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Thursday, May 16, 2013

This Mommy's favorite game - #LTYM 2013

As promised in yesterday's post, here is the text of the essay I read at Listen to Your Mother Indianapolis earlier this month:

podium photo podiumcouch_zps1eb1f52e.jpg
Photo by Mike Washington Photography

This Mommy’s Favorite Game
I’m not sure what happens at your house, but in our house, we spend a lot of time playing games. They mostly fall into two categories -- those that involve suicidal birds or digital versions of famous sports stars (I’m talking video games, people) and those that require hours of practice, driving to fields and gyms all over creation and result in foul-smelling laundry.

A typical weekend for our family looks like this:  basketball, soccer, play practice -- drama is a game all unto itself -- on Saturday, followed by more drama and soccer on Sunday. I’m sure you’re familiar with that.

But games are not just for kids. I have a favorite game that I like to play, too. It's called "Mommy's Legs Are Broken and She Can't Get Off the Couch."

My favorite game has just two basic rules:

1. It can only be played when there is nowhere anyone has to be, because Mommy's legs are pretty much required for driving to soccer practice. Which means getting to play this game is a darn near-miracle.

2. It can only be played when Daddy is not home. Otherwise Daddy will try to play too and, well, that just ruins everything.

Other than that, “Mommy’s Legs Are Broken” has no rules. There are no uniforms to be washed, although jammies are recommended.  No equipment necessary, but I will say that having the phone, iPad and TV remote within reach makes it  more enjoyable.

The game generally starts when one or more children ask for something that he or she is perfectly capable of getting for themselves.

Kid: "Mommy, can you get me a glass of milk?"

Me: "Nope. Sorry."

Kid: "Why not?"

Me: "Because Mommy's legs are broken and she can't get off the couch."

Kid: "Arrgghh! Not again! I hate this game."

Which is how you know this is a real game, because there are members of the "opposing" team saying not so nice things to your team.

From there, the game is totally up to the Mommy.

"Can you please bring me a Diet Coke?" -- Pleases and thank yous and other common courtesies are still expected. Mommy's legs may be broken, but her sense of social etiquette is not.

"Can you pick up all the shoes and take them to the right rooms upstairs?"

Generally, this game is a good way to get things accomplished, like having the family room picked up, without Mommy having to be the one to do all the work.

Warning: once the children get the hang of the game, they will try to play too. This is NEVER allowed. Kids’ legs are never broken. Only Mommy's.
The game can end in a variety of ways:

1.   Mommy's had enough rest that she feels ready to take on the family again. Please note: this has never, in the history of “Mommy’s legs are broken,” ever happened.

2.   The doorbell rings and a stranger is at the door. At this point,  Mommy must get off the couch because children are not allowed to open the door for strangers. (You can keep the game going by telling all the kids to be quiet and act like no one is home, hoping the stranger leaves soon.)

3.   A fight breaks out among the children resulting in blood or bones sticking out. Any other level of fighting can be dealt with from the couch, generally by leveling threats such as “no video games for a week” or “I will make tuna noodle casserole for dinner if you don’t knock it off.”

4.   The house catches fire and Mommy must evacuate.

There you have it. The basics of my favorite game, "Mommy's Legs Are Broken and She Can't Get Off the Couch." Coming in a boxed set with bonus margarita mix to a store near you this Mother’s Day.


Momza said...

Except for the margarita mix, I think this is a game I need to play!
Thanks, Amy!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Great game! Congratulations on creating, and sharing, it!

Beth said...

I like the rules of your game. I do believe this should be a mandatory game for all moms every weekend :)