked the other kids if they would like to join us, Zoe quickly brushed us off with the look that screamed: "You guys are such losers!", and Elliot decided just to watch at first.  He was intrigued by the game, but you could tell he needed to see how it was played before he would commit.  

Where is your sense of adventure?

After a few rounds, Elliot did join us, but quickly left again after losing a battle against the dinosaur, where he was only allowed to roll two die and the dinosaur three.  Of course, the winner of the battle was the one with the highest total, and Elliot, seeing the bias in this situation, left screaming "the game is rigged!".

Going back to my earlier question, why was it so hard, or impossible in Zoe's case, to play this game?  Why is it that the older we get, the less comfortable we become with situations where we have no control? It was interesting to watch Elliot teetering between finding nonsensical games compelling and having an overriding need for consistency and reasoning.  It saddens me to think that this stage of make-believe has already ended for Zoe and that for Elliot it is quickly coming to a close.  But it is even more devastating to think that I can no longer remember all the games or the many worlds of make-believe that they created.  I can only hope that like this past Sunday, I ignored my adult sensibility and became lost in a world where 6 + 6 = 4.


  1. Krista, thank you!
    How quickly some of us lose sight of the child in us. We forget the feeling of being a child and all that can encompass. Please keep writing, I truly enjoy your insight!!

  2. Don't worry Krista...the child in you comes you age. And what a wonderful place to be. It's probably God's way of helping us live after seeing all the bad stuff and were just too busy to really think about when we were raising our children.

  3. Tell Avery I love this game, I think my favorite part is that Ninjas can just show up whenever. Also totally awesome that you video taped the rules. Kids are shifty you know :P

    I'm loving the blog, if you don't have me laughing out loud, for sure I'm grinning by the time I'm done reading a post :)