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  • Writer's picture Jana

The Board Game Resurrected and a Most Unexpected Outcome. Coronavirus Update - Day 123 and Counting

Being as it was too hot to go outside again today, we had to find a way to occupy ourselves inside for a long day. I summoned the courage to suggest a board game. Garin jumped on the idea and immediately pulled Catan out of the cabinet. I took a deep breath and tried not to show my lack of enthusiasm. 

Catan is a fairly long and complex game, just what Garin loves. Given that I have only played it once, I was not relishing the notion of taking that challenge on today. As I have written about in previous posts, we have had some unpleasant experiences over the past few months, related to playing board games. I am sure we are not the only family in the world with board game nightmare stories, but I just wasn't in the mood for another tale today. 

I was very upfront and clear about my expectations of how things were going to go before we started: no whining, no fighting, and no sulking if you lose. Also, since it was just Catherine, Garin, and myself playing, I made it clear to Catherine, in no uncertain terms, that Garin would be winning the game, as he always does. Given that, I implored her not to be disappointed when the game was over and she was not the winner. Although she looked a bit downtrodden to hear that news, she reluctantly nodded her head in agreement and we started the game.

It went much better than last time we played Catan. I understood the rules better, so I wasn't as lost and was able to focus on strategy a bit more. Although, I still had no illusions that I would be Garin. The last time I beat him at a game was when he was two. I have long since accepted my lot in life and no longer feel disappointed when I don't win. 

 The disagreements were small and kept to a minimum. There wasn't too much whining or moaning as we moved through the game, although Catherine couldn't help herself at certain junctures when she was just having plain bad luck with every roll of the dice. Garin got to gloating a few times, as he always does, and I quickly reminded him that such behavior was not good sportsmanship. We all know that he always wins, but he doesn't have to add insult to injury by gloating about it. 

Here comes the twist: I won! That's right, I won! No one ever beats Garin at anything, but today I did. Not only that, but it was only my second time playing a rather complicated game, so I was pretty proud of myself, in case you hadn't picked up on that. 

Garin looked a bit shell-shocked when I announced it, but after the shock wore off, he was a good sport about it. When you win every game you ever play, I can imagine how shocking it must be to lose, especially to your mom. But kudos to him for being a gentleman about it. I was proud of him. 

Catherine, on the other hand, broke her promise and started moaning and whining when I announced that I had won. I tried to sell her on the fact that at least Garin hadn't won, for once, but she wasn't having any of it. I explained the concept of Divide and Conquer to her (we divided and conquered Garin, which was admirable)but again, she wasn't buying what I was selling. She wanted to pout. We let her pout. Even Garn didn't get mad at her for pouting, which is unheard of. I think he was still so shocked I beat him that he didn't have the presence of mind to get frustrated with her.  

Inside, I was doing a happy dance.  I've still got it! I beat Garin at a board game! You go girl!

Laying out the ground rules for proper behavior while playing a board game.

Garin, being his usual smug self in the middle of the game. He gets so excited about his strategies while playing, that he stands up for much of the game.

Miles took my board pieces and turned them into a miniature building game for himself.

Catherine whining and moaning after her loss.

Graham and Miles set up an intricate Magna-tile and stuffed animal game called "Stuffyland," that fully occupied them while we played Catan, and for much of the day afterward. When they are together, their imaginations are boundless.

In the storyline, all the animals got a special animal flu and needed to be taken care of. This is Graham's sloth caring for Miles' seal, all bundled up in Miles' baby blanket.

The boys also cared for the animals. At one point I heard Graham discussing a potential vaccine they were trying to create for the virus the animals had contracted. Uh-Oh! I think they have been locked in the house too long hearing about COVID 19. I am surprised they didn't ask to consult with Dr. Fauci.

We took a little break from our real and imaginary games to bake these Brown Butter and Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies.

Dinner: Spaghetti with Zucchini, Lemon Zest and Fresh Basil.

Another day at 102! As I begin writing this at 8:30 it is still 84 outside! Too hot for my taste.

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