Well, Aleita is officially on her way to becoming a little mini-me. Like her momma, she is developing a strong penchant for playing games. I just realize how odd this sentence sounds - - I don't mean that she is learning to mess with people's heads (but I will be oh-so-proud once that day arrives, of course,) but I actually mean that she, like me, is a game player - - of the board and card variety.
When I was a child, even from a young age, I loved to play games. My brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandparent's house in the spring and the fall when we were little because my parents are farmers, and they took care of us while they were planting or harvesting. My grandmother was a "game player" too. I would say that she indulged me by playing games one after another with me, but I think she enjoyed it just as much as I did. By the time I was six or seven, I could play King's Corners, Canasta, Spit on Your Neighbor, and a few Poker varietals, such as Royal Rummy and Pokeno. Of course, we also knew the standards, like Yahtzee, Uno, Sorry, Rummikub, Rummy, and Monopoly. Even today, it is pretty typical to drop by our house on a Friday or Saturday night and find us playing cards or a game with friends - - one of our latest game obsessions is "Blokus."
Aleita is definitely following right in my footsteps. She has a whole stash of games in the living room, and as soon as she gets home from school each day, she digs one of them out. She prefers it when we play with her, of course, but if she can't find a willing opponent, she will play against herself. Her latest favorites are Trouble, Chutes and Ladders, Uno, Candyland, Spiderman Yahtzee and Memory.
And like me as a child, Aleita has learned that there are ways to up your odds of winning when playing a game. Specifically, she has learned how to cheat.
I was actually something of a game-playing prodigy....by the time I was 5, I had become rather adept at stacking the Uno deck in my favor. As soon as the bus would drop me off from my half day at Kindergarten, I would run in the house and hope that my dad hadn't gotten home for lunch before me. If the coast was clear, I would set to work getting our noontime Uno game ready. I always thought I was so clever that he never figured out how I managed to end up with all the "Draw Fours" in my hand during that first game.
Aleita hasn't learned deck-stacking in Uno just yet, but she has learned how to place the Memory cards so that she cleans up on matches before you even have a chance to blink. Last night, she asked me to play Memory with her. I told her to set it up, and when I finished what I was doing, I would play. It didn't take long once play started to figure out that I was going to lose that game.
I didn't even call her on her wily ways. Dare I say I was just a little bit proud?