The Four-Generational Games Night.

We have always been so blessed to live surrounded by family…and we have enough family to go around, that’s for sure! My dad was one of 11 siblings and my mom’s dad was one of 11 siblings, too. With a family that large, we don’t know everyone as intimately, but we are a family that loves family gatherings! Growing up, when we were doing something as an “immediate family,” it always involved my Grandma and Grandpa and my uncle (conveniently only a few years older than myself and my siblings) as well. Thankfully, most of us still live right in the same city/surrounding area.

So, even though neither of my brothers were available for games night last Saturday, it still ended up a four generational event. Let me tell you…there are many wonderful, hilarious things that happen when four generations are all together. From 5.5 months to 70, we were playing games! Now, my toddler son is an extraordinary extrovert, so whenever someone comes over, it is the greatest day of his life. Before the party even started, our friends came over with bubble tea for our son, so he was pretty  giddy and excited. Before we got to games, we let him get some of the wiggles out. He ran….and ran…and ran around the living giving everyone silly nicknames, running full-tilt, head down and crashing into his Papa. From there, we got to play the “walk like the animal” game, which resulted in him running around the room like a bat to frighten his Grandma (on purpose) and then ‘skunking’ everyone.

Games night begins. We get our son in the high chair (no tray), so we have enough seats and he can still participate. Nana’s on toddler-duty and Papa is on baby-duty. I am in charge of the tea (a fabulous Smooth Cinnamon Vanilla). We have 5 adults, 2 kids, a table full of snacks, teacups, and cards. We decided on Phase 10, a classic card game, and somehow that simple game took us two long, full, chaotic hours.

7:30-8:00 – Kids are in crazy mode. Our baby is all smiles, bouncing around on Papa’s lap, trying to grab cards, drinks, food….whatever she can get her hands on. Our son is all smiles, bouncing around in his chair, trying to grab cards, drinks, food…whatever he can get his hands on. Adults  are trying to find some semblance of  conversation. One adult (who will remain nameless…) is trying desperately to understand the game. We end up getting our son’s “Woody cards” (aka. Toy story UNO), so he can “play” along with us. However, this resulted in Phase 10 merging with Toy Story UNO, and now alongside playing our game, we were also playing a made-up version of another game where my mom got “Buzz’ed” and was doomed to lose the round, I was given a Woody card, Wheezy and Alien dudes which helped me get an extra Bulls-eye, and our son gave himself a Buzz card, which allowed him to retrieve six more cards. Two games at once, with adults yelling, “Skip you!”, “I got my phase!”, and “We’re leaving you behind!”, our son yelling, “You got buzz’ed!”, “Bulls-eye!!!”, and “Ahhh…ZURG!”….it’s no wonder the nameless adult was having trouble keeping up. Oh yes, and in the midst of this, our baby was arching herself way back in the Bumbo (Papa’s arms/cards/food/drink couldn’t handle it any longer) in the back middle of the table and the middle of the chaos, toy in hand, and then flinging it backwards in a strange game of ring toss.

8:00-8:30 – Our son goes to bed, slightly overtired, not wanting to say both goodnight and goodbye, and growing pains to boot. My husband dealt with that one, and we paused our game, got in a little normal, adult conversation, and then I got the baby to bed as well. We were sure the chaos was behind us.

8:30-9:00 – A certain adult is still not quite understanding the game….and even so, was tied for the lead and leaving most of us behind. The children stayed in bed, no more tears, and just when we thought the evening was coming to a peaceful close…I see something. I do a double-take, as I catch something out of the corner of my eye, and to my absolute disbelief…..there is a mouse running from under the fridge to under the dishwasher in our kitchen!

9:00-9:30 – Feet are off the floor (for two adults anyway). All five of us sit in disbelief and I try to convince myself that I truly saw nothing. We continue on with the game, my head cocked to the side, shifting eyes back and forth….and then there it is again! That ignorant little mouse waddles out from under the dishwasher and then just stands there, front feet on the dishwasher, taunting us. My dad has always been a man of action. If something needs to be done – he’s already doing it! Thankfully, my husband is very similar, especially when it comes to stupid, ignorant mice in our house. My dad has a container, and he is ready to catch it, shake it around and stun it, and then toss it outside. My hubby has gathered four mice traps and plots a line of traps to corner his every move. The mice has retreated, and clearly won’t be coming back out with them standing around, so we get back to our arduous card game. Everyone is totally concentrated…on the mouse of course. Two adults have their feet up, and my hubby is obsessively checking for the house. He decides, against the pleas of the women, to pull the portable dishwasher out (my suggestion of smoking him out was disregarded). Nothing. We were totally (NOT) prepared to have the mouse run out and go zipping past us under the table. My hubby is moving and shaking the dishwasher…nothing. So, now, of course, we are making up stories about the mouse hanging on to the bottom of the dishwasher, running around inside the dishwasher, jumping out at me the next time I open it….delightful. We are mostly thankful that the kids are in bed, so we can call the mouse stupid and ignorant. We are all very mature. 🙂

I don’t know what it is about knowing that there is a mouse in your house that makes you so indignant. I think I truly understand how they mousehuntfelt in Mouse Hunt
We have had mice periodically over the summer/winter…they have eaten buns, butter, and even some tea. *gasp*

The games ended. The adult who routinely had to be reminded of the rules won. Everyone crept to the door. The mouse stayed put, sneering and dancing under the dishwasher, mocking us.

*The mouse met a timely end at 9:45 when he dared to sneak across the kitchen and eat some of our delicious, human food.
**But SERIOUSLY, how did that mouse stay hidden underneath the dishwasher while my hubby pulled it out and shook it all around…


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