Fish Fish and Remembering
November 10th, 2011
Have you ever tried to play an organized game with a three-year-old? Not a game of “let’s make fruit and fish soup in the play kitchen while singing songs and wearing a fireman’s hat.” That’s easy. I’m talking about an actual game with actual rules. Like Go Fish, for example.
Hercules, eat your heart out. Your challenges got nothing on this one.
I bought Miss Mouse a Disney Princess Go Fish deck, mostly for the pictures. A few days ago, Josh managed to get her to hold still long enough to (sort of) learn how to play. And now she wants to play “Fish Fish” all the time. She and Josh seem to do really well at it. I see them perched on the couch studying their cards and hear her chirp “Do you have any Belles, daddy?“
When I try to play with her, I feel like my head is going to explode. She fidgets and sits on her cards, scattering them everywhere. She insists on asking for cards she doesn’t have. She gets mad when I get a pair. It makes me crazy.
I suspect that the problem is more on my end than hers. She’s three. And me? I’m incredibly competitive and rule-oriented when it comes to games. And that makes it hard for me to have the patience to play with her. Josh, on the other hand, is completely laid back about games (which is why he refuses to play them with me) and is happy to go with the flow.
I think this also explains why he is the only one who can teach her things like the rules to Go Fish. I want her to listen carefully as I explain the rules, then follow them. Ha. She senses my need for order and responds with chaos. For Josh, she listens.
The same problem occurs when I try to play “Memory” with her. You know, the game where you put a bunch of pairs of cards face down then flip them over two at a time, trying to remember where the matches are. She is actually incredibly good at it. It’s eerie. She can be only half paying attention but when you say — “Now, where was the other tiger?” — she instantly picks it out…
…when she’s playing with Josh. When she’s playing with me, she starts frenetically overturning cards, blatantly disregarding the rule that you can only turn over two at a time. Oh, the pain.