I have four boys. They like cars. Once while we were on a family walk, which quickly grew boring as soon as we were far enough from the house to not be able to do anything but turn around, I remembered a game my sister and I played many years before while on a long car trip. My grandparents were moving from California to Arizona, and my sister and I drove with our grandpa in his big blue truck with the oooga horn (ooo-OOOO-gaaaa, it went). Out in the middle of nowhere, on a two-lane highway, we decided we each got every third car. First car: "Grandpa, that's yours!" Second car: "Ha ha, Shiela that's your Pinto!" Third car: "That's my Cadillac!" It was a fun way to spend a few hours, and we had some great laughs when an especially trashy car would end up on someone's list.
Back to the walk with my boys: we started divvying up cars in this manner, and before we knew it, we were home sans the whining which would have been inevitable had the kids' attentions not been occupied.
Over time this game has changed to "calling" cars: when you spot a car you want, you say, "My Mercedes SLS AMG GT!" and if you say it first, it's yours. In the beginning we were only allowed 5 cars, as many fingers as you have on one hand, in an effort to remember them always and to have to choose which you would let go to accept the next better car. After months, or years, it was decided Jonas could have as many cars as he could call, because he was young and he whined a lot. The next step of devolution was we ALL could have as many as we wanted -- we had infinity garages to keep our cars in, so we no longer had to prioritize preferences. Around this time, we also added the rule that, if you called the car first, anyone else could say "Clone!" and also get the car. In an nod of fairness to the spry guy who called first, the spry guy could then modify your clone (because clones aren't perfect, you know?). The most common modification is, "Yours is pink!" Other popular mods have been, "Yours has Styrofoam wheels!" Or "The seat warmers and heater come on in the summer, and the AC is always on in the winter!" "It's permanently broken," is another. If you refer back to "Jonas whines a lot," you will understand why we don't always exercise this option -- I can't say how many times we have told him it is just a game, and we don't REALLY get the cars.
I love that we have this special family game we all play. We change it as our needs change (to ensure no one fibs while they call a Morgan Roadster, one other person has to see your car for it to count; Brad and I have been known to take pictures of cars we may see when we are alone). Not only does it feel like "our thing," it also reminds me of my grandpa who passed away this last year -- and I am happy to share something with my kids he shared with me (modified as it may be).
There is a new game Jonas and Isaac have recently devised, although it is still in development. It is called "Fur, or Fat?" One day they were joking that when Cooper lays down, his fat lays down with him. We speak for the dogs and babies and other speechless animals around us, so of course Cooper said, "That's not fat, it's fur." There's the conception, right there. You find an animal and you guess, fur, or fat? Then you shave the animal to get the answer.
We have run into a problem finding animals who want to play...but it's a good idea!
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)