Kids’ Rules!?!

No that’s what I meant. Not Kids Rule. How many of you have to quickly establish “kids’ rules!” right when you are about to win a game or even just gain a slight lead. No? Ok, well you are better than me when it’s 7:50pm and I promised we could finish the game before bed and the storm of my kids impending loss of the game is coming and coming fast and the epic meltdown is only moments away. Survival. And bedtime. And being done with them. And getting to Bravo ASAP. That’s what it’s really about folks. Not about teaching grand lessons of disappointment is ok and try harder next time and you can’t win every time and learn how to be a good sport so your friends won’t think you’re annoying. Now’s not the time. Goal: sleep.

Recently we got the game Headbanz. For those who are unfamiliar it’s a pretty great game. I think. Basically, on your turn you try to guess the word (that is stuck to the headband you are wearing like you are going caving and wearing a flashlight on your forehead, only instead of a flashlight you have a card with a word and picture on it). The picture/word is not visible to you (unless you pretend not to look at it while you are placing it on your headband and if you get caught looking at it then of course you have to take another and another until you’ve gone through half the deck trying not to cheat…this applies mostly to the 4 and 7 year old I play with, but can also apply to adults). Then the person wearing the headband tries to guess the word before the timer runs out. If you can do this then you get to give up a token I think? Or something like that. Well, in our version, we decided to use chocolate chips instead of tokens. So if you win you get to eat one. No need to tell you how that turned out. And yes I know, food as a reinforcement tool breaks some rules out there maybe? Whatever. Chocolate chips are also good and tokens are boring.


We start the game. J (4) starts guessing. We all have our secret (to us) words/pictures on our heads that we can’t know. J is trying to guess the picture on his head:



First two guesses right off the bat. B (7) and I immediately look at each other and roll our eyes. Then we take our cards down and quickly confirm our suspicions that J just guessed the words on our heads.

B: “JJJJJJJJJJJJJ!!!!!! You can’t tell everybody our pictures!!” B and I put up new cards and try to drive home the point that J can’t guess the SECRET words on our headbands. Let’s continue.

J’s word: Turtle

J: “Is it a kangaroo?”

Me: “Do u want to ask if it’s fast or slow?”

B: “You can’t give hints!?!”

Me: “Kids’ rules. You can give hints and it still counts if you get it.”

J: “A leopard?”

Me: “It’s super super slow.”

J: “A snail?” I flip over the hourglass to get us more time.

Rule-driver B: “That’s cheating!”

Me: “Kids’ rules. You can get double hour glass. Do u want to ask what color?”

J: “Green.”

Me: “Does it have a shell?”

J: “Turtle!”

Me: “YAyyyyyyyy J got it!!!” J delighted. Eats 14 chocolate chips.

B’s word: soccer ball

B: “Soccer ball.”

Me: “B, you saw it.” Though in his defense, his every first guess is soccer ball.

J’s word: Boat…speed version…let’s get this game wrapped up already

Me: “A vehicle. Not in the sky. Not on the road. We ride in it. We take it to New York City sometimes.”

J: “A bus!”

Me: “That’s on a road. It’s in the water.”

J: “A boat!”

Skipping B’s round because we just go until he gets it and there’s no humor in it.

J’s word: Broom

Me: “What does mommy do all the time?”

J: “Broom!”

B: “J cheated! He told me he saw it!”

J: “No I didn’t!”

Me: “Tell the truth.”

B: “J told me he saw something with brown and yellow on it.”

Me: “Did u?”

J: “No.”

Me: “Someone’s not telling the truth.”

J: “Fine. I won’t play.”

B: (Un-phased, delighted and ready for his solo game with Mommy): “He’s not playing.”

Me: “Yea he is.”

B: “He needs to get another token then.”

Me: “Who cares. It’s bedtime anyway.”

B: “BUT you said!!!!…” Cue tears.

J: “BUT B made me lose!!!” Cue hysterics.

And. Scene. That’s how I like to end any good game close to bedtime on a school night. Screams of disappointment, pouting, blaming, and utter exhaustion.

But you know when they calmed down and I was tucking them in, they so eloquently professed their love for me, thanked me for letting them stay up an extra 15 minutes to finish the game, applauded me for my creative chocolate chip-token exchange idea, and offered to clean up all the cards and put the game away.

They went to bed mad and upset and passed out seconds later.

2 thoughts on “Kids’ Rules!?!

  1. Maury Sterns April 20, 2016 / 7:52 am

    You are so good at capturing the incidental features of child life. Another great episode

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Maury Sterns May 6, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    I can actually feel the emotions. Patience is golden.
    what about creating a finale where you say everybody did a good job 3 choice chips for each and an extra one for whoever gets in bed first


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