Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh, my little robber baron



(Hasbro Co.)

As a parent, my job is to raise my child to become the best person he can be.

Impart knowledge. Share wisdom. Teach him to take on the world and kick a little you-know-what along the way.

Take no prisoners. You know, but in a nice way, so everyone doesn’t hate you and want to spit in your eye and share your most intimate details on YouTube.

Sure. It sounds great on paper.

But what happens when the student becomes the teacher? Yeah.

That’s the real kick in the you-know-what.

***

Monopoly. The Every Man’s chance to be Donald Trump. But with better hair and absolutely zero chance to meet Miss America.

This was my 6-year-old son’s first foray into the world of real estate and high finance and wheeling and dealing.

But come on. He’s 6. I figured he would be bored and screaming to play Angry Birds in about - oh, let’s say - two minutes.

Five tops.

And that’s after playing rock, paper, scissors for the battleship.

After all, it is a lot to take in at first. Especially for someone still learning to add doubles and tie his own shoes.

So I patiently instructed which properties were the best ones. Why you work to collect groups of same-color properties. When to save money and when to spend it. The difference between a house and a hotel. Chance and Community Chest and getting out of jail free.

And math. Don’t forget the math. No one likes to do math.

But before I knew it, when I was all prepared for his sheer boredom and demands that we put the game away and move onto something a hell of a lot more interesting, he was hopped up on the power of the Monopoly dollar and all the things he could buy with it.

And it took him all of five seconds to latch onto two things: Boardwalk and Park Place.
Oh, my little robber baron. 

And before I could blink an eye, the little bugger had hotels on each and I was up to my neck in mortgaged properties, looking at $2,000 in the hole and my battleship game piece sinking like the Titanic.

And the real kicker?

I was seriously trying to win.

I love my son. I brought him into this world and cherish his very presence each and every day.

But I’ll be damned if I throw a game on purpose.

Am I competitive?....

....Is the Pope Catholic?

***

“Whoa,” my husband said when he peered over my shoulder and saw the sea of mortgaged properties in front of me, “you’re in a pickle.”

I glared and snarked, “You. Go away.” I tapped my temple and added, “It’s all part of my master plan.”

He shrugged, “If losing is your master plan,” he gave me two thumbs up, “way to go!”

My son giggled then said to my husband, “Mom’s face turns, like, purple, when she gets mad.” He then looked at me and asked, “Did you know you landed on Luxury Tax three times? In a row?”

He keeled over with laughter.

OK....(insert shrug here.)

So maybe I pushed him over....Prove it.

“I know,” I gritted through my teeth. “I was there.”

“That’s like...,” he paused for a moment and his little forehead wrinkled as he did the math, “$600.”

Who the hell taught this kid to count so flippin’ high?!....I blame the educational system.

“And how come you don’t have any houses?” he asked, sitting back up and pointing at the board in front of us. “You should really buy some houses....you know...when you get some money.”

Thank you, Mr. Trump.

My husband could only howl with laughter as he walked away. 

Which meant he didn’t see the pillow I launched at his head.

Oh, don’t feel too badly for him. It could have been my shoe.

Or a battleship.

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