I don’t know about you, but around here we are on a consistent mission to find something that will help keep our 2 busy boys…well…busy! As much as I’d like to think I have the patience and stamina to keep up with them, I will quickly concede that I don’t!

We are a family that allows for limited times of TV exposure. Has it been used as a babysitter occasionally? Yes. Is it always on, even when no one’s watching? No. So, somewhere in between there is where we (and most families, I’m sure) sit.

But this isn’t about the woes of media exposure to our youngster, so, I digress!

When Bubbs isn’t enjoying a show, he’s busy. And that’s usually 95% of his day! Thus, things like the board games, the puzzles, the paints, the books, the crayons, the Play-Doh, etc., come out.

Yesterday, while Wee Bubbs was napping, I sat on the floor with Bubbs to play Chutes & Ladders. Immediately I became frustrated.

Now, before you roll your eyes at me and wonder how I couldn’t possibly have more patience with a simple thing like a board game, let me explain.

a) I’m not a good “game player” by nature, regardless of the age of my opponent

b) I consider myself in constant learning mode when it comes to children, understanding their typical nature, where they should be at for their age range, what’s normal for that particular gender, etc. (aka, I’m not a teacher!)

c) I get very little sleep most nights – VERY little – so I tend to be on a constant level of trying to “rise above” what I feel like doing versus what I should be doing.

I hope that makes sense.

So as the board game commences, I once again realize my Bubbs isn’t up for being taught the proper way to play this particular game. He just likes to tell me what character I’m playing and then proceeds to move both characters all over the board, spinning the spinner whenever, not really caring to listen to my instructions or requests.


But instead of staying in frustration mode or quitting the game altogether, I decide to play Chutes & Ladders “preschool style”.

After Bubbs spun the spinner, I asked him to try and find a matching number on the board. Not to necessarily move his character piece that amount of spaces, but to just find a number that contained the number he spun. Then I would do the same.


And there we were – just the two of us. Me with my coffee mug, squatting on the floor; Bubbs happy and excited that we were spending time together without Wee Bubbs trying to eat the game board. And “playing” a game while actually learning numbers in the process.

I would be lying if I didn’t say I kinda felt proud of myself. Not only did I not give in to my selfish nature on this one, but I also was able to think with a sleep-deprived brain and come up with a creative solution for the both of us.