Bored Games!

Hedbanz

Our nine-year old, Julia, and I have an inside joke that she loves to bring up when we are needing to reconnect.  It has to do with the headache-inducing board game “Hedbanz” (yes, that is actually how it is spelled!).  It revolves around the question, “What Am I?” and is the least enjoyable game I have ever had the pleasure of playing with my kids!

I remember the first time we played it.  I was very enthusiastic because I love board games.  I even grew up with my wonderful aunt, Jana Dabney, always introducing our family to new games during the holidays and it became a tradition that I now enjoy with my own family.

And then…Hedbanz.  I am not sure why I dislike this game so much, but the funniest thing has happened because of my disdain for it.  Julia has grown to love it even more!  I still play it with her sometimes and last night after dinner she got that look in her eye and said, “Dad, let’s play [big dramatic pause] THE GAME!”

I told her there was no way I was going to play it.

“I can’t stand that game,” I said.

She was resolute and in no time at all was back at the dinner table and putting the game pieces together for us.

We played and I lost nearly every round.  However, I realize more important things can happen when you are playing a game with your kids.  I watched my little girl laugh until she nearly cried as I fumbled with the questions and the answers, the clues and the rules of the game.  The more I grumbled about the game, the more she laughed.  I think that she won the games but I won the memory.

By the time we said our goodnights, I had to admit to myself that Hedbanz isn’t really all that terrible after all.  Just don’t tell Julia…

‘What’s In A Name?’ – Thursday Stories with Baby Frederico!

Baby Frederico and his Papa loved to play board games. After dinner, they would often choose a game from the loft in Papa’s room and sit in the living room to play. Papa would turn on some of his favorite music while Baby Frederico carefully chose a game board and placed its colorful pieces on their appropriate places.

After a short and funny game of Rush Hour, Papa surprised Baby Frederico with a game that he had first learned to play when he was small. It was called ‘Big Boggle’ and included a large clear box with little squares at its base that included white cubes covered with letters of the alphabet. Papa said it was a game to find as many words within those cubes before the time ran out (it reminded Baby Frederico of an old-fashioned version of Words with Friends!).

As they played, Baby Frederico had an idea of his own. He began to wonder how many words he could make from his own name:

B-A-B-Y F-R-E-D-E-R-I-C-O

How many can you find?

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The Family That Scrabbles Together…

Family

I had one of those snapshot-style, great moment-in-time experiences last night with our 14-year old and my 83-year old grandparents. Our teenager had convinced the three of us to play a board game, Scrabble, with her and we were gathered around the table for the big event.

Scrabble was the idea of an architect, Alfred Mosher Butts, and was trademarked in 1948.  Today, one hundred million sets have been sold worldwide (between one and two million are sold each year in North America alone); it is estimated that one in every three American homes owns the game in some form; and there are more than 120,000 words “that may be used in their scoring arsenal.”

The funny thing about it, however, is that my grandparents, in all their 83 years, had never, ever played it! This was to be their very first run at such a venerable old game of wordplay…and boy was I lucky to be there for it. It was beyond hilarious. Here are just a few things that were said during the game:

– (said my grandfather to no one in particular) This game will eat your lunch.

– (said my grandmother to my grandfather) Do you want to do that one? (said my grandfather to my grandmother) Yes ma’am!

– (said by my grandfather about my grandmother) She took so long I can’t remember the great word I was going to play!

– (said to my grandmother and teenager) If you’d let me choose 7 letters, I could whip this game.

– (said to all of us, several times) Whose turn is it?

– (said to my grandmother, several times) You are taking entirely too long.

– (said to no one in particular) Wish I could win.

– (said to himself) Let’s make the rules up as we go.

– (said to all of us, just once) I threw the blank ones back because I thought they were duds.

– (said to me nearly every time) Is it my turn already?

– (said to my teenager several times about the letter m) You can’t see it, but that’s a w!

Tears of laughter reigned through most of the game, which lasted just about an hour.  The memory, however?  That will last much longer.  Therefore, thank you Scrabble.