Full Disclosure: I don't know how to play chess. I'm not even sure which pieces are which. I think the little tiny guys are pawns and the horse is a knight, but after that, it's all bishops to me. I have tried to learn - Donny tried to teach me, I took a workshop once at SAR, but all for naught. Give me Checkers any day - much simpler, you jump in one direction, you get to the other end, you win. Or even better, one of my all-time favorites, Taboo or Scattergories.
Donny has had more luck in teaching Ariella how to play and she occasionally asks me to play with her, at which point I hit upon the fantastic idea of coloring together! Yaakov has witnessed the chess playing, and today he decided to play with me.
Y: I want to be the blacks, Mommy. I do not love the whites.
M: Okay Yaakov.
[Yaakov lines up his pieces, and corrects my formation. I actually think he may have been right. We proceed to play. I move my piece randomly.]
Y: No, Mommy it goes here, and then I take your piece.
[The game continues like this for a while. Every time it's his turn, I seem to lose another one of my pieces. For revenge, I take a few of his. But his strategy is better and he's winning.]
Y: [holding his king, or maybe it's his queen. Which one has the cross on top?] R-O-A-R!!!!! See, I am scaring your pieces. [The rest of my pieces fearfully scamper off the board onto Yaakov's side.]
Y: [Looking askance at my white pieces, which are now in his possession, and at most of his black pieces, which I have.] But Mommy I don't love the whites!
M: But you won, Yaakov!
Y: Yeah, I won!
We follow up the game with a victory lap of Torat Hashem Temima. A rolled up bathroom rug substitutes for a Torah.
Later in the evening, Ariella, who is taking a games chug at school, decides we should play Mancala. We tie one, I win two. Then I try explaining Taboo, and finally we pull out Scrabble. Not the Junior version, the real live thing.
Well, she had a little help. She was able to do her first turn all on her own, using the "d" from my "find" and writing "red." After that, though, it was pretty much, "Mommy, can you help me use my 'k'?" and "Mommy, I want to get one of the red blocks." So, good Mommy that I am, I helped her score some pretty awesome words, some of which she didn't even know the meaning of. Some of which may not even have been words at all. (Does "gack" count?) I finally called it quits, surrendering and Ariella won, 100-something to 100-something less.
Hmmm....kids win, Mommy loses....what a familiar theme.....
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