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DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200, DO NOT EVEN ROLL THE DICE

6:23 pm

Mom and Dad decide to play a game with the kids.

6:58 pm

They decide on Monopoly, even though it’s not their first, second or even third choice.

6:59 pm

They look for the game.

7:05 pm

They find the game hidden away in back of closet and wonder what it’s doing there.

7:08 pm

They look for the dice.

7:19 pm

They find the dice.

7:22 pm

They realize the $5 bills are missing, too, but agree to just round up to the nearest 10.

7:24 pm

They roll to see who goes first.

7:28 pm

They decide rolling to see who goes first leaves too much to chance and choose to go from youngest to oldest instead.

7:29 pm

Dad tells oldest not to pout.

7:30 pm

Mom tells youngest not to gloat.

7:31 pm

Everybody starts playing.

7:55 pm

Mom reminds everyone it’s just a game and the point is to have fun.

8:07 pm

Dad remind everyone it’s just a game and the point is to have fun, but he uses “the angry voice.”

8:17 pm

Mom starts getting competitive.

8:18 pm

Dad starts getting competitive, too, but claims it’s Mom’s fault because she started getting competitive first.

8:19 pm.

The kids remind Mom and Dad it’s just a game and the point is to have fun.

8:20 pm

Mom and Dad tell kids they can quit any time they want to, otherwise shut up and roll.

8:26 pm

Mom puts hotels on the yellows.

8:34 pm

Dad puts hotels on the purples and the reds.

8:35 pm – 8:43 pm

One after another, the kids land on Mom’s and Dad’s properties, lose all their money, all their property, and are forced out of the game despite their please for compassion, pity, help, another chance, etc.

Mom and Dad ignore them keep playing.

10:49 pm

Mom and Dad finally remember why the Monopoly game was hidden away in back of closet.

FAMILY GAME NIGHT… OR NIGHTMARE?

Gathering around the table. √

Spending some quality time together. √

Taking a break from DVDs, movies, video games and other passive forms of entertainment. √

Reliving fond memories of playing Monopoly as a kid. √

Trying to figure out which version of Monopoly to play. √

Watching the kids fight over who gets to be the racecar. √

Watching the kids fight over who gets to roll first. √

Watching the kids fight over who who the bowl of popcorn gets to be set down in front of. √

Threatening to send everyone to bed if they don’t behave. √

Enjoying five minutes of stress-free game play. √

Trying to explain to a younger sibling why they have to give their older sibling money just because they landed on Marvin Gardens. √

Wiping away the younger sibling’s tears. √

Using the parent voice to tell the older sibling not to be a sore winner. √

Getting competitive. √

Mentally adding up the cost of therapy if you decide to just completely bankrupt your kids. √

Reminding yourself the point is to have fun. √

Letting your kids win. √

Hoping Family Game Night will be better next week. √

Fearing that it won’t. √

Wondering if Family Movie Night would be a better idea instead. √